Buccaneers in final

RUGBY with MICHAEL SILKE CORINTHIANS  11  BUCCANEERS  25 BUCCANEERS advanced to the final of the Connacht Senior Cup when they overcame Corinthians 25-11 at Corinthian Park, Clounacauneen, on Saturday last. Buccs were quite depleted for this semi-final and thus will be quite content to have progressed to the decider in which they will, most likely, face old protagonists Galwegians on Saturday afternoon.   This was far from vintage fare but the midlanders were hit by further injuries and so had to once again realign their dwindling resources for what looked a tricky trip west to the ground where they struggled to impose themselves on Corinthians a mere couple of weeks ago. Paul Harte and captain Adrian Hanley have joined those in the treatment bay, Anthony Hughes was unavailable, while Killian O’Neill and Philip Moloney were absent. Young hooker Gavin Kelly deputised in the centre with Tom Gilligan coming in on the wing while Marcus Madden and Decie Ryan started at wing forward with Benny Gilligan propping. Meanwhile, Alamoti TePou debuted in the second row but the lock was suffering from flu and did well to last so long in the game. BUCCANEERS:-  N.O’Hara; T.Gilligan, A.Hayman, G.Kelly, S.Carey; S.Rolleston, D.Griffith; B.Gilligan, G.Halligan, M.Diffley (captain); A.TePou, J.Wilson; D.Ryan, M.Madden and S.Burke. Replacements used: C.Waters (for Ryan), M.Blighe (for B.Gilligan), B.McManus (for TePou), K.Creaven (for Burke) and J.Geraghty (for T.Gilligan). CORINTHIANS: P.Coady; N.Divilly, R.Hunter, W.Williams, D.Murphy; M.O’Boyle, R.Ferguson (captain); D.Small, D.Bardon, D.Lillis; J.Dillon, S.Murphy; A.Casanova, G.Condon and R.Connellan.   Buccaneers are due to defend their Connacht Senior Cup crown at Galway Sportsground on Saturday next, kick off 3 p.m., although at time of writing Connemara and Galwegians have not played their semi-final match which was scheduled for last weekend. ‘Wegians will be fancied to advance from that pairing and should thus get an early chance to atone for their Senior League setback at home to Buccs. Then they were a pale shadow of the decent squad of last season and they will definitely be more formidable opponents if the sides square up  in the Cup final.   Buccaneers, meanwhile, have an ever growing list of absentees in an already depleted squad. Sean Brady And Paul Harte are still missing from the backline but Mark Bruce and Adrian Penzhorn hope to be fit for the final while Alan Gaughan too will be available. Anthony Hughes will be bidding for a starting berth while Matt TePou and Brendan Guilfoyle both should be fit again for a tilt with the light blues.    Killian O’Neill’s situation remains uncertain but captain Adrian Hanley is a definite non-starter. However, Alamoti TePou should be raring to go after his bout of influenza.