Connacht juniors face Ulster in opener

Connacht kick-start their Junior Interprovincial Championship with an opening fixture against Ulster at Ballyhaunis on Saturday (2.30pm ).

The match will take place after the official opening of Ballyhaunis RFC’s new clubhouse, ensuring a big crowd at the Mayo venue.

Coaches Seamus King and Eddie Walsh have selected their opening squad from more than 100 players following a series of trials and challenge games, and the team boasts representatives from most of the top junior teams in Connacht, including Monivea, who recently took part in the All Ireland play-offs for entry to the AIL leagues.

The team will be captained by Kevin Higgins from Monivea who has the experience of multiple interpro campaigns.

Manager Mick Turley believes the strength in depth of the squad gives Connacht a real chance of success, and the focus is on taking Ulster’s scalp on Saturday to kick-start the campaign.

Ruled out of consideration for selection due to injury were Monivea’s Fergus Farrell and Pat Devane, and also Corrib pair Tomas Lee and Dara Higgins.

The rules of the competition also prohibit the selection of any players registered with senior clubs in the province, which in Connacht’s case are Galwegians, Corinthians, Buccs, and Connemara.

Connacht: K Higgins (cpt, Monivea ), Kevin Corcoran (Westport ); Dave Prior (OLBC ), Paul Cody (Castlebar ), Ger Divilly (Monivea ), Ger O’Connor (Monivea ), Mike Murphy (Ballina ), Alan Bane (Corrib ), Marin Lee (Corrib ), Tom Toolan (Ballina ), Willie Parker (Monivea ), Brian Murphy (Loughrea ), Enda Murphy (Castlebar ), Ger Kelly (Dunmore ), Eoin Rooney (Monivea ). Replacements, Pat Mullins (Monivea ), Liam Molloy (Castlebar ), Mike Ward (Tuam ), Luke Murphy (NUIG ), Mark Staunton (Castlebar ), Danny O’Toole (Westport ), Robbie Kavanagh (Tuam ), Eoin Cosgrove (Tuam ).


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