BUCCANEERS game v MU BARNHALL off due to weather


MU BARNHALL’S first senior competitive appearance proved a non-playing one at Dubarry Park when their Energia All-Ireland League Division 2A match was called off on Saturday last. The pitch passed an early morning inspection and was then felt playable by referee Stuart Douglas on his arrival. However, heavy sleety rain and a bitter swirling breeze in the interim saw conditions deteriorate before the referee, in conjunction with officials from both teams, made the prudent decision to postpone the match. It may have been late — after both teams had completed their warm-ups — but it was the wisest and safest option.

With Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations fixture against Italy already deferred, at time of writing it seems likely that the Buccaneers and MU Barnhall game will be rescheduled for this coming Saturday with the match sponsored by the Hodson Bay Group.

MU Barnhall have enjoyed a couple of superb seasons including a very lengthy winning sequence that was halted only recently at Rainey Old Boys. They returned to winning ways at UL Bohemian after that but then came acropper at home when Queen’s University came out on top by 49-31. Two defeats in the past three matches is unusual for MU Barnhall and they will be more than eager to resume their drive for promotion which looked a foregone conclusion just last month. But with both Queen’s and Cashel winning last weekend, MU Barnhall’s lead has now been trimmed to just a solitary point.

They proved too strong and smart for Buccs at Parsonstown but the midlanders will be boosted by a return to sparkling form against UL Bohs. There the Pirates put in an impressive all-round performance that, if repeated on Saturday, will ask serious questions of the division’s pacesetters. Martin Staunton is out through injury but, hopefully, young duo Saul O’Carroll and Shane Jennings will have recovered from injury and illness respectively to renew their promising partnership in the centre. Sean Masterson and Conor Kenny are in South Africa with Connacht while Declan Adamson and Ryan O’Meara are injury doubts. However, Darragh Murray and Rory O’Connor may be involved.

If the Athlone side can repeat the intensity, precision and focus shown at UL, then Buccaneers can spring a surprise it what will surely be a battle of wills to regain momentum. Kick off is likely to be 2.30 p.m. Keep an eye on www.buccaneersrfc.com for any updates on this rescheduling.