Back to league action after Junior Cup weekend

Rugby: Connacht Junior League

After last weekend's hectic round of action in the last 16 of the Connacht Junior Cup it is back to league action for a handful of Mayo sides this weekend. It was a pretty successful weekend for Mayo teams last Sunday, with Ballina, Castlebar, and Ballinrobe all picking up wins - while Westport and Ballyhaunis were put out of the competition by Tuam and Corinthians respectively.

Ballina set up an all Mayo clash with Castlebar in the quarter-final of the cup with a 13-5 win over Monivea last Sunday, this weekend they take on Sligo in a massive league battle. Ballina currently sit in second place in the Junior 1 table, six points behind leaders Connemara, but they have two games in hand, the first of which comes up tomorrow at 2.30pm. Ballina have not lost a game yet this season in the league winning five from five, but they face a Sligo side who sit in third place, just three points behind them, with five wins from their eight games. When the teams met in the return fixture back in October, Ballina made the short trip home with the points after a 27-19 win.

In the division below promotion chasing Castlebar will also be facing a tough encounter when they travel to Galway to take on NUIG in a must win encounter. Last weekend the Cloondeash men had a massive 51-17 win over a Buccaneers side who are playing in the division above them in the Connacht Junior Cup - with Luke Staunton, Liam Molloy, Brian Flannery, David Staunton, Nigel Byrne (2 ), and Fintan Casey (2 ) all running in tries. They currently sit in third place in the league standing with their opponents on Sunday, NUIG, nipping at their heels two points behind and having a game in hand. When the sides met in round four of the league, it ended in a stunning 33-33 draw in Cloondeash.

Ballinrobe also booked their place in the last eight of the Junior Cup last weekend with an 11-0 win over Potrumna, with Chris McHugh's try the vital score. On Sunday they will be back in action at home when they take on Junior 1B leaders Creggs in what will be a very tough encounter. The visitors sit atop of the table at present 10 points clear of their nearest rivals with eight wins, one draw, and one loss from their 10 games to date. Ballinrobe sit back in sixth place at the minute, but will take heart from last weekend's win and the fact they pushed Creggs all the way in their previous league meeting this season, losing out 24-18 on the road. In the Junior 2 League, Claremorris will be on the road to Tuam, the south Mayo side currently sit in seventh place in the division with two wins from their six games to date.


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