Castlebar’s blitzkrieg-style first quarter hour stunned Our Lady’s Boys Club into a 12point deficit seven minutes after kickoff and set the stage for victory an hour later.

OLBC, so adept at closing games in the final stages, suffered the ignominy of a fourth-try against them this week with less than two minutes to play, albeit the salt in a terminal wound at that stage of the game.

Castlebar tore into the visitors from the kickoff and pushed over from close quarter rucks for the first. Referee Daithi Flood overruled the touchjudges come conversion time for a seven point lead in the third minute. Three minutes later Castlebar cruised through a fractured defensive line-up to score again, albeit unconverted from closer on that occasion.

Boys Club worked its way deep into local territory 22minutes in and a stray offside Castlebar midfielder gifted three points to Dave Prior, into a howling wind for 12-3 halfway through the first.

Castlebar, with the benefit of the breeze throughout the first 40, penned Boys Club well within its own 40metres for 90 percent of the half. Boys Club’s bizarre insistence on sending six clearances sailing over the touchline without taking the necessary precautions, meant any respite from the Castlebar onslaught was rare, Castlebar lineouts as a result, were not. Castlebar latched onto an unlikely intercept to close out the first half 19points to three, 16 clear with the wind no longer at their backs.

Boys Club – bereft of any real rhythm in the first half – managed to string a couple of promising phases together in the third quarter, Prior (13) and Donncha Carey (10) masterminding. But it was the Boys Club forwards through the defensively-impressive Joe Connolly (6) who posted the points though; a try just left of the lefthand upright. The conversion went wayward, 19-8.

Aside from Connolly and scrumhalf Cairan Coyle, only Willie Cullinane managed anything close to an error-free game, and Boys Club’s table-top tenure was shortlived. Now third-equal with Monivea after three rounds (Monivea already clear of their bye weekend), Castlebar sits atop with two wins from three and a point clear of Westport with the same strike rate.

Boys Club host Galway city rivals Corinthians at College Road on Sunday, another Junior 1A competition thermometer given Corinthians know how to score points (28 against Connemara) and claimed Westport’s enviable scalp over the weekend by a two point margin.


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