Monday 11 December 2017

Still all to play for as junior season reaches fever pitch

Action from Ballina’s Junior Cup victory over Galwegians
Action from Ballina’s Junior Cup victory over Galwegians Newsdesk Newsdesk

As we reach the business end of Connacht Junior season, it is all to play for in the league and cup competitions.

March promises to be a pivotal month, with four cup and plate competitions up for decision and key league fixtures to be played out across the four divisions.

The Cawley Cup will be first up on St Patrick's Day as J1A high flyers Westport take on Monivea.

This will be closely followed by the Curley Cup final on Good Friday where Tuam will battle it out with NUIG.

Easter Sunday will then see a double header of cup rugby at the Sportsground. J1C rivals Dunmore and Ballinrobe will do battle in the Junior Plate, before the showpiece of Connacht Junior rugby as Westport take on Ballina in the Junior Cup final.

The Junior Cup final promises to be a tight affair as the two form junior clubs in the province do battle.


Westport, who beat Dunmore, NUIG and Tuam on their way to the final, are on course for a treble - they are top of the J1A league and in the final of the Cawley and Junior Cups.

Ballina will also be in confident mood, having come through a difficult route to the final, beating Creggs and Galwegians.

The Junior leagues are now also reaching a crucial stage with all still to be decided.

Following a comprehensive victory over Ballinasloe last weekend Westport know a bonus point win at home to Connemara this weekend will see them crowned J1A champions.

Connemara are battling to avoid relegation but have been in better form recently.

Buccaneers also pick up a vital win last weekend over Monivea to give their relegation fight a much needed boost.

In J1B NUIG continued their march towards promotion as they defeated Castlebar 43-15 in Dangan.

However, Creggs are just a point behind them, and also have four games left, while Tuam stayed in the hunt with a 20-6 win over Ballyhaunis last weekend

The J1C league has now reached the round robin phase which will see the top four teams from the regular season play off against each other to decide the title.

Dunmore sealed top spot in the league proper with just points difference separating them from Ballinrobe. A 45-0 for Dunmore last weekend over Corrib was a crucial result which means they will enjoy home advantage over Ballinrobe in the final round-robin game.

In J2 Portumna sealed a last-minute win over Corinthians to reach the summit of the league. The top four teams at the end of the regular league campaign will compete in a play-off for the title.

It is all to play for, with just six points separating the top six teams in the league.

Elsewhere in J2 last weekend Monivea defeated Creggs and Oughterard were resounding winners over NUIG.

Irish Independent

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