BUCCS HOME TO GARRYOWEN IN ‘MUST WIN’ GAME | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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published:Apr  02   2018

With just two rounds of fixtures remaining, Buccaneers enter the ‘last chance saloon’ when they square up to Garryowen in their final home match of this season’s Ulster Bank League on Saturday. This Glenroyal Hotel sponsored Division 1A game is vital for both clubs’ aspirations with the Limerick side intent on retaining their current Top Four play-off berth while nothing less than victory by the Pirates will prevent an immediate return to 1B for the Athlone outfit. Consequently, a full-blooded encounter is anticipated at Dubarry Park where the action kicks off at 2.30 p.m.


Having been well beaten at home by Terenure College, Garryowen regrouped to defeat Clontarf at Castle Avenue in their last outing when substitute Diarmuid Barron scored a brace of tries in that bonus point victory. Andrew Keating, Niall Horan and Sean O’Connor feature in a hard-working light blues pack while skipper Neil Cronin at scrumhalf and wing Liam Coombes are aces in their backline where Billy Johnston will be vying for the outhalf role with Jamie Gavin. Johnston and his brother David were regulars for Munster A and the latter is a strong-running centre. Garryowen lie in fourth place on the league table, just two points ahead of Clontarf and three above Young Munster.


Buccs gave a very good account of themselves at Dooradoyle early in the season and indeed were leading as the game entered the final quarter. But a needless yellow card impacted on them as they conceded 14 points when depleted to miss out even for a losing bonus point. Late fadeouts and missed bonus point opportunities have cost the midlanders dearly throughout a difficult campaign and they are now seven points adrift of St Mary’s College. Destiny is not in their own hands but they simply must win on Saturday. They have been unfortunate in many matches, yet have never shirked a battle. They are capable of taking the spoils but will all need to be firing on all cylinders from start to finish to do so.




Buccaneers are hosting a pre-match function for the game against Garryowen on Saturday. Damian Browne will be guest of honour at the event when the club’s U-18.5 squad will be presented with their Connacht League medals. Browne is an inspiring character. He played professional rugby for 16 seasons starting at Connacht before moving to Northampton Saints and Brive. He then joined Leinster before finishing his rugby playing career with Oyonnax. He was capped by Ireland A and U-21 teams. As if 16 seasons of competitive rugby was not tough enough, he then became an adventurer climbing mountains such as Mont Blanc and Killimanjaro before completing the 257 km Marathon des Sables in the Moroccan Sahara. His latest voyage was the 4,800 km Atlantic Challenge from San Sebastian to Antigua which he rowed solo and completed in less than 64 days! Reading his biography would make one exhausted so it sounds like he could have a gripping story or two to tell.


Cost for this pre-match function is €30 per person for which you can enjoy lunch with wine in The Bounty, get free admission to the big match plus a complimentary matchday programme. Groups or individuals can be catered for. Contact Pat Hynes 0876883833 or our Administrator Geraldine 0861732711 to book.