Buccaneers make a first ever visit to the Spa Field, Tipperary to square up to Cashel in the Energia All-Ireland League kicking off at 2.30pm on Saturday writes Michael Silke.
Fifth placed Cashel are just one berth above Buccs in the league table but enjoy a seven points advantage, primarily earned through the six bonus points they have secured to date.
The Pirates edged matters when the sides last met at Dubarry Park as they won out eight point to three.
Buccs were on a decent run of results at that stage but, since then, have lost home and away to Old Crescent.
Frustratingly for pirate’s supporters, both those encounters were readily winnable games. Buccaneers really need to show more consistency and awareness if they are to mount a second half rally towards a play-off spot.
Leadership, on and off the pitch, must be improved as the talent and potential is there to play at a higher level.
This is an absolutely crucial test for the Athlone side but, if they play smartly to their strengths both collectively and individually, they can regain their momentum.