Buccaneers face Thursday Night Senior Cup Semi-final

Buccaneers square up to Corinthians in the semi-final of the Connacht Senior Cup at Dubarry Park on Thursday night with the floodlit action kicking off at 8 p.m.

The teams have already played under floodlights in Athlone this season when Buccs prevailed 38-28 in their Connacht Senior League meeting.

The Pirates have also come out on top in two recent Senior Cup finals, 16-14 two seasons ago when Kieran Joyce’s final kick of the game penalty proved the match-winner, and 17-10 the previous season.

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Corinthians made a bright start to the AIL with two victories including a derby win over Galwegians but lost away to Belfast Harlequins last Saturday.

They are in a decent vein of form with exciting backs in Simon Keller, Cathal Evans, Dan Keane and Jack Whyte. Jack Noone, Cian Huxford and Craig Hansberry are dangermen in their pack.

Buccs picked up a trio of injuries in their win over Ballymena with Thomas McGann, Corey Reid and Torin Rensford all being forced off.

The latter’s knee injury looks the most serious. Skipper Shane Layden will be out for some weeks following his shoulder injury sustained away to Rainey Old Boys where Rory Moloney suffered a back spasm.

The flanker could be fit for this Cup tie but may be kept in check for upcoming AIL fixtures. Christian Maulaulau put in a formidable display against Ballymena and Max Kennedy did well when introduced.

Youngsters like Saul O’Carroll, Sam Kroupa, Michael Hanley and Frankie Hopkins did well too and will profit from featuring on Thursday night.

Evan Galvin, Callum Boland, Martin Staunton, Ruairi Byrne (paternity duty depending!) and Eoghan O’Reilly can provide the leadership that will be required to overcome a blossoming Corinthians.