SENIORS AWAY TO BALLINA
BUCCANEERS travel to the north-west on Saturday where they face Ballina in the second round of the Connacht Senior League at Heffernan Park, kick off 2.30 p.m.
Buccs suffered a surprise 26-12 home defeat last season to the Mayo side who went on to claim the league title. Buccs were indifferent in their season outing this year against Galwegians. Both upsets will focus the Pirates and give them purpose to step up to the mark against the Greens. The squad has been training since early July so should be fairly sharp and organised at this stage, and will surely have the ring-rustiness that was evident against Wegians rectified in the interim.
Ballina fielded a primarily youthful side in their opening round 45-26 loss to a strong Sligo team. Yet they scored 4 tries so the Pirates must be on their guard. However, with the likes of Danny Qualter, Martin Staunton, Shane Layden and Rory O’Connor leading young guns such as Stephen Mannion, Frank Hopkins, Michael Hanley and Cian McCann, the midlanders should have the firepower to prevail. With the AIL fast approaching players should be staking their claims for positions so a much-improved performance compared to their disappointing opening day display is anticipated. If that is the case, then the Pirates should make a successful raid.