The Cawley Cup heats up this weekend at quarter-final stage, the last-gasp chance for junior clubs to grab summer spoils.

OLBC, highly-favoured given the depth they boast across two top-three junior league teams, host Westport at the Sportsground. Boys Club have shelved Westport twice this winter, but the pair are old foes and Westport need no reminder to push for late season Cawley Cup consolation.

Elsewhere, the match-ups are equally-intense.

Near neighbours Loughrea and Ballyhaunis meet on Sunday too, Loughrea likely favoured given their late run of form. Since Christmas, Loughrea have forced their way in to the Heineken Junior Cup final (v Galwegians), a welcome challenger as this season’s bolter. The fact they’re at home will boost morale, if not chances, and will not be lost on this resurgent crowd from the County Galway fringe.cawley3

Corrib rarely stray from the business end of any competition, and that they were forced by a number shortage rather than any dearth of heart or talent, to contest the J1B competition this year means they have several points yet to prove.

Mairtin Lee has been shoring up the Connacht Junior front-row for as long as he’s been shaving (shortly after his ninth birthday) and will once again seek silverware, albeit in Corrib costume than medieval armour.

Hosting him, is Ballinasloe.

Ballinasloe’s form has been mixed. Eleven from 14 has them well clear of the peleton chase pack but seven points shy of leaders Buccaneers and Loughrea. They can certainly muscle it up with several among the Connacht catchment’s top-10 junior sides, and they finished a whopping 20 table points clear of Corrib in the league.

Ballinasloe posted 23 points to Corrib’s two penalties at home, but a plucky Corrib squeezed the deficit to seven, 10points to three in the second fixture. On paper, Ballinasloe has the upper-hand but upper hands count for little come Cup time.

The heavyweight match-up of the remaining fixtures is the Ballina v Tuam match in Ballina. The winner meets one of Loughrea and Ballyhaunis in the semi and with division one experience must have half a foot in the final door. Be that as it may, getting beyond this weekend will test serious mettle.

Ballina finished up 15-3 in one, and Tuam won by a point in the second, setting the scene for a battle royale this weekend. 


Connacht Emerging Talent squad named for game against Leinster North Midlands