The four Mayo clubs in the Connacht Junior League 1A all had a bad weekend last time out with Castlebar, Westport, Ballina, and Ballinrobe all going down in round two of the league. Bottom of the table Ballinrobe shipped a 39 point defeat at the hands of table toppers Sligo to leave them rooted to the floor of the table, with Oísin Gill the only man to get a score for Ballinrobe in a 42-3 loss. It was always going to be tough for Ballinrobe this year to make the step up to the top flight. They did manage to get a bonus point in their first game away to OLBC, but last weekend’s hammering at the hands of Sligo could put a serious dent in their title credentials. They do have a shot at redemption this weekend when they make the short trip to Carrowholly where they face the Bulls of Westport. But it will be another tough ask and a losing bonus point is all that they really could hope for.
Westport are coming off the back of a five point loss to Galwegians in round two. The Bulls have lost a number of players this season and are still finding their feet again, but with a win on the first day out against Castlebar in the bag and a losing bonus point last weekend, they have got off to a decent start and will continue to build from there. Eddie Walsh showed what an important player he could be for them this year getting a late try last weekend to cut the gap at the end.
Time to get the season moving
The team Westport beat on the opening day, Castlebar, have had the start to the season that they were trying to avoid, two games and two defeats, but it’s not all doom and gloom for the Cloondeash side. They have picked up losing bonus points in those games, so they haven’t been too far away at the crunch. But they need to convert being close into scores if they are to make a dent in the league this year. This weekend looks like a another tough task for the Castlebar men when they head to Corinthians on Sunday. They will be looking for big games from Paul Coady and Robbie Cusack in the backs, while their pack will have to up their game if they are to come away from Corinthian Park with anything.
Ballina looked the best Mayo bet for challenging for the title at the start of the year, they started off the league with a 31-10 win over Buccaneers on the Creggs Road, but ran into some bother last weekend when Monivea hit them for 21 points, two tries, two penalties, a drop goal, and a conversion with only an Andy Moynihan penalty in reply for the north Mayo men. It was a tough day at the office for Ballina, who will be hoping that they can turn it around this weekend when they host Tuam in Ballina. With the north Galway men losing two out of two in their opening games including a 23 point drubbing in their last outing, it will give Ballina the perfect opportunity to get themselves back on track.