Buccaneers return to Division 1A action in the forthcoming Ulster Bank League (AIL ) with a juicy opening fixture in which they host Lansdowne at Dubarry Park on Saturday, September 16.
Lansdowne, coached by former Ireland U20 and Wales supremo, Mike Ruddock, have a trio of young ex-Pirates in their ranks in Charlie McMickan, Jacob Walshe, and Josh O’Rourke.
Young Munster are next to arrive in Athlone, with Trinity, Cork Con, UCD and St Mary’s all due to visit the Midlands pre-Christmas. The Pirates first away game is against Garryowen, with trips to Clontarf, Terenure and St Mary’s College to follow prior to the mid-season break, which is much briefer than last year as the AIL resumes on the first weekend in January.
Buccs kick off their season on Saturday week, August 19, when they commence the defence of their Connacht Senior League title against Corinthians, whom they defeated in last season’s Senior Cup final.
Two home matches, against Sligo and Galwegians, follow on consecutive weekends. Meanwhile, the planned friendly against Old Elthamians at Crowley Park this Saturday is now not taking place.
There may be minor tweaking of All Ireland League fixtures dates, with perhaps some Friday or Saturday night fixtures being slotted in. Apart from Cork Constitution, all Buccaneers' opponents this term hail from either Dublin or Limerick, and it should be possible to play under floodlights against some of these sides.
The October bank holiday weekend game at home to Dublin University is one that would surely be better suited to, say, the Friday of that long weekend. Meanwhile, UCD’s trip to Dubarry Park is scheduled for the same day as Ireland’s autumn international against Argentina. The same applies for the home game against Terenure, which incredibly has a clash of dates with Ireland’s opening match in the RBS Six Nations championship against France.
Friday night AIL games would surely suit supporters wishing to watch both matches and ensure bigger attendances at the club fixtures.
Buccaneers fixtures 2017/18
Aug 19: Corinthians (A ) CSL
Aug 26: Sligo (H ) CSL
Sep 2: Galwegians (H ) CSL
Sep 16: Lansdowne (H ) UBL
Sep 23: Garryowen (A ) UBL
Sep 30: Young Munster (H ) UBL
Oct 7: Clontarf (A ) UBL
Oct 28: Dublin University (H ) UBL Bank Holiday
Nov 4: Terenure College (A ) UBL
Nov 11: Cork Constitution (H ) UBL
Nov 25: University College Dublin (H ) UBL
Dec 2: St Mary’s College (A ) UBL
Dec 9: St. Mary’s College (H ) UBL
Jan 6: Cork Constitution (A ) UBL
Jan 27: University College Dublin (A ) UBL
Feb 3: Terenure College (H ) UBL
Feb 17: Dublin University (A ) UBL
Mar 3: Clontarf (H ) UBL
Mar 24: Young Munster (A ) UBL
Apr 7: Garryowen (H ) UBL
Apr 14: Lansdowne (A ) UBL
Apr 28: Semi-final
May 5: Final
Training has intensified for Buccaneers adult teams with all senior, Seconds and U20s players expected to be ready and on the Dubarry Park paddocks by 7 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Womens team training is also cranking up on Mondays and Wednesdays.