|Buccs host Connemara in season opener|
RUGBY with MICHAEL SILKE
BUCCANEERS first fixture of the new rugby season pits them against Connemara in the opening round of the Connacht Senior League at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Saturday afternoon. Kick off time (at time of writing) is 3 p.m.
The Blacks regularly have difficulty in mustering a full squad this early in the season but numbers have been light enough at Buccs training sessions to date. Defections and the traditional comings and goings during the off-season have been exacerbated by emigration. Just like last summer, four key first team squad players have headed ‘down under’ in search of employment so Head Coach Hendrik Marnitz is likely to be working off stretched resources on Saturday. Connemara may scent a scalp and thus a tight tussle is anticipated.
Buccaneers Connacht Senior League fixtures have now been confirmed, as follows:-
Connemara (h) Aug 25th; Corinthians (h) Sept. 8th; Galwegians (a) Sept. 15th and Sligo (a) Sept. 22nd. Meanwhile, Buccaneers Development Squad’s first league game of the season sees them play at home to Castlebar on September 16th.
Training for all adult teams takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. All adult players (seniors, seconds, thirds and U-21s) are expected to attend. New players, including beginners, always welcome.
U-21 FIXTURES UNVEILED
BUCCANEERS compete in an extended and more competitive South-West Conference League this season in which they play 13 matches, 6 at home and 7 away. Peculiarly, they have to travel to Cork Constitution, Garryowen and Highfield again this season!
Buccs U-21 fixtures are as follows:-
Oct. 6 Old Crescent (a)
Oct. 13 Dolphin (a)
Oct. 20 Corinthians/NUIG (h)
Nov. 3 Garryowen (a)
Nov. 17 Cork Constitution (a)
Nov. 24 Midleton (h)
Dec. 1 Shannon (a)
Jan. 26 UCC (h)
Feb. 9 Galwegians (a)
Feb. 16 Young Munster (h)
Feb. 23 UL Bohemian (a)
Mar. 2 Thomond (h)
Mar. 9 Highfield (a)
GANLY’S TRIUMPH IN GOLF CLASSIC
GANLY’S OF ATHLONE completed a rare feat when they triumphed for the second successive year in Buccaneers Annual Golf Classic, which was held at Glasson Golf Hotel & Country Club last Friday. The early starters got much the better of the weather as a deluge did it’s best in the afternoon to ruin the event. Nevertheless, some decent scores were recorded with Ganly’s coming out tops on 93 points, edging out Tom Boland’s team only by a better back nine.
The course was in topclass condition, testament to the ground staff at the Glasson course who are working in challenging weather conditions this summer. The catering at the event was also well received. Gavin Keary of Supermacs won the prize for ‘the longest drive’ while Tom O’Callaghan captured the award for ‘nearest the pin’.
Buccaneers thank all who participated and are especially grateful to our Tee/Hole sponsors. Thanks too to the small band of organisers for this event. Sean Og Hurley proved as deft as ever with his MC duties while Pat Hynes presented the prizes to the winners, as follows:-
1st:- Ganly’s of Athlone - Michael Ganly, Martin Flynn, Tom Donohoe & Gerry Duignan. 93 points.
2nd:- Tom Boland’s team - Tom Boland, P.Dunne, D.O’Brien & W.Weldon. 93 points
3rd:- Supermacs Athlone - Greg Kennedy, S.Brogan, G.Keary & B.Mahony. 91 points
4th:- Gertie Browne’s - Michael Loughman, M.Egan, O.Fahy & M.Furey. 90 points
Longest Drive:- Gavin Keary.
Nearest The Pin:- Tom O’Callaghan.
CONNACHT DEFEAT ULSTER
Connacht U-19s defeated Ulster 13-3 in a friendly at Dubarry Park on Saturday. Young Buccs Scott Flanagan, Saba Meunargia, Eoghan O’Reilly, Ben Carty and Ross Enraght-Moony all featured in this win for a squad for whom Charlie Couper is Head Coach while Geoff Kenny is the Forwards Coach. Connacht play Leinster at North Kildare RFC on next Friday, kick off 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, congratulations too to Robert Henshaw on his first Senior cap for Connacht when he made his debut at a red hot The Stoop where a strong Harlequins outfit inflicted a heavy defeat on the visitors. The Premiership champions went all out to atone for their Heineken Cup embarrassment suffered at the hands of Connacht and duly won 45-11. Teenager Henshaw gave an assuredly promising showing in the centre and marked his debut with Connacht’s only try.
LOTTO JACKPOT NOW €9,400
The numbers drawn last Saturday night in Buccaneers Lotto were 1, 5, 6 & 30. There was no Jackpot winner so next week the princely sum of €9,400 is up for grabs. Four players - -Michael Stapleton, Justin Lennon, Kate Connaughton and Colette Duffy -- matched three numbers to win €50 each. Tickets for the weekly draw can be purchased at The Olive, Higgins Pub, Gertie Browne’s or The Bounty, while anyone wishing to support by Bankers Order can obtain the relevant forms from Buccaneers Administrator Geraldine Kenny 0861732711 or from any member of the club’s Executive Committee.