Ballina welcome Blackrock as they look for first league win

Rugby: All Ireland League and Junior Rugby

Scrum down: Castlebar scrum down against Buccaneers in the Connacht Junior League last weekend. Photo: Castlebar RFC

Scrum down: Castlebar scrum down against Buccaneers in the Connacht Junior League last weekend. Photo: Castlebar RFC

Tomorrow afternoon Ballina go looking for their first win in Division 2B of the All Ireland League when they welcome Blackrock to Heffernan Park.

The north Mayo men have lost their opening two league games of the season, last weekend going down 47-17 on the road in Greystones, tomorrow afternoon they will host a Blackrock side who have won two from two - their latest win coming following a narrow 27-24 win over Malahide in Stradbrook.

Ballina were under the cosh from early on last Saturday in Wicklow and trailed 21-0 at the break, with the hosts running in three converted tries - the north Mayo men had lost Joe Murphy for ten minutes in that half after he picked up a sin-binning and also saw scrum half Damien Togher pick up an injury.

Things didn't get much better for them in the early exchanges of the second half as the hosts ran in another four tries to go into a 47-0 lead - Ballina did battle back before the end with Laurence Leonard touching down twice before the conclusion and Chris O'Neill getting a third try between the Lahardane man's two five pointers.

Tomorrow afternoon will be another tough task for the north Mayo men as they get used to stepping up another level this season after claiming the Division 2C title last term.

Westport pick up second win in Junior 1A

With a break in league action coming up over the next couple of weeks, Westport head into the break on the back of their second win in the Connacht Junior 1A League. The Bulls had 13 points to spare over Sligo in Carrowholly last weekend running out 27-14 winners at home. The Bulls trailed early on but some sure-footed kicking from Tom McHale saw them overtake their northern visitors, with Kevin Corcoran's try before the break a key score. McHale's place-kicking edged Westport in front down the home stretch and just before the end they crashed over for their second try through Shane Keogh to seal the win and the points.

Things haven't gone to plan for Castlebar so far this season in the top flight of junior rugby in the province - the county town side head into a two-week break from games having lost their opening four games and find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table. Last weekend they were beaten 21-15 at home by Athlone outfit Buccaneers in Cloondeash.

In the Connacht Junior 1B League, Ballinrobe sit in fifth place with two wins from their opening four games to date in the division - last weekend they were beaten 38-24 on the road by Corinthians. When the action returns in a fortnight, Ballinrobe will face into a derby game against border side Corrib at home, with the visitors sitting one point in front of Ballinrobe in the table at the moment.

In Junior 1C after three rounds of games, Ballyhaunis sit on top of the table on 12 points following two wins and a draw; that draw came last weekend when they were held to a low scoring 3-3 away to Tuam. The east Mayo side will have a bye in the next round of fixtures and will return to action with a home game against Corinthians early next month.

Claremorris sit in second place in the Junior Two table, with two wins from two so far. This weekend they will take on the team who sit in front of them at present in the standings - Oughterard - away from home. Last weekend they had a big 31-14 win over NUIG in Galway. They crossed the line five times in that game with Dwyane Campbell, Paraic Kilboyle, David O'Connor, Paul Maloney and Jason Kelly all scoring tries.


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