Former Sligo Players to The Fore In AIL

Former Sligo players enjoyed successful outings in the week-end’s AIL fixtures. Mark Butler scored a try in UL-Bohemian’s victory in Division 1 over Galwegians at Crowley Park, while Sean Henry came off the bench in the second half. In Division 2, Paul Gillespie scored two tries for Dublin University in their win over Suttonians, while Karl Gilligan and Niall O’Hara played for DLSP and Buccaneers respectively in their victories over Highfield and Bective Rangers.

Speaking of Buccaneers victory, the writer of these notes does not claim any extra-sensory powers, but following Buccaneers’ victory over Sligo two weeks ago in the Connacht Junior league, I confidently predicted that at least three of the four from that team, who are regular 1st team players, would be regulars all season for the Buccaneers 1st team in the AIL.

In the game in Hamilton Park, all of the visitors points came from out-half, Simon Rollenson, No. 8, Adrian Hanley and hooker, Ger Halligan. There were no AIL games played on Sunday week last, so for the first AIL game after the Sligo game i.e. last Saturday, Buccaneers played Bective Rangers and won by 24-17. Their main scorers in this game were the self same trio; Simon Rollenson, a try and a conversion, Adrian Hanley, who is actually the 1st. team captain, a try, and hooker, Ger Halligan, a try. Will there be any sanction against AIL clubs which quite openly play some of their best players, including their club senior captain, in a junior league which is of the utmost importance to the eight regular junior clubs, in terms of qualification for the round robin play-offs, qualification for the AIB all-Ireland Junior Cup or relegation out of the J1 league? In a word,the answer is regrettably, no.