Ballina rise to the top of the table

Rugby: Connacht Junior Rugby

Ballina scrum down against Connemara last weekend. Photo: Ballina RFC

Ballina scrum down against Connemara last weekend. Photo: Ballina RFC

Ballina moved to the top of the junior one table last weekend with a 16-10 win over their nearest challengers, Connemara, in Heffernan Park.

The six point victory was the north Mayo side's eighth league win this season and now leaves them as the only side with a 100 per cent record in the top division, and moved them two points clear of the Galway side with a game in hand over them.

Ballina led 3-0 at the break thanks to a Kieran Lindsay penalty, they pushed that lead out to 8-0 early in the second half when Peter O'Toole crossed the white line to touch down. The visitors closed the gap to a single point thanks to Peter O'Toole scoring a try and Michael O'Toole adding the extras from the conversion.

But Ballina were in no mood to lose this one and Lindsay kicked his second penalty of the game before Ronan Molloy scored his side's second try to put the north Mayo men nine clear. Connemara did close the gap back to six points thanks to an O'Toole penalty, but Ballina were able to hold out for the valuable points that send them back to the top of the table.

This weekend there is just one game down for decision in the top flight of the league where fourth placed Westport will be looking to pick up their fourth league win of the season when they host a Monivea side who sit two places and seven points behind them in the league standings. Last weekend Monivea had a huge 63-17 win over Buccaneers - so the Bulls will be forewarned that the midlands outfit are arriving to Carrowholly in fine scoring form.

In the second tier of action, Castlebar did their promotion push no harm at all with a 27-24 bonus point win over fifth placed Corinthians at home last weekend. The Cloondeash men crossed for four tries with David Staunton, Daire Mulgrew, Sean Tonra, and Simon Bolger all touching down for five pointers. The win puts them just one point behind league leaders Creggs as the league season enters the home straight.

With no game this weekend Castlebar will be hoping that fellow Mayo men Ballinrobe do them a favour when they host table toppers Creggs on Sunday in south Mayo. Ballinrobe currently sit in sixth place in the table with three wins from their nine league games to date, but after some really good cup performances of late - they will be full of confidence going into this one.


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