LUKE CARTY IS BUCCS SENIOR PLAYER OF YEAR | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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published:May  27   2019

LUKE CARTY was named Buccaneers Senior Player of the Year at the club’s annual Awards Gala held in The Bounty on Saturday last when Michael Carroll was unveiled at the Club Person of the year at the event.


Gordon Ballantyne, in his final formal function as outgoing President, welcomed the guests and attendees to the club that had much to celebrate including another Connacht Senior Cup and League double and no less than a dozen club players to have worn the green of Ireland during the season. The underage section of the club continues to blossom and grow with teams at most ages being competitive in their respective grades.


The Carty name is now synonymous with Buccaneers and Luke follows the footsteps of brother Ben in being named Senior Player of the year. Eldest brother Jack, who also attended, has of course progressed to the Ireland Senior squad following his exploits with Connacht. Capping it all, father Ted (excusing the unintended pun) this week takes up office as President of Connacht Rugby. The Carty household is steeped in sport but particularly rugby.


Luke played in the pivotal outhalf berth for Buccaneers and, although not always available from Connacht, he made a massive contribution to the team’s fortunes particularly through his place-kicking where he tallied well in excess of 100 points. His workrate, exemplified by a willingness to tackle and take responsibility, was a vital component for the Pirates. Luke continues to develop and is a richly promising member of the Connacht Academy also where the NUIG student was a regular with Connacht Eagles during the season. Carty is still learning but has the natural talent and attitude to progress much further. He is a worthy and popular winner of the Buccaneers Senior Player of the Year accolade which was presented to him by Michael Moore of Audi Athlone at the Awards Gala.


Sean O’Connell was equally worthy in being named the Under-20 Player of the Year. The young Castlebar native played in a variety of roles for the club, primarily in the pack and mainly in the front row. He further displayed his versatility with a number of appearances in the backline and he also featured on the Junior 1A side and indeed played in all of Buccs Seniors Connacht campaigns winning medals in both League and Cup.


Torin Rensford arrived at Buccaneers first training session of the season, romance having brought him to the town where he married Athlonian Sarah Mullins last year. Displaying the skills and tenacity of his native New Zealand, he was promptly welcomed into the ranks and he has repaid Buccs with huge commitment on and off the pitch. Working in Dublin, he nevertheless rarely misses training and swiftly became a key cog in a regenerated season by the J1A’s. Torin also got regular game time with the Senior XV, including a man of the match performance in the home win over St. Mary’s College, and he will surely be in contention for a regular starting berth with the Firsts next season. He fully warrants his selection as Junior 1A Player of the Year.


Caitriona Kielty is another newcomer to Buccaneers but the performances and contribution of this ‘newbie’ in a somewhat fractured season for our ladies nevertheless earned her the Womens Player of the Year honour. With increased experience and more regular fixtures for Buccs Womens team, Caitriona will undoubtedly improve and develop further such is her potential.


Buccaneers also honoured their dozen players who wore the green of Ireland during the season. They brought great pride and honour to the club and specially commissioned pieces of Athlone Crystal were presented to them. Robbie Henshaw was unavoidably absent as he was in action in Leinster’s retention of the PRO14 title while Jordan Conroy was adding to this try tally for the Ireland Sevens squad in the London Sevens tournament. However, our remaining internationals led by Jack Carty were present.


The full list of Buccaneers internationals during season 2018-19 is:-

Jack Carty                     Senior

Robbie Henshaw            Senior

Niall Murray                   U-20

Colm Reilly                    U-20

Liam Wynette                U-19

Darragh Murray              U-18 Schools

Sevens                          Jordan Conroy

Clubs                            John Sutton

Students                       Rory O’Connor

Touch Rugby                 Denis O’Connor

Touch Rugby                 Rory Silke

Touch Rugby                 Nigel So


MICKY CARROLL unveiled as Club Person of the year


Michael (Micky) Carroll, a stalwart servant of the club for many decades, was unveiled as Buccaneers Club Person of the Year at the Awards Gala. One of the great characters of the club who has put in immeasurable service over the years, the Coosan native is absolutely worthy of this award. He takes particular pride in having the longest playing career at the club, even togging out in his 50’s so that a team could be fielded! His wife Annette was possibly greatly surprised to read his name on the team in the subsequent match report! Fiercely competitive on the pitch and equally committed off the field in his various roles around Dubarry Park, Micky and his yellow van are mainstays at the club. Along with Martin Webster, he currently provides invaluable support to the Senior squad on match days and training sessions. He has four children and operates his business MAC Components from his home in Coosan. The coveted ‘Michael Hanley Memorial Perpetual Cup’ was presented by Orla Hanley, daughter of the late Michael whose memory is commemorated by this trophy.


Shane Layden, Buccaneers Senior Captain, presented medals to the players who featured on the teams that won the Connacht League and Cup double. It was the Pirates fourth year in succession to win the League during which period they captured the Cup on three occasions.


A raffle was held at the Awards Gala with the proceeds being donated to Westmeath Hospice is association with the Brian Carty memorial cycle which also took place on Saturday. Meanwhile, Michael Hanley Jnr won the pitch and putt tournament (organised by Micky Carroll) and his prize was presented to his mother Eileen. Concluding the Awards Gala, Gordon Ballantyne thanked all who attended and congratulated the various winners. He especially thanked the crew at The Bounty for the quality and service provided. He wound up the formalities by presenting Aileen Hayes, who was chief organiser this year, with a bouquet of flowers.