New season begins with a win over Connacht U20s

Buccaneers 29 Connacht U20s 17 Buccaneers commenced the new season with a 29-17 friendly victory over a Connacht U-20 selection at Dubarry Park, Athlone. Buccs were good value for this win but there will clearly be sterner tests ahead when the midlanders will need to step up considerably on this showing. However, ring rustiness would excuse some of the fare on offer while absentees too were felt as Buccs tasted action for the first time after the summer sojourn. Team: N. O’Hara; P. Harte, A. Hayman, A. Penzhorn, S. Carey; S. Rolleston, K. Turley; K. O’Neill, G. Halligan, M. Diffley; B. McManus, J. Wilson; A. Hanley (captain), M. Madden and S. Burke. Replacements used: M. T’pau (for Wilson), J. Tormey (for McManus), B. Guilfoyle (for Burke), G. Kelly (for Halligan), D. Ryan (for Madden), B. Gilligan (for Diffley), M. Blighe (for O’Neill), D. Gowra (for Turley) and Adrian Hughes (for T’Pau). Referee: Dave Connolly (Connacht). Tough assignment Buccaneers open their Connacht Senior League campaign with the toughest assignment possible, a trip to Galwegians at Crowley Park on Saturday, scheduled kick off time 2.30 p.m. Buccs were very disappointed that their proposed fixture against Seapoint last Saturday did not materialise as the Dublin side were unable to field at this stage. Thus, the midlanders are going into this game relatively untried. I don’t know whether or not Galwegians have any games under their belt or how strong a squad they will have on duty at Glenina, but you can be certain that they will be focused on making the best possible start to retaining the league title when they square up to their keenest rivals. Buccs will need to show more urgency and cohesion on this occasion and will look to Adrian Hanley, Niall O’Hara, Garreth Halligan, Killian O’Neill and Michael Diffley to lead a fairly youthful squad. Matt T’Pau will offer huge experience and cuteness to the pack while much will depend on the contributions of newcomer Adrian Penzhorn and the returning Simon Rolleston in key backline positions. Alan Gaughan is not available due to his involvement with Connacht U20s (they play Munster on Friday – Billy Henshaw, Niall Harney and Kevin Creaven are also in the squad) while Aidan Wynne could be in the Connacht Senior squad to face French club Castres. Mark Bruce, however, is back after his vacation and will surely start at scrumhalf. Buccaneers Reserves are also in Connacht Junior League action when they tackle their Galwegians counterparts, also at Crowley Park, probably with an earlier kickoff. This Buccs squad is likely to be a very young one under the tutelage of Niall Moran. Here’s wishing all Buccaneers teams ‘good luck’ for the season ahead. Pride intact after Springboks clash Connacht 2 South Africa 18 The visit of South Africa to Galway Sportsground attracted over 5,500 spectators on a balmy Tuesday evening when Connacht came away with pride intact on a 18-3 losing scoreline. However, one felt that the Springboks (who fielded basically their second string) were capable of stepping up another gear or two if the need arose as they controlled the game for long spells. Connacht: P. Durcan; O. Treviranus, M. Deane, A. Wynne, J. Hearty; T. Donnelly, C. McPhillips; B. Wilkinson, A. Flavin, B. McGovern; D. Gannon, A. Farley (captain); J. Muldoon, R. Ofisa and C. Rigney. Replacements used: J.O’Connor (for Muldoon, 46 mins), M. McCarthy (for Ofisa, 46 mins), A. Dunne (for Donnelly, 49 mins), M. Swift (for Farley, 57 mins), J. Lyne (for Wilkinson, 59 mins), Muldoon (for Rigney, 61 mins), T. Tierney (for McPhillips, 66 mins), J. Merrigan (for Flavin, 66 mins), Farley (for Gannon, 69 mins), McPhillips (for Treviranus, 76 mins) and Wilkinson (for McGovern, 78 mins). South Africa: JP Pietersen; A. Ndungane, W. Murray, B. James, A. Willemse; R. Pienaar, R. Januarie; G. Steenkamp, B. de Plessis, BJ Botha; A. van den Berg, J. Muller; W. van Heerden, D. Rossouw and B. Skinstad (captain). Replacements used: B.Habana (for Ndungane, 33 mins), A. Pretorious (for Willemse, 53 mins), J. Cronje (for Skinstad, 53 mins), CJ van der Linde (for Steenkamp,  63 mins) and G. Botha (for du Plessis, 63 mins). Referee: George Clancy (Munster). Youth disco The next youth disco takes place on Wednesday, September 12th in the Bounty. This supervised, alcohol free disco is being run in association with Athlone Gardai and the Athlone Drugs Awareness Group. Music is from 9 pm ’til midnight with DJ Paul Harte. Tickets are now on sale for this event which coincides with the Junior Cert results.