Local derby tops billing in junior league

Rugby: Connacht Junior League

Photo: Sportsfile

Photo: Sportsfile

The first league meeting of local rivals Castlebar and Westport this season will make top billing for Mayo fans in this weekend's action in the Connacht Junior League, which resumes after a two week break. Castlebar were in action last weekend in the All Ireland Junior Cup, where they exited at the hands of Ulster side Ballyclare, going down 36-3.

The Cloondeash outfit are still looking for their first win since early September, when they saw off Monivea in the semi-final of the Cawley Cup. Since then in the league they have yet to pick up a win and sit bottom of the table, following defeats to Connemara, Creggs, Sligo and Buccaneers in their last league outing. They have picked up three losing bonus points in those four games, showing they are not that far away from getting winning results and three of their losses have come to the sides who occupy the top three places in the table at present. Their most recent league defeat to Buccaneers will have been one they will have been targeting - with the Athlone based outfit not having won a game either until their 21-15 win in Castlebar.

Westport have won two from four so far in the league this season, picking up a 14-6 win over Tuam in round one and 27-14 win at home in round four over Sligo. Those sides sit in fourth and third place respectively and their two losses came against table-toppers Connemara in round two and second placed Creggs in round three. Looking at the results to date the visitors will be expected to go home with the points tomorrow night, but Castlebar will not make it easy for the visiting Bulls.

In the J1B division Ballinrobe have a local derby of sorts themselves this weekend when they host border outfit Corrib on Sunday afternoon. The south Mayo men sit in fifth place in the table at the minute with two wins from four outings. Their wins came against the bottom two sides in the division, in round one against fellow Mayo men Ballina and at home to Loughrea in round three. Their two losses so far came in round two away to Galwegians and in round four against Corinthians a fortnight ago going down 38-24 in a ten try game. Their visitors sit one point and one place ahead of them in the table at present having won two games, drawn one and lost one other so far this season.

Also in action on Sunday in J1B is Ballina's second string side - the north Mayo men are yet to pick up a win having been beaten by Ballinrobe, Loughrea, Corrib and NUIG so far this season. They will be looking to pick up their first win when they host Galwegians on Sunday afternoon in Heffernan Park.

In the third tier of junior rugby in the province, Ballyhaunis are out in front in the standings after three games - the east Mayo men have picked up wins against OLBC and Creggs and picked up a draw against Tuam to get off to an unbeaten start to the season; this weekend they will be looking to pick up win number three when they host a win-less Corinthians side in Doctors Road on Saturday night.

In the J2 League, south Mayo side, Claremorris, are currently sitting in fourth place in the standings after three games - four points behind league leaders, Oughterard. On Sunday they will be welcoming a Galwegians side who promise to pose a very tough test coming into this game, with three wins from three so far this season. Westport's second string are also competing in this division and sit just one place behind their fellow Mayo men at present and this weekend will host a Sligo side who have yet to pick up a point this season.

Connacht J1A

Saturday, November 2 at 7pm

Castlebar v Westport

Connacht J1B

Sunday, November 2 at 2.30pm

Ballina v Galwegians

Ballinrobe v Corrib

Connacht J1C

Saturday, November 2 at 7.30pm

Ballyhaunis v Corinthians

Connacht J2

Sunday, November 3

Claremorris v Galwegians

Sligo v Westport


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