BUCCS KICK OFF AIL AT HOME TO QUEEN’S | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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published:Oct  01   2019

BUCCANEERS kick off this season’s Energia All-Ireland League on Saturday afternoon when Queen’s University visit Dubarry Park, Athlone, with the action getting under way at 2.30 p.m. Much has changed since Buccs enjoyed the heady heights of Division 1A following promotion just a few seasons ago to now facing up to the formidable challenges of life in Division 2A.


Successive relegations mean that the Pirates will be sailing in somewhat uncharted waters this season. New clubs to play and visit, considerable changes in playing personnel and a new sponsor of the AIL. The midlanders have three Ulster clubs in their division and they provide the opposition for Buccs in their opening three games beginning with a swift return of Queen’s University who, ironically, were the last team that Buccaneers played in the AIL play-offs. The Students prevailed on that occasion thereby confirming the Pirates sinking to 2A.


 It is new territory for Buccaneers in this campaign and a developing youthful squad, skippered by Shane Layden for a third successive season and with Peter O'Donnell overseeing coaching, will hopefully hit the ground running on what is a really busy afternoon at Dubarry Park. The club’s J2 side are home to Oughterard in the Connacht Junior 2 League with a 5 p.m. start for this encounter while the J1A side follow on at 7 p.m. with a floodlit Connacht Junior 1A League duel against Tuam.


It is very positive to have a Thirds squad again after a sojourn of about five seasons and they provided much entertainment in their opening fixture when overcoming NUIG. They may have some further recruits for this joust against Oughterard, for whom it is their first league outing this term.


The J1’s shipped a heavy defeat at Sligo last weekend and their resources are likely to be stretched again. Tuam will be doughty opponents who gave Westport a good run for their money in Mayo in the opening round and then got on winning ways at home to Monivea, who defeated Buccs in Athlone. Another hard night at the office looks in prospect here.


With a feast of rugby on offer, let’s see a big turnout at Dubarry Park particularly for the All-Ireland League game against Queen’s University!


U-20’s face Galwegians in crunch qualifier


Meanwhile, Buccaneers U-20’s also have a highly attractive fixture when they square up to Galwegians/Oughterard in a J.P.Fanagan Leinster League Premier 2 Group A qualifier on Sunday. This game also takes place at Dubarry Park with a 3 p.m. kick off.


This pool is tightly congested with Buccs topping the table on 8 points following last Sunday’s one point win over Navan. The Wegians combination is level with Navan on 6 points, the Meath side having come out on top by a single point at Glenina. The fourth club Seapoint have conceded their fixtures so Navan are guaranteed to finish on 12 points so there is massive incentive for both Buccs and the westerners to come out on top in this battle. It should be a cracker and could well be the game of the weekend.




There will be a pre-match lunch in The Bounty for Saturday’s opening AIL game against Queen’s University. Cost is €30 per person for meal with complimentary wine, free admission to the match and 100-page programme. Groups or individuals catered for. Contact Geraldine at 0861732711 to book.