Ballina stay at the top of Mayo pack following derby win

Ballina kept their place at the top of the Mayo clubs in the Connacht Junior League with another win at the weekend. The Creggs Road club picked up their third win from three games this season with a hard fought win over Castlebar. The 12-5 win over Castlebar was played in Cloondeash. Castlebar, who are currently winless this season, would have hoped they could have seen off the side whom they beat in the Cawley Cup final last year, but they came up short. The homeside did get the first try of the game through Fintan Casey in the first half, but the north Mayo men got their own touch down just before the break when Michael Clarke touched down. There was little separating the sides until Stephen McCarron got in for a try that was converted by Andy Moynihan. That scored condemned Castlebar to their fourth loss on the bounce, but the county town side have managed to pick up three losing bonus points so far this season, so a win should be on the horizon for them in the near future. This weekend they will get their chance to pick up a win again, but this one looks like a long shot for them. They have to make the trek to second in the table Monivea, who have four out of four wins so far this season and only trail leaders Sligo by one bonus point. Last weekend the Monivea boys saw off bottom of the table Tuam by 34-0 away from home. Ballina will look to pick up their fourth win of the campaign when they entertain Galwegians at home, Wegians come into the game with one win from three and weren’t in action last weekend, so Ballina should feel confident of taking the points on Sunday, but will probably come up short of getting a bonus point win.

Westport picked up their third win last weekend with a seven point win over OLBC in Galway. The Bulls have been having a good season despite many predictions that they would struggle this term. Despite going down 7-0 at one stage the Bulls pulled together to fight back with tries from Joe O’Malley, Eoin Joyce and Alan Cusack along with some good kicking by Eddie Walsh to dig out the win. This weekend, the Bulls have to take on table toppers Sligo in Carrowholly, while Sligo should take the points. Westport won’t make it easy and will fight tooth and nail for the win, and will be in with a good shout of getting their second bonus point of the year.

While Castlebar have been struggling at the foot of the table, so too have Ballinrobe and it didn’t get any easier for them last weekend. In the local derby against the border side Corrib, Ballinrobe came away from Headford with a 20-6 loss. Despite penalties from Óisin Gill and Trevor Nally the south Mayo men were no match for their near neighbours. This weekend Ballinrobe face off against Galway side Corinthians who are hanging out in the middle of the table. While it may seem to be another beating that’s on the cards for Ballinrobe, the tenacious Mayo men may just pull a surprise out of the bag.


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