Buccaneers Tag Rugby Summer League concluded with an exciting series of finals, Couper’s Troopers taking the top honours.
Congratulations to all who participated especially the following winners - Cup – Couper’s Troopers; Plate - RugBK; Bowl - Geraldine and Shield - RugBK2.
Much appreciation is afforded to the corporate sponsored teams 3M Untaggables, RBK 1+2, and Alexion. Thanks also to Tom and Paschal in The Bounty for sponsoring the finals night refreshments.
Special merit goes to all the referees, Diarmuid Morrissey, Wesley Hudson, Adrian Hanley, Billy McMickan, Peter Walpole and Kieran Abrook, while gratitude is further extended to Lyndon Jones, Zoe Langsdale and all at Connacht Rugby and the Connacht Tag Series sponsors Laya Healthcare and particularly to club president Brendan Wilkins who put in a trojan amount of work during the Tag Summer League series.
Finals night was an exciting affair with much anticipated match ups. In the Shield final the game finished tied and had to go to golden try for decision, with RugBK2 triumphing after two minutes. In the Bowl final, new entrants Geraldine, representing the pride of South Roscommon, saw through a closely fought match. The Plate final saw RugBK close it out, making a clean sweep for RBK in the corporate entries class. RBK have definitely set the standard for corporate teams in future years.
The Cup final was much anticipated between perennial contenders Couper’s Troopers and corporate raiders 3M Untaggables. 3M flew under the radar for much of the league until a stunning upset over Couper’s Troopers in Week 6. From that point on a showdown in the final seemed inevitable and so it came to be. Peter Walpole, new to refereeing at Buccs, took the whistle and expertly officiated an incredibly entertaining and well contested final. In the end Couper’s Troopers prevailed, with the number of female tries scored making the difference in the final score. Congratulations are again due to all the players and teams for an excellent and competitive league this year.
Pollard and Sheehan in Ireland U18 Squad
Two highly promising young Buccaneers players, hooker Jack Pollard and centre Thomas Sheehan, have been included in the Ireland U18 squad for a week-long development camp against their Welsh, Scottish and Italian counterparts. The squads will train together at Cardiff University in August and the camp will wind up with 30-minute matches against each of the other teams. We wish Tom and Jack continued success.
Buccaneers Players in Connacht Youths’ Squads
A total of 14 Buccaneers players have been selected for training in Connacht squads ahead of the upcoming youths interprovincial series.
A quartet – Andrew Henson, Kyle Byrne, Kyle Mahon and Kailin Blessing – are named in the U17 panel with a trio of Ireland internationals – Patrick Egan, Niall Tallon and Sean Rohan – included in the U19 squad. Buccs biggest representation is in the U18 squad where Atega Awhinawhi, Dylan Bruton, Thomas Cotton, Eoin Naughton, Charlie O’Carroll, Jack Pollard and Thomas Sheehan feature.
We wish all these richly promising young players every success as they strive to wear the green of Connacht and further progress their rugby careers.
Training in Full Swing
Pre-season training for adult players is now in full swing as kick-off to the new season is fast approaching. Training for Firsts, Seconds, Thirds and U20s takes place at Dubarry Park on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with players ready to go on the paddock at 7pm. New players at all levels always welcome.
The Connacht Senior League fixtures have been confirmed with Buccaneers hosting Corinthians in the opening round on August 19. A trip to Galwegians follows on August 26 with Ballina coming to Athlone on September 2. The Pirates are free the following weekend before the league concludes with a tilt against Sligo at Hamilton Park on September 16. The Energia All-Ireland League commences with a fixture away to St. Mary’s College on Saturday, October 7.
Rugby Summer Camp
Buccaneers are holding a Rugby Summer Camp for boys and girls aged 7 to 12 years at Dubarry Park. Supported by Smith’s Supervalu Monksland, the five-day camp takes place from Monday, August 14 to Friday, August 18, from 9.30 am each day. Contact Geraldine at 0861732711 or email [email protected] to register.
Cash for Clobber
Buccs ‘Cash for Clobber’ is back until the end of August. Clean clothes, towels, bed linen (but no duvets or pillows ), handbags, hats, scarfs, curtains, paired shoes and belts welcome. Bags containing items may be dropped in to the first dressing room at the club or contact Geraldine at 0861732711.
It is with great sadness to learn of the unexpected passing after a short illness of former Connacht Rugby President Gerry O’Donnell.
Gerry, who had a lifetime’s involvement with Ballina RFC, was one of the great characters of club rugby in Ireland. He had numerous roles with his hometown club including captain and president. He was a feared opponent on the field of play but a most welcoming person off it. He was in many ways the equivalent of our club’s Big Pat Hynes, being the “absolute heartbeat of Ballina RFC, a man like no other”. Gerry was also honoured as President of Connacht Rugby in 2015/16 when the province famously upset the odds to win the PRO12 title.
He will be greatly missed far and wide but, most of all, by his wife Olive and their children Olwyn, Olga, Roger and Rodney to whom heartfelt condolences are extended.
Deepest sympathy is also extended to Martin Webster and the Hynes family on the passing after a long illness of his brother-in-law Paul Hynes. Sincere condolences too to Conor Galvin and family on the unexpected death of his father James.