The hotly-contested Under-17 league, like Christmas shopping and December tanning schedules, has suffered somewhat due to recent inclement weather.

Soundtracked by the ever-present drum of rain and hail against windows and waterlogged pitch-induced moans, this season’s league is set for a climactic finish where seven teams stake claims for top-four playoff berths and summertime silverware.

Games-in-hand are a key feature of the points table, and the fact two lots of two teams share common points tallies. Corinthians, middling on the table having won three of six, knocked over the previously-unbeaten Ballinasloe over the weekend. Buccaneers, languishing in the doldrums last week with none from four, scored a super away win over Connemara and are now tied for sixth-equal.

The next round has Westport hosting Sligo where a home win could consolidate Westport’s lead and put Sligo under severe pressure to make the play-offs. Galwegians and Ballinasloe, neck-and-neck on the table (the latter two points shy but with a game in hand), meet in the round crunch match. Buccs host Ballina in Athlone, both outfits desperate to put breathing space between each other in the race for that elusive fourth spot. Finally Corinthians meet Connemara on the N17, where a win at home will lift them nearer to third than fourth affording them a chance to dictate their own playoff destiny.

(contributed – Gerry Conway)

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