Monday 1 May 2017

Buccs close to promotion goal

Alex Hayman, Kolo Kiripati, Daniel Keane, Rory O'Connor and Shane O'Leary all scored tries for the Athlone outfit, while Alan Gaughan was in form from the tee too, with four conversions and a couple of penalties (Stock image)
Alex Hayman, Kolo Kiripati, Daniel Keane, Rory O'Connor and Shane O'Leary all scored tries for the Athlone outfit, while Alan Gaughan was in form from the tee too, with four conversions and a couple of penalties (Stock image)

Declan Rooney

With a possible 25 points left to play for before the end of the season, Buccaneers look destined for promotion to Division 1A after they stretched their advantage at the top of Division 1B to a staggering 16 points.

Last weekend's trip to Limerick to face closest rivals UL Bohemians was a key weekend in the season and Brett Wilkinson's charges passed the test with flying colours with their 39-27 win on the banks of the Shannon.

Alex Hayman, Kolo Kiripati, Daniel Keane, Rory O'Connor and Shane O'Leary all scored tries for the Athlone outfit, while Alan Gaughan was in form from the tee too, with four conversions and a couple of penalties.

The fact that fellow promotion-chasers, Naas, also slipped up away to UCC stretched Buccs' lead at the top to the 16 points margin, which means they could mathematically secure top spot with victory over Dolphin at Dubarry Park next Saturday.

Next weekend is a massive one for Galwegians too, when they host Old Wesley at Crowley Park. They will hope for a favour from Buccs against bottom team Dolphin, but following on from last weekend's 20-7 away win at Ballynahinch, there are hopes that the Glenina outfit can rally for the latter stages of the competition. They currently trail Shannon by two points and UCC by six, so there remains good chance of avoiding relegation.

Elsewhere, a 37-10 loss away to Malone has not aided Corinthians' Division 2A hopes, and with rivals Cashel winning at home to Belfast Harlequins, a win is needed when they face Queen's next weekend.

And in Division 2C, Sligo RFC are on a real charge as their 27-22 win over Boyne sees them into second place in the standings.

Irish Independent

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