BUCCANEERS make a first ever visit to the Spa Field when they take the trip to Tipp to square up to Cashel in the Energia All-Ireland League with this Division 2A game kicking off at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday.

Fifth placed Cashel are just one berth above Buccs in the league table but enjoy a seven points advantage, primarily earned through the six bonus points they have secured to date. However, the Pirates edged matters when the sides met at Dubarry Park where the Shannonsiders prevailed 8-3. They were on a decent run of results at that stage but, since then, have lost home and away to Old Crescent. Frustratingly for Pirates supporters, both those encounters were readily winnable games. Buccaneers really need to show more consistency and awareness if they are to mount a second half rally towards a play-off spot. Leadership, on and off the pitch, must be improved as the talent and potential is there to play at a higher level. This is an absolutely crucial test for the Athlone side but, if they play smartly to their strengths both collectively and individually, they can regain their momentum.

Buccaneers next home AIL fixture is against Dolphin on Saturday, February 15th when the club will be holding a pre-match lunch. Cost is only €30 per person for meal with complimentary wine in The Bounty, free admission to the match and souvenir programme. Prof. Ciaran O’Cathain, President of Athlone Institute of Technology, is the invited guest speaker. Apart from his academical prowess, he has also been President of Athletics Ireland and is a former member of the Olympic Council of Ireland board. Contact Geraldine at 0861732711 to book.