Buccaneers stayed atop the Energia All-Ireland League Division 1B this past weekend, putting in a controlling performance in their 9-23 victory over St Mary’s College.

Although making four enforced changes from the win over UCC, including a totally new front row, the Pirates were again relentless from start to finish in a fast-moving and highly entertaining contest.

Tries from Steveni Lombard, Shane Jennings and Harry West helped send the Midlands’ side on their way to another victory.

Meanwhile in Division 2B, Galway Corinthians RFC earned a hard-fought 20-26 victory over Malahide. This leaves the Corinthians second, five points adrift from unbeaten leaders Greystones.

Galwegians came close to ending Greystones’ winning streak at the weekend, as they were unfortunate to come out on the wrong end of a 12-14 scoreline.

The other Connacht club in action in Division 2B was Sligo, who put in a strong performance to get the better of Enniscorthy. Tries from both Daire Byrne and Cal Goddard sent them on their way on Saturday afternoon.

In Division 2C, Ballina were much improved in their 13-13 draw with Midleton. Ronan Molloy got the Mayo club’s sole try on their visit to County Cork. They will be hoping to build on that performance in their next fixture against Omagh.

BUCCANEERS are the new Energia All-Ireland League Division 1B leaders following an impressive 35-18 victory away to Malone at Gibson Park, Belfast, on Saturday. The Pirates set the tempo from the off and were full value for their bonus point win that edges the Midlanders to top spot on the league table.

Tries from Saul O’Carroll, Shane Layden and a brace from Shane Delahunt saw Buccs claim the bonus point win.

It was a mixed weekend for the Connacht sides in Division 2B this week, with Corinthians coming out on top against Enniscorthy, but both Sligo and Galwegians failing to pick up any points.

Rainey Old Boys got the better of Galwegians on a scoreline of 26-15. Tries from Ben McGuinness and Darragh Kennedy weren’t enough for ‘Wegians on the day.

Elsewhere, Sligo had a tough day against league leaders, Greystones, losing 15-35. Andrew Ward, Cathal Finneran and Darragh Feehily all crossed the whitewash for the side from the West.

Galway Corinthians follow Greystones, sitting 2nd in Division 2B. They further cemented their place towards the top of the table with a strong 43-10 victory over Enniscorthy this weekend. In Division 2C, Ballina came out the wrong side of a 43-12 scoreline against a strong Bruff side.

In the Women AIL Division 1, Galwegians lost a tight away game against Wicklow RFC 16-14. They now sit in fifth position in the league, but will be disappointed not to have built on a strong first half where they led 9-14 at the interval. Elizabeth McNicholas and Mairéad Coyne were ‘Wegians’ try scorers.

Buccaneers and Sligo square up at Dubarry Park on Saturday with the Bank of Ireland Connacht Senior League title at stake in this winner takes all final round fixture which kicks off at 2.30 p.m.

This comes after the Midland’s Club got the better of Corinthians last weekend via a 10-24 scoreline. Ryan O’Meara got the scoring underway for Buccs after some strong forward play, while Ruaidhri Fallon and Cian McCann also touched down for The Pirates.

Last weekend’s other Connacht Senior League game saw Galwegians finish their campaign with a 20-12 victory over Ballina. An excellent performance from Darragh Kennedy inspired the Galway side.

The full-back put in an immense kicking performance, as well as crossing the line for a try of his own. Karl Waterman also crossed the line via an excellent intercept try, atoning for his earlier yellow card.

This weekend’s Bank of Ireland Connacht Senior League sees Ballina welcome Buccaneers, while Sligo host Galwegians in a top of the table clash.

Mayo side, Ballina, go into this weekend’s fixture on the back of an opening game defeat against Sligo. Although they lost that game 26-45, they did show plenty of attacking prowess, touching down for four tries.

However, they will also be weary of a Buccaneers side who will be eager to bounce back after losing their first game of the season against Galwegians. The Midlands side led for much of that game against ‘Wegians and looked like they were on their way to victory, only for a late rally from the Galway side pushing them aside.

This game is also a repeat of last year’s Connacht Senior Cup final, which Buccaneers won on a scoreline of 25-5.

In the weekend’s other game, Sligo and Galwegians will both be aiming to add to the two wins they already have on the board.

Sligo were awarded a 20-0 victory over Corinthians on their first outing, while they overcame Ballina in their second game. Meanwhile, Galwegians showed excellent character to leave Athlone with a victory over Buccaneers in their opener, before coming out on top against local rivals, Corinthians, in their second game.

Whoever comes out on top will become the clear leader at the top of this year’s Connacht Senior League.

The Senior League is returning after a week off, in which Bank of Ireland Cawley Cup games were played. There is only one game in that tournament this week, with Dunmore and Creggs both looking to get their first win on the board.

The Bank of Ireland Connacht Senior League continued on Saturday afternoon with two local derbies. 

Ballina welcomed Sligo, while Corinthians travelled into Galway City to face Galwegians.

In a high scoring affair, Sligo proved to have too much for the young Ballina side, running out 45-26 victors. However, it wasn’t until the second half that Sligo’s strength in depth proved to be too much for the team from Mayo.

The sides went into the break with just three between them, with Sligo leading by 21-24. However, Ballina weren’t able to add to their tally until the closing stages as their counterparts raced into an unassailable 21-45 lead.

The weekend’s other Connacht Senior League game was a low scoring affair between two Galway sides, where it was Galwegians who made it two wins from two, running out 12-7 victors.

The home side built up a 12-0 lead, with Corinthians getting a late consolation try.

Those results left both Galwegians and Sligo with two wins on the board.

Buccaneers has earned one point in their sole outing so far, while both Ballina and Corinthians have one point on the board, with the latter having played a game more.

There are no Connacht Senior League fixtures next week, with Ballina welcoming Buccaneers and Sligo hosting Galwegians, the week after.

Full fixtures and the group table is available here.

St. Patrick’s Day rugby is coming to The Sportsground next week when Ballina RFC and Buccaneers RFC face off in the 2022 Bank of Ireland Connacht Senior Cup Final.
 
With the 2020/21 Cup not held due to the pandemic, this game will offer both clubs the opportunity of some silverware as the club season enters its closing stages.
 
Buccaneers currently sit in 3rd place in Division 2A of the Energia All-Ireland League, posting 7 wins and 2 draws from their 15 games. Ballina sit one league lower in Division 2B, with the team working hard to ensure their status in the league again next season.
 
Tickets are available now in the link below.
 
Thursday 17th March – Bank of Ireland Connacht Senior Cup Final
1300: Ballina RFC v Buccaneers RFC
 
BUY FINALS TICKETS HERE

? | Here are some of the best snaps from yesterday’s U16 Boys Cup final which was won by Ballina RFC after a 19-10 victory over Creggs Rfc.
 

Seven teams from eight clubs have learned their opponents for this year’s Connacht U20 Cup which will be held across the month of April.
 
The U20 Cup will see teams representing Ballina, Ballinrobe, Connemara Corinthians, Creggs, Monivea/Westport and Sligo face off in a knockout series of games with three quarter-finals before two semi-finals and a decider on the Easter weekend.
 
The draw was conducted by two Connacht men who were integral to Ireland U20s Grand Slam win – forwards coach Ambrose Conboy and hooker Dylan Tierney-Martin.
 
Check out the pairings of some intruiging games we’ve got coming up in the weeks ahead!
 

QUARTER-FINALS
Sligo v Ballina
Monivea/Westport v Ballinrobe
Creggs v Connemara

SEMI-FINALS
Sligo or Ballina v Monivea/Westport or Ballinrobe
Creggs or Connemara v Corinthians

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