Westport look to move up the table

Rugby: Connacht Junior Rugby & All Ireland League

The half-way mark in the Connacht J1A league season has been reached and for the two Mayo clubs in the top flight of junior rugby in the province, they will be looking to make progress up the table over the final seven league games of the season.

At the half-way mark, Westport are the leading club from Mayo, sitting in fourth place in the table with four wins from their seven games and 18 points. Their four wins came in round one against Tuam, where they won 14-6 at home, then a 27-14 win at home against Sligo in round two, their third win came at home again - this time against Buccaneers in round six, where they ran in six tries in a 42-10 win - while victory number four came in their last league outing a fortnight ago, when they won 31-17 at home again against Monivea.

The Bulls three losses came against the top two sides in the division Connemara and Creggs and against local rivals Castlebar - all of them on the road; they will be looking to get their first away win of the season this weekend when they travel to Monivea on Sunday afternoon.

The aforementioned Castlebar sit one place behind Westport in the standings at the half-way turn, with two wins and five losses to their name, their wins came at home to Westport in round five and they backed that up with a 37-21 win over Monivea in the following round on the road - but their mini-winning streak came to an end in their last outing when they were beaten 24-14 by Tuam in north Galway. They will host Tuam tomorrow evening at 7.30pm in Cloondeash and will be looking to get back on the winning road - before they head into the Cawley Cup final against Creggs just before Christmas.

In the Junior 1B division, Ballinrobe fell to their fifth league defeat of the season last weekend when they were beaten 26-8 by second placed NUIG on the road, the south Mayo men will face into their eighth league game this season when they take on table-toppers Dunmore at home on Sunday afternoon. Ballina sit at the foot of the table one point behind their fellow Mayo men and last weekend they were beaten 31-5 by Dunmore at home.

In the third tier of junior rugby, Ballyhaunis sit five points off the top spot in a very tight division. The east Mayo men have won three from five and sit in third place in the standings. Tomorrow evening they will have a chance to close the gap on leaders, Ballinasloe, when they welcome them to Doctors Road at 7.30pm. The sides met in their last outings with the south Galway men narrowly running out 17-15 winners at home.

Ballina welcome Wanderers to the west

Ballina's search for a win to kick-start their season will continue on Saturday when they welcome Dublin outfit Wanderers to Heffernan Park in round eight of the All Ireland League.

The north Mayo men are still win-less in division 2B of the the All Ireland League, but they have been improving on the field and will surely feel that a win is just around the corner.

Tomorrow afternoon they will host a side who sit in fourth place in the league table, with four wins from their seven outings to date - but head to Ballina on the back of a narrow 13-12 loss at home to Malahide last weekend.

Ballina go into the contest on the back of a 38-10 loss away to Belfast Harlequins - where a couple of lapses in concentration allowed the Ulster men to run in six tries - with the first try coming just four minutes in and the home side running in a few more before the break to lead 19-3 at the break. They did manage to get over for a try from Calum Quinn in the second half, but they were unable to cross the try-line again before the the conclusion of the contest.


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