The firsts faced what could have been a slippery tie against Creggs in the league on Sunday last but came away in what could be a Cawley cup quarterfinal dress rehearsal with a good win. Castlebar winning 24 points to 13. The points coming from tries from a Darin Claasen hat trick of tries and one from Mike Power. Darin’s good form continued with two conversions. Creggs responded with a try and two penalties. This win puts Castlebar back into the top half of the league and leaves a marker ahead of the Cawley cup quarter final which could be against Creggs in January. Next up in the St Stephens’s day clash at Cloondeash with The Presidents XV taking on the Captain’s XV in a game that always gets the blood going. More on this next week.
Castlebar: Paul Coady, Mike Power, Darin Claasen, Mike Campbell, Nigel Byrne, Robert Cusack, Jason Keane, Ruairi Hughes, Paddy Durcan, Alan Gavin, Alex Goor, Paul Heverin, Enda Murphy, Ger Prendergast, Mike March
Subs: Neil Coyle, Ciaran Flynn, Rayno DeKock
It was not to be for the seconds as a good Ballina side, which featured a lot of experience, beat them narrowly and this will be an important lesson to the team as the season progresses.
Castlebar: James Armstrong, Ivor Gilmartin, Ciaran Flynn, John Conlon, Tommy Nolan, Richard Feeney, Padraig O'Malley, Sean Hynes, Damian Glacken, Eamonn Cafferkey, Seamus Devaney, Brendan Kelly, Eanna Kilbane, Neil Coyle, Michael Moran.
Subs: Padraig Healy, John Derrig, Peter Gaughan, David Staunton, Ronan Duffy.
U-16 Connacht League
Monivea 5 Castlebar 18
Castlebar’s U-16’s travelled to Monivea on Friday night last to contest a crucial league fixture, and came away with a famous victory which ensures they remain unbeaten in the league this season. Now, with 6 wins from 6 outings, the Castlebar lads sit proudly on top of the table. But this game was much tougher than the final score suggests. Monivea started with a flourish, and after ten minutes of sustained attack, drew first blood with a well taken try, after some weak Castlebar tackling. But this brought the Castlebar team together, and they regrouped under the posts. From there on, it was the excellent "pick and drive" which this team does so well – that brought them up the pitch and after 20 minutes, they drew level with a Donal Newcombe try. The Castlebar pack of Conor Walsh, Colm Corbett and Daniel Kelly, Alan Regan, the storming John McGuinness, Rory Martin, Captain Shane Casey and Cian O Sullivan drove at their opposite numbers again and again, and after a while the gaps started to appear. Castlebar’s second try came from "man of the match" – prop forward Conor Walsh, who took a tap penalty and crashed through the Monivea defence from 5 metres out.
Scrumhalf Stephen Kane tortured his opposite number with his sniping runs and Neil Douglas had a steady game at out half. The rest of the backline - of Donal Newcombe, Pat Wiseman, Conor Douglas and Ray O’ Malley played very well, but it was the heroic tackling of Kevin Curry which was the memorable feature of this game. Several times, Curry took the Monivea defender and drove them back with superb tackles. After 10 minutes of the second half, Neil Douglas kicked a penalty, and then 5 minutes later, Castlebar sealed the victory with a third try by Rory Martin after several rumbling drives by his fellow forwards.
Training continues as usual.
The Under 18 team were in action on Sunday where they faced Creggs in what could have been a tough encounter in Carrowholley. Castlebar took the lead after ten minutes with an outstanding try from Danny Cunningham who broke down the left to score under the posts. Padraig Healy converted this and Castlebar were looking good. Within a few minutes of the restart Creggs pulled a try back which was not converted and from the restart Castlebar were again on the board with a try which the front five must take credit. Paudie O’Malley spun over to score left of the post. Healy was again deadly accurate with the boot and castlebar now lead 14-5. On the stroke of half time the huge Creggs pack charged over for a well deserved try which was not converted. This lead to a very exciting second half in which Creggs drove forward but were thwarted by a three quarter line who were inspired and played possibly their best ever game for Castlebar. This was overall one of castlebar’s best ever performances at this level but credit must also go to a brave Creggs team who gave a determined performance the lads held their nerve and came out winners on a 14-10 score. This now puts the under 18 team joint top of the league with Gort.
Castlebar: Damien McLoughlin, Shane Cunnane, Aidan Garvey, Darragh Mulgrew, Chris Rogan, Liam Sweeney, Fintan Casey, David Staunton (Captain), Patrick O’Malley, Padraig Healy, Mark Staunton, Ronan Conway, Tom Murphy, Ronan Irwin, Danny Cunningham.
Subs: Darragh Irwin, Shane Casey.
New Team Sponsor
Last Sunday also saw the launch of the new Castlebar RFC Under 18 jersey which is sponsored by Shaney Mac’s, Main Street Castlebar and Castlebar RFC would like to pass on its thanks to Shane McElwee and his staff for their generous sponsorship.
After the excitement of last weekend the mini rugby teams of Castlebar were again in action where they faced Westport, Ballinrobe and Connemara at under 7,8,9,10,11 and 12 level. All teams had wins against good opposition and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Next Saturday is the last training before Christmas and all players will be asked to come out as the club holds its annual mini rugby Christmas party with prizes and loads of treats. Training will then recommence on Saturday the 14th of January for a busy year ahead.
The Club held its very successful race night on Friday week last and here is a list of race sponsors and winners from the night. Once again the club would like to thank everyone for supporting the club on the night and it is hoped that another one will take place in the New Year. The list of sponsors and winners are as follows:
Race One sponsored by David O’Malley and Associates won by Jim Moore
Race Two sponsored by Elverys sports won by Ita Staunton
Race Three sponsored by Casey’s Ford won by Ronan Timothy
Race Four Sponsored by Trevor Ardill won by Donal Coleman
Race Five sponsored by Gannon Chemicals won by the staff of the NIB Castlebar
Race Six sponsored by Durcan Auctioneers won by Greg Barry
Race Seven Sponsored by Michael Byrne won by Robbie Cusack and Jason Keane
Race Eight Sponsored by the Castle Inn and Shaney Macs won by Brendan Kelly
Race Nine: The Auction race sponsored by Rocky's won by the Mike Campbell Syndicate
The next draw is on Friday the 30th of December in Rays with a jackpot of 6,800 euro. This month is Dave O’Malley’s team. Important:
All Club notes must be sent to PRO John Mulligan by 10am Monday Morning to by txt to 086 – 0547660 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in that weeks press.