Creggs ready to defend crown as underage cups take centre stage
The next two weekends will see the boys youth cup competitions take centre stage across the Province.
The cup competitions involving over 100 teams from U-13 up to and including U-18ƒ and a half will dominate the youth rugby landscape in February and March.
With the U-13, U-15 and U-17 and U-14, U-16 and U-18.5 competitions operating on alternate weekends, it is the latter which will be the focus of attention this weekend.
Sligo RFC will begin the defence of their U-18ƒ crown with a tricky away fixture against Ballinasloe, who they beat in last season's final.
Meanwhile current U-18ƒ league table toppers, Galwegians, will begin their cup campaign away to Loughrea.
In the U-16 category Creggs RFC, who won last season's U-16 competition, will begin with a home tie against Buccaneers.
Buccaneers defeated Oughterard 22-0 in their preliminary round game to take their place in the last 16.
Buccaneers having already booked their place in the U-16 league final will be strong contenders for the cup this season.
Other notable ties in the U-16 age grade will see the league's form teams Ballina and Sligo face trips to face Galwegians and Corrib respectively.
In the U-14 age group there are five preliminary round games up for decision this weekend including Ballinasloe versus Galwegians and Monivea against NUIG.
Ballinasloe won the U-13 and U-14 cups last season and will hope to carry that momentum into this seasons competitions.
U-14 Cup Preliminary Round
Monivea v NUIG, Ballinasloe v Galwegians, Creggs v Corrib, Loughrea v Ballinrobe, Sligo v Dunmore
U16 Cup Last 16
Castlebar v Ballyhaunis, Claremorris v Monivea, Loughrea v Carrick on Shannon, Galwegians v Ballina, Corrib v Sligo, Creggs v Buccaneers, Westport v Corinthians, NUIG v Ballinrobe
U-18.5 Cup Last 16
Buccaneers v Castlebar, Loughrea v Galwegians, Westport v Creggs, Ballina v Monivea, Ballinasloe v Sligo, Connemara v Tuam/Dunmore