BUCCS HOME TO HIGHFIELD IN CRUNCH FIXTURE
BUCCANEERS take on fellow promotion contenders Highfield in their penultimate Energia All-Ireland League Division 1B home fixture at Dubarry Park on Saturday. Victory for the Pirates in this Glasson Lakehouse sponsored fixture will virtually guarantee the Athlone side of at least a place in the play-offs while the Corkonians will also be desperately striving for a win that will keep them very much in the hunt for a top four berth. Consequently, a vibrant and competitive battle is greatly anticipated when the action kicks off at 2.30 p.m.
When the teams met in Cork last October, the midlanders edged a dogged contest 17-14 on a windy and wet afternoon. It could be as tight again this weekend. Highfield have tinkered with selections in their efforts to gain consistency and may not have found their best formation yet. However, they have quality players in Munster experienced centre Cian Bohane, lock Dave O’Connell, flyhalf James Taylor and Miah Cronin at No.8. who will pose plenty of problems for the Shannonsiders.
Buccs will have Frankie Hopkins and Danny Qualter back in the starting XV although this game comes too early for Shane Layden, Saul O’Carroll and Cian McCann. Ciaran Booth, Martin Staunton, Ruairi Byrne and Steveni Lombard will be key components in the forwards battle.
PRE-MATCH FOR HIGHFIELD GAME
There will be a pre-match function in The Bounty starting at 12.30 p.m. Two-course meal with complimentary wine, free admission to the AIL game and souvenir match programme, all for just €30 per person. Groups or individuals catered for. Phone Geraldine at 0861732711 to book.
BUCCANEERS U-20’s commence their Purcell Cup campaign with a tricky away assignment against Dublin University on Sunday. This match is listed for College Park but is more likely to take place at Santry where the sides played a high-scoring league game recently. Trinity edged that encounter but Buccs are capable of coming out on top.
BUCCANEERS THIRDS Ard-Na-Cregg Cup tie against Westport Seconds was postponed last Sunday as Dubarry Park was a victim of the incessant rain. This match has been rescheduled for Wednesday night at 7.30 p.m.
BUCCANEERS and Ballinasloe square up in the Connacht U-14 Girls Cup on SUNDAY at Dubarry Park. This promises to be a really exciting semi-final derby which kicks off at 12 noon. Ballinasloe would be slight favourites but the young Buccaneers girls have been improving noticeably so a cracking contest is anticipated.