Ballina in top of the table clash

Rugby: Connacht Junior League

Ballina are leading the way at the top of Division 1A of the Connacht Junior League after three rounds of games, with three wins from three, picking up two bonus points along the way. So far they have seen off the challenge of Galwegians 32-5, Westport in the local derby 14-9 on the road, and then hammered Buccaneers 41-0 in Athlone in their third game. In those three games Ballina have run in 10 tries, while only once has a side crossed the whitewash against them

This weekend they take on second placed Ballinasloe in Heffernan Park, the Galway side are just one point behind them in the table, after also winning three from three, but Ballina's extra bonus point sees them lead the table by the slimmest of margins early on.

The other Mayo side in the top division Westport are currently sitting in fourth place on six points after three games. The Bulls have not won since the opening day when they saw off NUIG 31-5 in Carrowholly, since then they have lost out in a tight encounter against Ballina at home, but last weekend they came away from Monivea pointless and scoreless with their hosts hammering them 36-0. Westport were short a number of key players for that game and coach Eddie Walsh will be hoping for a big improvement this weekend when Galwegians come calling to Carrowholly.

Local derby in Division 1B

Castlebar have this weekend off after their big 66-0 win over Ballyhaunis last weekend in Cloondeash and find themselves sitting in second place in the table at the minute with two wins from their opening three games. The side they hammered last weekend are facing into another tough Mayo derby this weekend when they travel to south Mayo to take on Ballinrobe. The hosts for this clash also tasted defeat last weekend in a low scoring encounter at home to Sligo going down 7-3 at home. On their return to the second tier of the Connacht junior rugby this year they have yet to taste a win, but they did draw their opening game 13-13 all on the road to Creggs, they followed that up with a 22-5 loss to Castlebar before last weekend's encounter. They have managed to score three tries in their opening three games while conceding just five, showing they are not far off the pace. While for Ballyhaunis it has been a tough start to the year, getting well beaten in their opening two games with Corinthians putting 48 points on them before Castlebar ran in another 66 last weekend. They have managed to only score one try so far in the 160 minutes they have played while their opponents in those games have run in 18 five pointers. They will be hoping that things change for them soon or it will be a long hard winter, but Ballinrobe could prove too strong for them again this weekend.

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