The firsts were in action against Sligo at the weekend and were full of confidence after their previous weeks win against Westport. However after going a try down in the early minutes it was going to be difficult to catch and despite two Diarmuid Byrne penalties found themselves 11 – 6 behind at half time.
The second half began with Sligo gaining the benefit of a strong wind blowing diagonally towards the Castlebar line and put this to their advantage scoring a try and penalty in the first seventeen minutes to extend the gap to thirteen points. This galvanised Castlebar into life and following an excellent move that featured Paddy Durcan and Alan Gavin, Andrew Olsen cut through the Sligo defense to score under the posts. Diarmuid Byrne added the points to cut the gap to six points and give Castlebar a lifeline. However this was short lived as Mike Wood was red carded for an offence and from the resulting penalty Sligo added the points to take the win.
This was bitterly disappointing from a Castlebar point of view with some great displays from their players but it means that with other results they are now down to fourth in the league table. There is a rest weekend next weekend with a game against Gort the following Saturday night under lights in Cloondeash. Training continues as usual on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
Castlebar Paul Coady, Mike Power, Andy Olsen, Simon O’Malley, Mike Campbell, Diarmuid Byrne, Christy Cusack. Alex Goor, Paddy Durcan, Mick Heneghan, Mike Wood, Paul Heverin, Ger Prendegast, Barry Barnacle, Dale Jones.
Sub Used: Alan Gavin.
The seconds under coaches Michael Cunningham and Mick Brady took to the field on Sunday afternoon last to face a Sligo team that have promised a lot in their early games. For Castlebar this was their first game of the season and the lads were looking forward to a tough game. It was indeed that with Castlebar giving their all and surprising their opponents with fast running rugby. Indeed the performances of some of the players made the first coaching staff take notice. In the end it was Sligo who took the spoils but only after a hard fight with Castlebar’s best players being Matt Connolly and Mike Durcan in the forwards and Tom Nolan and Paul Harte in the backs.
The Castlebar second team were: Mike Fox, John Joe Ormsby, Tom Nolan, Ivor Gilmartin, Danny Cunningham, Liam Fahy, George O’Malley, Kevin Cox, Matt Connolly, Willie O’Donnell, Gerry Casey, Richard Baird, Mike Durcan, Leon Jordaan, Sheamus Devaney.
Subs used were: Brendan Kelly, Dave Flannelly, Damien Glackin, Brendan Coyle, Shane McEllwee, Paul Harte, John Moran.
The Ladies are still in training after their rest weekend last week and are now looking forward to an exciting game in a couple of week’s time. Details on this will be announced at training on Wednesday night. All panellists are asked to attend, as there is some interesting news on the next fixtures. Training continues on Wednesday nights.
Castlebar 10 Creggs 22
This clash against Creggs was eagerly awaited by all in Castlebar as it was the first home under 18 league match of the season. Due to unforeseen circumstances Castlebar were seriously depleted in numbers for this game. That led to what can only be described as one of the most important displays by any Castlebar teams in many years. The league game could have been conceded and played as a friendly. The Castlebar players to a man decided that they had a league match and a league match they would play.
Rugby requires that two teams are numerically matched. The pitch becomes a much bigger place when you are down a player and that is why the sin bin ruling is so penalising. When you are down two players then the task becomes infinitely more difficult. Castlebar played with a will and determination that often had people on the sideline wondering who had the numerical advantage. There were magnificent performances from all in the pack, Colm O’Brien, Neil Coyle and David McManaman were immense at the set piece and work tirelessly in the open. They were ably assisted by both Ger Flynn and Enda Murphy who had both of their best games of the season. Martin Gill and Ollie Davies completed the pack, both of them carrying ball to much bigger Creggs opponents.
The back line played like demons in both attack and defence and were unlucky not to have scored two tries in the first half. Andrew Verity despite being dazed by a bang to the head controlled play well from the base of scrum, ruck and maul. Danny McGing settled into his roll as the main ball distributor and had an immense game as the team’s kicker. Nigel Byrne is the heart beat of the back line; his bravery was only matched by Shane Heffron who despite being injured refused to leave the pitch until the game was over. Colm Harte is an athlete of great potential; despite being a relative novice at this game he combined the dual role of full back and winger with great accomplishment. Ronan O’Donnell also had to play the dual role and was sound under the high ball, taking the ball back into contact very well.
The score was 0 – 17 at half time. Coach Mick Tobin had a few motivational words for this team at half time, but such was the determination of the team that few words were needed. The move of the day saw Castlebar win a scrum on the opposition 22 with Enda Murphy picking the ball, evading five defenders and scoring under the posts, converted by Danny McGing.
On a day when a lot of players stood up to be counted it is hard to single out players but two performances were inspirational. The ball carrying of Colm O’Brien was immense as was the determination of Martin Gill, both set down markers in this game. Nonetheless the performance of this entire team was astonishing. The Most Valuable Player award or Man of the Match has to go to all thirteen players.
Castlebar have a free weekend next weekend but the following weekend have a league match in Westport
Castlebar: C Harte, S Heffron, N Byrne, R O’Donnell, D McGing, A Verity, E Murphy, O Davies, G Flynn, M Gill, C O’Brien, N Coyle, D McManaman,
Under 16 News
Castlebar 0 Tuam 28
A brave Castlebar U-16 side went down to a well-drilled Tuam team at Cloondeash on Saturday. The unbeaten Tuam side have been together for several years now, and with their full attendance at training (twice every week), their hard work was evident.
However, despite being in defensive mode for most of the game, this young Castlebar side did produce a gutsy performance and never threw in the towel.
Indeed, by the end of the game, their rucking and mauling was starting to take effect, and it showed that the talent is there, but more work is needed.
Front Row of Shane Cunnane, Richie Staunton and Darragh Irwin worked tirelessly. The second row of Bobby Melody and Chris Rogan also competed, but a special mention must go to debutant Joseph Moran, who had a storming game, when introduced.
The back row of David Staunton, Craig Naughton and Eoghan Walsh tackled well all day, and Ronan Moran made a big impact when brought into the fray.
Scrum half Fintan Casey, coped well with some less-than-ideal possession, and the backline of Danny Cunningham, Liam Sweeney, Alan Gill, Mark Conlon and Damien Conway all tried hard.
A very special mention must go to the centre pairing of Sean O’ Beirn and Cathal Foy who were inspirational with their ferocious tackling. Without their commitment, there would have been many more scores.
Others to participate at various stages were James Staunton, Brendan Redmond, Conor Ainsworth, Simon Dey, and Daire Mulgrew.
The next U-16 match is away to Dunmore on Saturday Nov 29th, so a lot of work needs to be carried out before that game.
Training continues every Wednesday night (on the pitch at 7.00).
Training continues for all under 14,16 and 18 teams at 7pm
The Under 8’s under 10’s and under 12 teams traveled to Tuam Last Saturday for their First Blitz of the season. It was an amazing day with some great performances from all teams. Over 70 players traveled to Tuam where we were joined by Ballinrobe. Castlebar fielded two teams at under 8, two teams at under 10 and one team at under 12 level. The main objective was participation and everybody played excellently. The training has really paid off with some players showing great potential. The team returned at 2.30 with the knowledge that the next blitz takes place on Saturday week and it is being in Castlebar so all players must attend training on Saturday next at 11am.