The two heavyweights of rugby in the county will pack down against each other this Sunday at 2.30pm in Heffernan Park. Hosts Ballina, have backed up their historic junior cup win last season with a brilliant start to this season and currently sit on top of the Junior 1A table with seven wins from their opening eight games, their only loss coming thanks to a narrow three point defeat by Connemara at home a month ago.
Last weekend they ran out 44-5 winners over Galwegians running in six tries over the 80 minutes with tries coming from Darragh Whyte, Andrew West, Calum Quinn (2 ), Fergal Tully, and David Brunker to set up the comprehensive win. That win sees them sit seven points clear of second placed Ballinasloe in the standings at present, and 11 clear of their visitors from Westport who are sitting in fourth place at present.
The Westport Bulls had a good 34-15 win on the road last weekend against NUIG, with Joe O'Connor, Danny McGowan, Aidan Walsh, Kevin Corcoran, and Niall O'Malley all crossing the line for the Covies to set up their fourth win from their eight games. When the sides met September in Carrowholly, Ballina ran out 14-9 winners, this Sunday's meeting between the sides promises to be another tense and exciting encounter.
In Junior 1B this weekend third placed Castlebar will take on fourth placed Corinthians where a win is vital for both sides if they are to maintain their hopes of being in the promotion shake up come the end of the season. Last weekend Castlebar ran out 40-7 winners of Ballyhaunis in Doctors Road, with the tries coming from Luke Staunton, David Staunton, Stephen Rogan, Paul Coady, and Tommie Keane. That win, following their victory over Loughrea in the previous round, moved them on to five wins from eight so far this season. This weekend will be a much tougher test for the Cloondeash men. Ballyhaunis will have to pick themselves up as they go in search of their first win of the season when they take on Loughrea on the road. The other Mayo side in the division, Ballinrobe, will take on Creggs at home in what should be a decent encounter, the south Mayo men sit just one place ahead of Creggs in the table, three points clear of them. Last weekend Ballinrobe went down 26-13 to second placed Sligo in a battling performance with John Mannion touching down for their only try of the game.
Ballina v Westport
Loughrea v Ballyhaunis, Castlebar v Corinthians, Ballinrobe v Creggs
Claremorris v Carrick, Westport v Dunmore