Three Mayo sides kick off their seasons in Division 1A of the Connacht junior league this weekend. Last year’s runners up Ballina look to be the pick of the trio of the Mayo sides, with Westport looking who finished third in the league will also be looking to improve on their form which saw them chasing the top two after a poor start. Meanwhile Castlebar are preparing to step back into the top flight of junior rugby in the province after a year in Division 1B.
Castlebar are the first team out of the traps when they entertain Connemara who have dropped back into the junior ranks after being relegated for the All Ireland League last season. Seamus King’s side will kick things off on Saturday at 5pm at Cloondeash, where a young Castlebar side will be looking to build on last year’s good form, which saw them take the Division 1B title and put in a good showing in the cup competitions.
Westport are on the road the same evening against Tuam at 7pm, last year when the sides met in the north Galway venue it was the homeside that came out on top on a score of 13-12, with Westport reversing the result in their home game. Both Castlebar and Westport will be looking to get wins under their belts ahead of the first Mayo derby which has been scheduled to take place in Carrowholly on Saturday week.
Ballina, who it is expected will be the top Mayo side once again this year, open their season away to Monivea on Sunday afternoon. Both sides shared the spoils last season, with each side winning on the road against each other. Monivea won the title last season and Ballina will have them in their sights to get one over them on Sunday afternoon.