What a difference a few days make. In these pages last week this writer said that Castlebar needed to see some improvement against Monivea last weekend or it could be a long hard winter in Cloondeash. And that’s exactly what happened as Rory Casey’s side saw off Monivea by four points to hopefully give them a springboard for the winter.
Christy Cusack got things running from the very start when he got a charge down try before the packs had a chance to really get to know each other for the day. It was by no means a canter for Castlebar after that and they trailed 8-7 at the turn around thanks to a Pat Devane try and a Ger O’Conner penalty. The home side slipped even further behind over the opening stages of the second half and trailed 14-10 before Nigel Byrne cut through a gap after collecting a high ball and speeding past a handful of challenges to put Castlebar 15-14 up. Robbie Cusack hit over another penalty to seal the win, but not before they had to hold out a strong Monivea challenge on their try line before the final whistle was blown.
Late scores again seals it again for Westport
Two out two for Westport so far this season should have them set up nicely for this weekend’s meeting with Monivea. The Bulls should be going into the game as favourites with their 100 per cent record, while Monivea will be licking their wounds after losing out to Castlebar last weekend. But things have not been easy for Westport so far this season and they had to rely on a late Pat Conway try for the second week in the row to seal the win over Corrib. Westport trailed by 6-5 at the break thanks to two penalties from Mike Monahan, with Westport’s score coming from a Mick Heneghan try. Corrib pushed themselves further ahead during the second half thanks to a try from Stephen Clonlisk and they lead 13-5 on one occasion. Westport stuck at it with Eddie Walsh kicking well to close the gap to two points before Conway stole the points.
Ballina go down to Sligo
Ballina couldn’t make it two out of two when they travelled to Sligo. The home side kicked off into a 13-0 lead in the first half. Ballina did manage to close the gap thanks to two penalties by Andy Moynihan, but some early missed kicks and injuries curtailed the north Mayo mens charge to make it two out of two.
Wins for Mayo sides in second tier
Both Ballyhaunis and Ballinrobe picked up wins last weekend in the Junior League Division 1B. The east Mayo men saw off the Connemara challenge by 23-14 . They led by 13-7 at half time with Jean Pierre Jeffries scoring a try early on and David Murphy got into score the Ballyhaunis men’s second try in the second half. Ballinrobe saw off Dunmore by 14 -10 in their opening game of the season. The south Mayo men had tries scored by Declan Costello and Oisín Gill to set them up for the win, before Dunmore hit back in the second half but the Ballinrobe line held firm to secure the win.
Mayo derby this weekend
This weekend’s fixtures see Westport B kick things off on Saturday afternoon at home to Portumna in division 1B then on Sunday afternoon at 12.30pm the A side will be at home to Monivea in a what promises to be a tough encounter. Ballina will be getting to grips with visitors Castlebar at 3pm, while Corrib will be making the short trip to Galwegians also at 3pm on Sunday.