Mayo sides face tough encounters in top flight

Photo: Sportsfile

Photo: Sportsfile

The two Mayo sides in the top flight of junior rugby in Connacht face into tough road games this weekend in round three of the competition.

Westport - fresh from their clash with last year's league winners and current league leaders, Connemara, will be on the road to a Creggs side who sit in second place in the table at the moment. The Bulls went down 33-15 last weekend in Monastry Field and will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on the Creggs side, who picked up their second win of the season last weekend.

That win came in Cloondeash against Castlebar where they won 17-10 with Sean Tonra getting the try for Castlebar that saw them pick up their second losing bonus point after they got their first one after a narrow 13-11 defeat away to Connemara in round one. This weekend Castlebar will be on the road to third placed Sligo, who had a big 66-7 win over Buccaneers last weekend.

In the Junior 1B division last weekend both Mayo sides in that tier tasted defeat with Ballina going down 19-13 on the road against Loughrea and Ballinrobe falling by 21 points on a score of 31-10 to Galwegians on the road. Those defeats leave the two Mayo sides in the bottom two places in the division with Ballina without a win - but they have two losing bonus points to their name, while Ballinrobe have four points on the board, thanks to their win over Ballina in round one.

This weekend will see both sides in action at home with Ballinrobe taking on a Loughrea outfit who beat Ballina last time out, while the aforementioned north Mayo side will be at home to Mayo-Galway border side Corrib who lost 29-10 to league leaders Dunmore last weekend. In the third tier of junior rugby Ballyhaunis will be looking to back up their opening round win over Our Lady's Boy's Club, when they welcome Creggs second team to Doctors Road on Saturday evening at 7.30pm - their opponents picked up a losing bonus point in round one when they lost 30-28 to Tuam's seconds.

Ballina set off on a new AIL adventure

This time two years ago Ballina were in the early stages of action in the Connacht Junior League - but over the past two seasons they have claimed that title and then sealed promotion into the All Ireland league and backed that up by claiming the All Ireland League Division 2C title last season.

On Saturday the latest chapter in their history will open when they welcome fellow Connacht men - Corinthians - to Hefferenan Park to kick-off their All Ireland League Division 2B campaign for the upcoming season. This will be another step-up in class for the north Mayo men.

In the build-up to the new national season, Ballina took part in the Connacht senior league where they finished in fourth place in the five team competition - they won their final game in the competition against Buccaneers, running 45-24 in Athlone, running in seven tries with Billy McVann getting three tries in that win. In their other games in the competition they went down 43-7 to Sligo, 26-17 at home to their opponents on Saturday and 26-20 to Galwegians. Their games kicks off at 2.30pm on Saturday in Heffernan Park.

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