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It was a bitter-sweet day for the Galway Tribesmen Rugby League club on Saturday. Creating history when hosting the first Munster/Connacht Rugby League final outside of Limerick, the Tribesmen also fell short against the Titans of Limerick by 28-18.
It is the Tribesmen versus the Treaty men on Saturday and there is much at stake for both rugby league sides when they clash at the Claddagh on Saturday
Both Castlebar and Ballina bowed out of the Cawley Cup last weekend at the quarter-final stage. The county town side lost out in an all Mayo clash against a Westport side who are ramping up their preparations for the Connacht Junior Cup final next weekend, while Westport lost out Monivea in Heffernan Park.
There will be at least one Mayo side in the final of the Connacht Junior Cup this season, after Castlebar, Ballina, and Westport all booked their places in the final four of the competition last Sunday.
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.
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 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 was another weekend of mixed fortunes for the Mayo sides in the top level of junior rugby in the province with Ballina running out big winners and Westport going down by 21 points on the road.
This weekend sees a break from the action in the Connacht Junior League after eight hectic rounds of action. In the top division, Westport remain as the main men from Mayo, currently sitting in fourth place in the table behind the Galway trio of Connemara, Monivea, and Corinthians, and they will be well buoyed by the last second draw they got against league leaders Connemara in Monastery Field. The Bulls trailed by 14 points at the turn around. Westport did narrow the gap back to three points midway through the second half, but Connemara scored a break-away converted try to push their lead out to 24-10, but with a few minutes left Mike Cronin touched down for Westport, with Séan Tobin converting the try and then kicking a late, late, penalty to grab a draw for Danny O’Toole and JP Walshe’s charges. Next up for the Bulls is sixth place Ballinasloe in Carrowholly on Sunday week. When the team met in round two in September, Ballinasloe emerged two point winners against Westport condemning the Bulls to their second defeat of the season, but they have been on a steady upward trajectory since then, with their only blip a loss to Corinthians a fortnight ago.