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Castlebar Rugby Club
Rugby Club News 2 Apr 2007
By John Mulligan
3, Apr 2007 - 08:00

Last Sunday history was made at Headford when Castlebar defeated Corrib to qualify for the final of the Cawley cup. Despite being behind by three points at half time and conceding a try, castlebar showed its determination and graft and a late try by Tadgh Kirby gave us a historic victory. Next up is the final against Westport in Glenina, home of Galwegians on Sunday and a special call now goes out to everyone in the town to get behind the team as they bid to win the Cawley cup for the very first time. This team have worked hard under the management team of Sheamus King, Shane McElwee and Eugene Marais and deserve a good travelling support on Sunday.

Castlebar: Brian Flannery, Paddy Durkin, Ruairi Hughes, Alex Goor, Arron Louden, Enda Murphy, Ger Prendegast, Eamon Cafferkey, Christy Cusack, Simon O’Malley, Paddy Flannelly, Mark Staunton, Tadgh Kirby, Ciaran Flynn, Paul Coady.

Replacements: Alan Gavin For Paddy Durcan, Paul Heverin for Alex Goor, Damien Glackin for Ger Prendegast, David Staunton for Eamon Cafferkey.

Connacht U-18 Cup Quarter-Final
Castlebar 12  Ballinasloe 13

Castlebar’s cup run ended in dramatic fashion on Friday night last, when a last-minute penalty for Ballinasloe put their noses in front at full-time. This was an epic cup battle, with both sides giving everything in a most entertaining match.

Castlebar had showed improving form in the previous round, but always knew that a Ballinasloe side (with the core of Garbally’s Senior Cup winning side) would need a step up in every department.

The Castlebar lads started in fine fashion. The first lineout take by Daire Mulgrew was driven all of 20 yards, and the tone was set. The Castlebar pack dominated the first half, and after 20 minutes, the excellent Damien McLoughlin drove over the line for the first score. Outhalf Mark Conlon added the points with a fine conversion. At this stage, it was the Castlebar pack - with Conor Walsh, Daire Mulgrew, Joe Moran, Alan Regan, Ross Flynn, Shane Casey and David Casey all to the fore - who were making the in-roads.
Ballinasloe Outhalf Robert O Byrne (son of former Castlebar player Eugene) slotted a penalty for the visitors to make the half time score 7-3.

Again the second half was a cracker, and despite great defence from Fintan Casey, Stephen Keane, Luke Staunton, Peter Lyons, Conor Douglas and Emmet Gill, one of the Ballinasloe wingers crashed over for a try in the corner. Again, Robert O Beirne split the posts with the conversion. This put the visitors ahead 7-10. The Castlebar lads knew they had to dig deep, and this is exactly what they did. The pack lifted the tempo, and playing their quick-offload game, they worked their way into the opposition 22. After several drives to the line, Mark Conlon chipped for the corner, and winger Peter Lyons won the race for the touchdown. This put Castlebar ahead 12-10 with only 2 minutes remaining!

From the restart, Ballinasloe attacked and were awarded a dodgy penalty just inside the halfway line. On most occasions this would not mean danger, but O Beirne is a quality player, and his kick sailed between the posts to end Castlebar’s cup campaign.

It was a disappointing end to a roller coaster season, but the abiding memory is of Castlebar’s young players giving one of the province’s best teams a real scare!

Team – Alan Regan, Conor Walsh, Damien McLoughlin, Ross Flynn, Daire Mulgrew, David Casey, Joe Moran, Shane Casey, Stephen Keane, Mark Conlon, Fintan Casey, Luke Staunton, Peter Lyons, Conor Douglas, Emmet Gill
Scorers – Damien McLoughlin, Peter Lyons (tries), Mark Conlon (one conversion)

U-18 Friendly Match
Castlebar 17  Dunfermline 20

It was a tired Castlebar team who came out second best to touring side Dunfermline at Cloondeash on Sunday. The day was very warm, and the game was played at a blistering pace.

First score for Castlebar came from a trademark break and touchdown from Damien McLoughlin. This was converted by Mark Conlon. It was the Outhalf Conlon himself who weaved through the Scottish defence for a brilliant try, after a scything break from centre Tom Murphy.

In the last minute of the game, Alan Casey got over for a well-deserved touchdown.

Team – Thomas McHugh, James Staunton, Damien McLoughlin, Ross Flynn, Daire Mulgrew, David Casey, Liam Sweeney, Paudie O Malley, Mark Conlon, Fintan Casey, Tom Murphy, Luke Staunton, Darragh Loftus, Alan Casey

Touring side visits Castlebar:
This weekend Dunfermline from Scotland visited Castlebar this weekend for two friendly matches with Castlebar RFC and the Connaught development squad. Part of the trip included a visit to McHale Park for Mayo’s vital National football league tie with Dublin.  We hope that they enjoyed their stay and look forward to seeing them again soon.

Under 10’s win Connaught Plate

Castlebar under 10s recorded a memorable victory last Saturday. Winning the Connaught plate in Ballina. After a series of matches that saw them beat
Corinthians 7-2, Galwegians 9-0 and Ballinasloe 4-1

Then narrowly losing to Monivea by a single try 1-0. But then being true to
The teams character all season. Picked themselves up and went on to defeat buccaneers 4-1 in the semi final.

The final was a classic Ballina went into the lead but again castlebar fought back with a try from man of the match Pat Corless. Some great back running and tackling from Eoin Grady, Gary Walsh & Cillian Melly kept Castlebar going forward. Then captain Shane McCormack crashed over for a great try. All the team John Dolan, Conor Quinn, James Gallagher, Charlie Gannon, James Byrne, and J P O Brien played their part. With minutes to spare a break from Sean Tobin split the Ballina defence he was tackled short of the line.

His fellow forward Brian Allen collected from the ensuing maul and went in for the games final score.

What made the victory even better was that it was achieved without one of the teams stars Conor Carter.

It was a remarkable achievement for a great group of players

The Under 7,8,9,10,11 and 12 teams were also in action against Westport at Cloondeash and everyone had a great time with rugby the winner all round.
That finishes the rugby season for the Mini’s but the action is still not over with a presentation night to take place after Easter. Parents will be notified when the date is set.

Annual Dress Dance
The dress dance will be held on Saturday 21st April in Breaffy House Hotel. Tickets cost fifty Euro and are available from Club Officers later.

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