Next Sunday is an important day in the 2005/2006 seasons for Castlebar RFC as we host Ballina in the Semi final of the Cawley cup competition. With the team still in the running in two cups, a win here would be very beneficial for the club and we ask everyone to come out and support the team on the day. The game kicks off in Cloondeash at 2.30.
The seconds lost to Ballinasloe yesterday who in turn won their section of Division two. But the season is far from over as they travel to Westport for the first round of the new Mayo Seconds cup. A new competition set up recently to give more seconds rugby when the league is over. The game is scheduled to kick off in Westport at 2.30.
U-16 Connacht League Semi-Final
Castlebar U16s progressed to the U-16 Connacht Final with a well deserved win over a powerful Creggs team in a titanic battle.
Castlebar 12 Creggs 7
Castlebar progressed to the U-16 Connacht Final with a well deserved win over a powerful Creggs team in a titanic battle. The two sides had played a 5-5 draw 3 weeks ago, and both knew that this all-or-nothing tie would go down to the wire.
Last Sunday morning, the frosted pitch resulted in a 30-minute delay in kickoff to allow the pitch to thaw. This extra waiting time heightened already taut nerves, and by the time kickoff came, it was a relief to all, on a perfect day for rugby. Both teams started energetically, and with the much larger Creggs team imposing themselves up front. The smaller Castlebar pack knew they had to contest for every ball, and they did so with real spirit. Indeed, Captain Shane Casey and Conor Walsh were inspirational in their rock-solid defence and work-rate. When the Castlebar backs did get some ball, they looked very threatening, and after 15 minutes a lovely sweeping backline movement involving Stephen Kane, Neil Douglas, Pat Wiseman, and Ray O’ Malley - Conor Douglas gave a lovely pass back inside to Donal Newcombe who touched down under the posts. Neil Douglas converted to put Castlebar 7-0 up.
This score seemed to sting the Creggs pack into action and the next 10 minutes were a series of driving mauls and battering ram runners. Castlebar were unfortunate to lose their big second row, Alan Regan, with an ankle injury, just as he was starting to dominate the lineouts – but his replacement John McGuinness got straight into the action. The Castlebar pack – with Colm Corbett, David Walsh, Cian O’ Sullivan, Daniel Kelly and Ross Flynn to the fore – defended manfully, but the pressure told just before half-time when one of the huge Creggs forwards crashed over. The conversion made it 7-7 at half time.
For the whole of the second half both teams went at each other as if their lives depended on it. The contrasting styles of Creggs forward power, and Castlebar’s more skilful backs made for a fascinating contest. The stalemate was unlocked by a touch of genius from Castlebar’s influential out-half Neil Douglas with just 6 minutes to go. He spotted space behind the Creggs defence and chipped over. Initially, it looked as if the ball would go dead, but it held up as winger Kevin Curry won the race for the touchdown. The conversion drifted just wide, and with 6 minutes to go, Castlebar had their noses in front. The defence was heroic as they held out for a well-deserved victory. It was a very spirited team effort, and very difficult to select an individual "man of the match", but this week it goes to scrum-half, Stephen Keane, who had a wonderful game in defence, and varied his attacks with breaks, kicks and passes.
Subs – Brian Kiernan, Kevin Glynn and Conor Sommerville.
Castlebar driving forward Sunday 29 Jan 2006 to 12-7 win over Creggs.
They now face Tuam or Monivea in the final, as their match was postponed due to a frozen pitch. It is most likely that the final will be in the Sportsground in Galway on Sunday 12th Feb, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Training continues and preparations are in good stead ahead of the trip to Scotland, which gets underway shortly. Stay tuned to local media for all the news on this tour.
Last Saturday was a great for the Mini Rugby teams as they hosted Monivea in Cloondeash. In front of a good crowd all teams played really well and celebrated wins at all levels. Well done to all. Training continues on Saturday at 11am.
The Castlebar RFC monthly lotto was held last Friday the 27th January in Tolsters with a jackpot of 6,900 euro. More information on the numbers and winners next week.
Due to a clash of dates, the Dress Dance has now been moved back a week to Friday 28th April, in the clubhouse.
Anyone interested in obtaining International tickets for the forthcoming game against Italy are asked to contact a member of the committee immediately as there are a few tickets left.