Westport and Ballina keep up winning ways

Rugby: Junior Rugby

Both of the two Mayo sides battling it out for top spot in the Connacht Junior League picked up wins last weekend. Westport are leading the way at the top of the table on 35 points two ahead of second placed Ballina. The Bulls had a six point win on the road in Monastery Field over Connemara last weekend, with David Keane crossing the whitewash twice, once in each half, and Séan Tobin kicking two penalites to keep his side's nose in front down the closing stretch. This weekend Westport will be on the road again where they take on more Galway opposition in the shape of fourth placed Ballinasloe. When the sides met earlier in the league it finished with both sides locked together on a scoreline of 13-13.

Ballina warmed up for their Connacht Junior Cup semi-final this Sunday against Galwegians with a big 34-10 win over Buccaneers in Dubarry Park in Athlone to keep them in touch with Westport. Ballina got tries from Alex Corduff, Chris O'Neill, Fionn Mulligan and Colm Quinn, with Quinn and Mickey Murphy also kicking a couple of conversions each in the game. This Sunday represents a great chance for the north Mayo outfit to make it an all Mayo decider in the final of the big cup competition in the province and having beaten Westport twice already this year, the Ballina men will be full of confidence of taking home the cup that Westport won last year.

Castlebar win big

In the second tier of rugby in the province, Castlebar moved up into second place with a bonus point win over OLBC in Cloondeash. They ran out 74-5 winners scoring 12 tries with seven different players touching down. Nigel Byrne and Mark Staunton both got hat-tricks with Damien Togher getting a brace. The other try scores were James Staunton, Luke Staunton, Ruairi Hughes and Paddy Flannelly. This weekend Castlebar will face a much tougher test when third placed NUIG host them in Dangan. When the sides met back in November, the students had a narrow 20-19 win in Castlebar so the county town outfit will be out looking for revenge.

Ballinrobe also picked up a win last weekend, they were competing for a place in the final of the Connacht Junior Plate and the black and white hooped outfit scored a 19-9 win over Corrib to seal their place in the final on Easter Sunday against Dunmore who saw off Loughrea in the other semi-final last weekend. Tries from Jack Winters and John Mannion along with three penalities from Stephen Conroy were enough for them to hold on for a 10 point win.

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