BUCCANEERS hit the final straight of the Energia All-Ireland League Division 2A with a trio of tricky hurdles to overcome in the run in. First up is a short trip to Nenagh where an improving Ormonde outfit await at New Ormond Park on Saturday when the action kicks off at 2.30 p.m. Both clubs will be chasing hard for the vital points on offer, albeit from different ends of the league table.

Nenagh are currently second from bottom so desperately need points to avoid the relegation play-off. They have improved noticeably since the start of 2022 even though they did not always get the results they desired. Nevertheless, they have been totting up decent scores although a narrow 30-24 defeat away to UL Bohemian last time out was a bad blow for them. However, they ran up impressive wins over Ballymena 41-7 and Dolphin 55-14 at home as well as an honourable 48-21 loss away to Queen’s University. They have a number of players back in their squad since the turn of the year and the team is performing much better since then so they will be dangerous foes who must not be underestimated on Saturday.

Both teams were in their current league positions when the sides met earlier in the season at Dubarry Park where the John McCormack Cup was also at stake. Buccs recorded a bonus point 26-14 victory and they will have to work hard with sustained discipline and commitment on the tight New Ormond Park to again prevail. The Pirates had only two of their Academy players available on that day and, hopefully, they will be bolstered by a stronger representation this time. Meanwhile, the Connacht Senior Cup victory will have been a considerable confidence booster as well as a very worthwhile workout ahead of Saturday’s contest. A number of Buccs players put their hands up for selection against Nenagh, particularly Tabo Maree, James Kelly, Frank Hopkins and Saul O’Carroll who have missed out for one reason or another in recent times. Buccaneers look like having the stronger options to take the spoils but their forwards will know they have been in a battle by the time the final whistle is blown. If they perform, then the midlanders will maintain their top four ambitions.