Friday 23 March 2018

Buccs favourites for cup glory

Buccaneers have been the form team in Division 1B. (Stock photo: PA)
Buccaneers have been the form team in Division 1B. (Stock photo: PA)

Daragh Small

Buccaneers will look to reclaim their Connacht Senior Cup title when they clash with Corinthians in the decider at Corinthian Park tomorrow.

Galwegians have dominated the competition in recent seasons but Buccaneers broke their stranglehold in 2015 when they beat them 28-14 at the Sportsground.

Stephen McVeigh, Scott Flanagan and Rory O'Connor all touched down as the Athlone outfit claimed their first success in the Senior Cup since 2007.

But back in Division 1A last season Galwegians hammered Buccaneers 27-10 in the final. The Crowley Park outfit went on to beat Ballyanhinch 35-31 in the Bateman Cup semi-final.

That was a history making victory with Galwegians becoming the first Connacht club to qualify for a Bateman Cup final since UCG way back in 1936.

But this season Galwegians have struggled after they were relegated to Division 1B of the Ulster Bank League, and Corinthians shocked them 46-19 in the semi-final on December 10.

Corinthians haven't won the Connacht Senior Cup since they got the better of Galwegians in the 2011 decider. Corinthians have subsequently gone up and down the leagues, and they are currently seventh in Division 2A.

Unless they can mount a late promotion push they look set to stay in the third tier for another season - where they could be joined by Galwegians in 2017-18.

But Buccaneers have been the form team in Division 1B, and they are four points clear at the top of the standings. They thrashed the lowly Sligo 75-5 at Dubarry Park in the semi-final and they will be heavy favourites ahead of tomorrow's final.

Irish Independent

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