Castlebar warmed up for this Sunday's Connacht Junior Cup semi-final against Corrib with a big 42-5 win over local rivals Westport in a vital J1A league encounter in Cloondeash.
That was the county town men's fourth league win of the season and pushed them up the table to fifth place on 26 points in a congested league standings that sees just five points separate third placed Buccaneers (29 points ) with second bottom Westport (24 points ) with everyone having two league games left to run.
Castlebar have two league games left against a Monivea side who are just two points behind them in the table, in three weeks time, before they face third placed Buccaneers at the start of March at home in their final league outing.
Last weekend they ran in six first half tries with Conor Carter touching down twice along with Luke Staunton, Mark Staunton, Jack Rowland and Simon Staunton all crossing the whitewash also - while Damien Togher converted all six tries from the tee - giving Castlebar a 42-5 lead, with Patrick Glavey getting Westport's only score of the day in the middle of Castlebar's scoring burst.
Westport also have two league games left this season where they will face the top and bottom sides in the division, starting with a home game against the rock bottom Galwegians side. They will wrap up the league season away to league leaders Connemara in early March.
On Sunday they will face a Corrib side who are stuck in the lower reaches of mid-table in the division below Castlebar - they are currently sitting in sixth place just four points off bottom placed Corinthians, with three games left to go for the border club. But the mid-to-bottom reaches of that division are just as tight as the top flight, with Corrib also just four points off third placed Loughrea, on whom they have a game in hand at present.
Corrib head into this weekend's clash on the back of a 10-10 draw last Friday night away to Ballinrobe - the south Mayo side were eliminated from the junior cup by Castlebar in the previous round and that draw leaves Ballinrobe sitting second bottom in the table, four points ahead of the bottom placed side Corinthians; but they are still just six points off the team currently sitting in third place.
Ballinrobe have two league games left this season against Dunore, in three weeks time, who are two points ahead of them at present and they will wrap up their league season at home to league leaders Tuam on the first weekend of March.
Castlebar aren't the only Mayo side in action in the junior cup this weekend with Ballina's second string also in last eight action, taking on Tuam on the road on Sunday. Ballina saw off Galwegians in the previous round, having been given a walk-over by OLBC in round one. They are currently playing in the J1C division and sit in third place just five points off fellow Mayo outfit and league leaders Ballyhaunis with two games in hand on the east Mayo men.
Castlebar to host major optimising performance event
Castlebar Rugby Football Club, in association with Connacht Rugby and Mayo Sports Partnership, are delighted to host a seminar entitled Optimising Performance. The event is free to all and starts at 6.30pm on Monday February 11 in Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar. The event contains a stellar line-up of speakers and should help any coach or athlete who wants to understand how top performers optimise their performance on a consistent basis.
Speakers will include: Andy Friend, who will give the overview that the head coach has, including season objectives and season plans. Mona McSharry will speak of her superb achievements in her young swimming career so far. Damien Browne will explain how he motivates himself to push his body and mind in ultimate physical and mental challenges – rowing single-handed across the Atlantic and now climbing Seven Summits. Andy Moran will explain the role of captaincy and the challenges it presents. Dave Howarth will explain how new skills can be learned and existing skills can be developed. Colm Tucker will walk the audience through a worked example of how Connacht U18 rugby team won last year’s Interprovincial Championship. To register email: [email protected].