Castlebar went oh so close to causing another major upset when they went down narrowly to Monivea in the Connacht junior cup at the castle grounds on Sunday last. On a pitch that was flooded, it was unlikely that the game would even be completed such was the conditions but credit to both teams is that they kept the large attendance on tender hooks throughout with a cracking game the result.
From the off Castlebar attacked their opponents, their pack began to take the game on and the backs were in inspired form only to be denied by resolute defending from a Monivea side with one eye on the senior cup final seven days later. It was Monivea who took advantage of the conditions to score a penalty but try as they might, Castlebar could not get the score to level matters and go into the second half with the confidence of a strong wind behind them. A missed penalty their only chance.
The second half turned on two pivotal moments. The first when Monivea pressure led to the referee awarding them a penalty try and then a few minutes later when Castlebar were caught asleep and their opponents ran in for the second. Any other team would have laid down but not Castlebar who were inspired by the leadership of captain Alex Goor and the forward movement of Dale Jones who caused all sorts of problems. In all honesty, Castlebar were the better team but could not get the scores. Their endeavour was eventually rewarded when a quick penalty went through several phases before Christy Cusack ducked in for the try. Olsen’s conversion narrowed the gap but it was to no use. Monivea held on and now go through to the quarter final. As for Castlebar, they can look on the remainder of the season with confidence and will be a danger in the new season. In all honesty they cannot wait.
Castlebar: Paul Coady, Mike Power, Simon O’Malley, Mike Campbell, Robbie Cusack, Andrew Olsen, Christy Cusack. Matt Connolly, Paddy Durcan, Kevin Cox, Sheamus Devaney, Alex Goor, Ger Prendegast, Mike Wood, Dale Jones.
Subs Used: Liam Fahy for Olsen, Alan Gavin for Connolly