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After the second round of action in the Connacht Junior Cup last weekend there are four Mayo teams left standing as it reached the quarter-final stage. With one all Mayo tie coming up on Sunday, there is a very realistic chance that three Mayo teams will make the semi-final stage of Connacht’s premier junior rugby cup.
The first round proper of the Connacht Junior Cup kicks off this weekend and five Mayo junior rugby teams are in action. Ballinrobe were the first Mayo team into the competition last weekend when they travelled to Tuam in the preliminary round, and the south Mayo team came home with a hard fought four point win over the north Galway outfit. Seamus O’Toole’s team were trailing 11-0 early on but they managed to keep their opponents scoreless for the entire second half, and when Anthony Coleman crashed over the line just before the break the game turned in their favour. Oisín Gill cut the gap to just three points from a penalty early in the second half and when Peter Cosgrove touched down for Ballinrobe’s second try and Gill converted Ballinrobe had that winning taste in their mouths, and they held on to book their place in the first round proper this weekend.
There are eight Mayo sides left in the Connacht Junior Cup after last Sunday’s third round of action. The competition now moves forward to the last 16 with only three games between those remaining and a place in the final. The first of those fourth round games takes place this Sunday when Manulla host St Patrick’s in Carramore at 2pm. The Galway side currently are sitting second bottom of the Western Hygiene Supplies Premier Division with just one win from their 11 games so far this season. Manulla will be hoping they have the quality to breach a defence that has conceded 36 goals in league football already this season.
Last weekend saw Castlebar secure one of their key objectives for the season when they booked their place in the promotion/relegation play-off for a place in the top tier of junior rugby for next season. While Castlebar would like to have gained automatic promotion and clinched the title, second place and chance over 80 minutes later in the spring to seal the deal will still do nicely.
It is back to action after the winter break for most of the teams in the Mayo League with a full round of fixtures in the third round of the Connacht Cup down for decision this Sunday. There are 16 Mayo sides still in contention in the cup proper with five sides in the shield competition.
It is all down to Westport United if the Mayo League are to have an interest in the FAI Junior Cup in the latter stages of the competition. The aristocrats of Mayo soccer are the last side left in the competition after both Iorras Aontaithe and Ballyhaunis Town bowed out at the fifth round stage a few weeks before Christmas. This Sunday Westport United will take on New Ross Celtic in a game re-fixed from mid-December, with kick-off in the Sportspark at 2pm on Sunday.
It has been four weeks since the Mayo sides were in action in the Connacht Junior Leagues, this weekend sees the final leg of the league season kick off as the season hits crunch time and enters its final rounds.
It’s all down to Westport United if the Mayo League are to have an interest in the FAI Junior Cup post Christmas. The aristocrats of Mayo soccer are the last side left in the competition after both Iorras Aontaithe and Ballyhaunis Town bowed out of the competition at the fifth round stage of the competition last week.
In the battle of the Mayo sides in division 1a of the Connacht Junior League it was the Bulls from Westport who came out on top for the second time this season, when they faced Ballina in Carrowholly last Sunday. JP Walsh’s side ran out comfortable 16-3 winners over their north Mayo rivals thanks to a try from David Keane, with Seán Tobin kicking the other 11 points from three penalties and converting Keane’s try. Westport put themselves in front early on and went in leading 10-3 at the break thanks to Keane’s five pointer and two kicks from Tobin, Ballina responded with a penalty from James Coppens but it was the only score they would register on the day. The win sees Westport push six points in front of Ballina with three games left for each side before the end of the league season. The win also puts Westport just three points behind third placed Ballinasloe in the race for place in the Irish junior cup next year.