All-Ireland League action resumes this weekend when Buccaneers travel north to tackle City of Armagh in Division 1B at the Palace Grounds with kick-off at the slightly later time of 3p.m.
City of Armagh retained their Ulster Bank Senior Cup crown last Friday with a hard-earned 9-7 win over Ballymena, the victory no doubt, sharpening them up for the visit of Buccs.
Peter Starrett, Robbie Whitten and Niall Faloon are hardy competitors in their pack where hooker Andrew Smyth grabs a lot of tries. Chris Colvin, Ryan Purviss and feisty scrumhalf Harry Doyle are threats in their backline.
Armagh having drawn away to Naas in their most recent AIL outing but shipped a heavy home defeat to Banbridge in their last home fixture.
This will be the third meeting between the teams this season with one win apiece. Buccs came out on top in the AIL at Dubarry Park while Armagh prevailed in the Bateman Cup semi-final last month.
A weakened Pirates crew gave a decent account of themselves despite going down in the Bateman Cup.
With a likely stronger selection for this trip, the Athlone side can make it three wins in succession especially if Shane Layden maintains his recent try scoring sequence.
Luke Carty and Frank Hopkins have teamed up neatly at halfback recently while Callum Boland and Kieran Joyce have also been consistent.
Rory O’Connor should be back on song following his volley and finish for a smashing try for the Ireland Students against Scotland.
Another Pirate wearing the green of Ireland last weekend, John Sutton, the fiery hooker should have a ding dong tussle with Smyth. Either side of him Conan O’Donnell and Conor Kenny have steadied the Pirates ship.
Competition here will be keen with Martin Staunton fit again for selection. Peter Claffey could be ready for a return to action too so, with Evan Galvin and Simon Meagher also playing well, Buccs can dictate the forwards exchanges.
City of Armagh are just two places above Buccs in the league table but If Buccs can edge the forwards battle, their backs have the potential to take their scores so the Athlone side can continue their upward momentum.
Andy Friend attending next home game
Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend will be the guest of honour at Buccaneers pre-match function for our next home All-Ireland League match against St. Mary’s College on Saturday February 23rd.
Groups and individuals can be catered for at this event. €30 per person is the cover charge for meal with complimentary wine plus free admission to the match.
Contact our Administrator Geraldine at 0861732711 to book.