It’s another top of the table Energia All-Ireland League clash for Buccaneers this weekend when they travel to Dublin where they square up to second placed St. Mary’s College at Templeville Road on Saturday. Kick off for this mouth-watering duel is at 2.30 p.m.

This showdown away from home will provide a real health check of Buccs progress and prospects. St. Mary’s are the leading scorers in Division 1B but that includes 66 points they scored against a hapless on the day Banbridge. Fullback Conor Hickey and wing Hugo Conway lead the way for them with five tries apiece, Steven Kilgallen rowing in with four on the other flank and centre Mick O’Gara is the leading marksman in this division.

Their forwards are aggressive at the breakdown, as one would expect under coach Sean Cronin, who won many of his Ireland caps while affiliated to Buccaneers. Skipper Ronan Watters leads the pack by example and Ronan Foley is another key backrower in a settled forwards unit.

But Buccs will note that St. Mary’s leak points aplenty too, having conceded twice as many as the Pirates to date. The midlanders have the meanest defence by some distance and will be keen to keep it that way on Saturday. There is a wonderful work ethic in their squad and that will be crucial against St. Mary’s. The Athlone side have finished strongly in every match this season and will be prepared to go to the wire again on this occasion.

St. Mary’s have suffered two defeats so far, to Old Belvedere and UCC, both of whom the Pirates have overcome. If they maintain the energy and enterprise shown to date, Buccs have the potential to prevail in what looks like being a cracking contest with scores and entertainment aplenty.

A Supporters Bus is being organised for this trip to the capital, depending on confirmed bookings by Wednesday. Adult fare is €15 and the bus is scheduled to depart Dubarry Park at 10.30 a.m. There is also an extra option to book for the pre-match function at St. Mary’s and the cost for this is €40 for 4-course meal, complimentary wine and free admission to the match. Contact Geraldine at 0861732711 to book either or both. The players and mentors will be grateful for as much support as possible for Buccaneers at the game so let’s fill the bus.