BUCCANEERS square up to Queen’s University in what is now the most important fixture of the season for both clubs when they clash in the Energia All-Ireland League at Dubarry Park on Saturday. Kick-off for this Division 1B battle, sponsored by Ganly’s of Athlone, is 2.30 p.m. At present both clubs are locked together at the bottom of the league table, with points scoring difference edging the Students just above the Pirates. Both sides shipped heavy defeats last weekend, with Queen’s home loss to fellow College outfit UCC giving the Cork club a ten-points breathing space from danger. It looks now like a straight shootout between Buccs and Queen’s to avoid the automatic relegation slot so a full-blooded encounter is anticipated.

The Pirates came out on top when the sides met in Belfast last November and they will be desperately keen to repeat that outcome come Saturday. They will also be anxiously awaiting fitness reports on key contributors such as Danny Qualter, Stephen Mannion, Orrin Burgess and Fergus Galvin, who were all ruled out for the game at Old Wesley.

Queen’s will be looking to Scott Wilson, Alexander Clarke, Charlie Irvine and Lorcan McLoughlin to get an edge in the forwards exchanges while Jonny Hunter, Ben Gibson and Robbie Johnston will pose a threat with ball in hand. If available, James Humphreys line and place-kicking are potent weapons so Buccs must be highly disciplined.

The old sporting adage “whoever wants it more” may be crucial as victory will give a vital advantage to the winner in the final stages of the league. Hopefully, Buccaneers will have a stronger squad to select from this week and, if they play with desire, focus and a ferocious workrate they can get the win that they crave. A big turnout of support for the Pirates can help so let’s see a bumper crowd at Dubarry Park.


BUCCANEERS will have plenty of support from the ladies on Saturday as the annual ‘Prosecco by the Pitch’ pre-match event is fully booked. Indeed, the ladies are showing the men up as there is a waiting list to attend. They have a great afternoon lined up, with DJ Ray O’Reilly hoping to get them on the dancefloor following their three-course lunch and complimentary wine. Plenty of prizes are on offer too with ‘Best Dressed Lady’ being the most coveted. Hopefully, some of the girls will actually get down pitchside to cheer Buccs on against Queen’s University to which they get free admission!


BUCCANEERS U-20s face a stiff test when they play Galway Corinthians in the J.P.Fanagan Leinster League Premier 2 Division on Sunday. The action at Corinthian Park in this “Connacht derby in Leinster” kicks off at 3 p.m.

Buccs defeated Corinthians enroute to winning the Connacht U-20 title but the Tribesmen reversed that result when the sides met early in the Leinster League at Dubarry Park. The westerners have gone on a wonderful run since, winning all ten fixtures to date to be clear league leaders. Buccs lie in third place and, but for some inconsistency, would surely have accumulated more points. They will need to eliminate errors and make good decisions on Sunday to overcome the hosts who will surely play with confidence. An absorbing duel between two squads with potential aplenty is anticipated.


BUCCANEERS U-14s commence their Connacht Cup campaign with a home fixture against Carrick-On-Shannon on Saturday.