The first round proper of the Connacht Junior Cup kicks off this weekend, with all the big guns getting their first outing in the competition. The preliminary round of the competition took place last weekend and Ballinrobe exited the competition by the narrowest of margins going down 5-3 to Dunmore on the road.
Seamus O'Toole's men came up just short against the the Galway men, with each side only registering one score over the 80 minutes plus additional time, but unfortunately for the south Mayo men, it was Dunmore who touched down for a try, while his side could only muster a penalty in reply from the boot of Dave Reilly and they were not able to make other chances count on the scoreboard. Also exiting the competition on Friday night were Claremorris who went down 14-0 on the road to Tuam in their preliminary round contest.
On Sunday the rest of the Mayo sides will enter the competition, with the defending champions Westport hosting the Dunmore outfit who saw off Ballinrobe last weekend. Ballina will make the short hop to east Mayo where they will face lower league opposition in the shape of Ballyhaunis, while Castlebar who would love to make a dent in this competition will be away to Monivea.
Both of the top division Mayo sides warmed up for this weekend's cup action with big wins in the league last weekend, with Ballina having 35 points to spare over Connemara in Heffernan Park in a 40-5 win, while Westport came home from Athlone with a 26-8 win over Buccaneers. Those wins see both Mayo sides at the top of the table with Westport in first place three points clear of Ballina, who are four points clear of third placed Galwegians.
Both of the second division Mayo sides also registered big wins last weekend, Castlebar saw off Sligo 27-12 on the road and Ballyhaunis were 11-0 winners over Loughrea also on the road. After those wins, both Mayo sides are still locked in mid table with Castlebar in fourth place on 30 points, but they are eight points behind league leaders Creggs, and sit a massive 13 points in front of fifth placed Ballyhaunis.