Buccaneers strive to maintain pivotal position as St Mary’s College provide AIL opposition

Having topped their qualifying pool, Buccaneers Thirds reward is a trip away to play Westport Seconds in the next stage of the Connacht Junior 2 League on Sunday.

Having topped their qualifying pool, Buccaneers Thirds reward is a trip away to play Westport Seconds in the next stage of the Connacht Junior 2 League on Sunday.

michael silke

It’s another top of the table Energia All-Ireland League clash for Buccaneers this weekend when they travel to Dublin where they square up to second placed St. Mary’s College at Templeville Road on Saturday with kick off for this mouth-watering duel at 2.30pm.

This showdown away from home will provide a real health check of Buccaneers’ progress and prospects. St Mary’s are the leading scorers in Division 1B but that includes 66 points they scored against a hapless on the day Banbridge. Fullback, Conor Hickey, and wing, Hugo Conway, lead the way for them with five tries apiece, Steven Kilgallen rowing in with four on the other flank and centre Mick O’Gara is the leading marksman in this division.

Their forwards are aggressive at the breakdown, as one would expect under coach Sean Cronin, who won many of his Ireland caps while affiliated to Buccaneers. Skipper Ronan Watters leads the pack by example and Ronan Foley is another key backrower in a settled forwards unit.

But Buccaneers will note that St. Mary’s leak points aplenty too, having conceded twice as many as the Pirates to date. The midlanders have the meanest defence by some distance and will be keen to keep it that way on Saturday. There is a wonderful work ethic in their squad and that will be crucial against St. Marys. The Athlone side have finished strongly in every match this season and will be prepared to go to the wire again on this occasion.

St. Marys have suffered two defeats so far, to Old Belvedere and UCC, both of whom the Pirates have overcome. If they maintain the energy and enterprise shown to date, Buccaneers have the potential to prevail in what looks like being a cracking contest with scores and entertainment aplenty.

A supporters’ bus is being organised for this trip to the capital, depending on confirmed bookings by Wednesday. Adult fare is €15 and the bus is scheduled to depart Dubarry Park at 10.30am. There is also an extra option to book for the pre-match function at St. Mar’s and the cost for this is €40 for four-course meal, complimentary wine and free admission to the match. Contact Geraldine at 0861732711 to book either or both. The players and mentors will be grateful for as much support as possible for Buccaneers at the game so let’s fill the bus.

U20s Home to Trinity

Buccaneers U20s are home to Dublin University in the J.P. Fanagan Leinster League Premier 2 at Dubarry Park on Sunday afternoon. Buccaneers sit two places above the Students in third place and, on form to date, should be too strong for Trinity. But underestimate a College side at your peril. However, this Buccaneers crew look too formidable and should come out on top. Kick-off is 2.30pm.

Seconds Away to Tuam

Buccaneers’ Seconds will endeavour to kick-start their Connacht Junior 1A League when they travel to Tuam on Saturday night. This Buccs squad has not yet consistently shown the vigour and verve displayed last season but, with Joe Browne back assisting this squad, they are likely to be more organised from hereon.

Tuam are a hardy outfit who will be doughty opponents so Buccs must not get dragged into a dog-fight but use their pace and handling to outmanoeuvre the Galway club. Kick-off at Garraun Park is 8pm.

Thirds Away to Westport

Having topped their qualifying Pool, Buccaneers Thirds reward is an awkward trip away to play Westport Seconds in the next stage of the Connacht Junior 2 League on Sunday. The teams met just a couple of weeks ago at the Mayo club’s ground where they were evenly matched and the Pirates required a late, late try to maintain their 100% success rate.

It is unlikely to be any easier on Sunday and Buccs will need to be at their best, be focussed and disciplined also, to overcome the Bulls. Kick-off at Carrowholly is 2.30pm.

Mini’s Blitz

Dubarry Park was a hive of activity last Saturday morning for a mini’s blitz. Car park was jammed and every conceivable pitch space seemed to be in use as a plethora of matches took place. Well done to all these little guys and girls and a big thank you to all their coaches and managers for organising this blitz so well.

Forever in our Hearts

A remembrance get together to celebrate the lives of Buccaneers members who have left us, and in particular those who have passed away since the start of the pandemic, will take place in The Bounty on Thursday, December 1 at 8pm. All are welcome to come along in memory of their loved ones. Further updates next week or check the club’s website/WhatsApp.

 

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