As the Connacht Junior rugby season reaches the business end of the calendar it is all to play for in the league and cup competitions. March promises to be a pivotal month with four cup and plate competitions up for decision and key league fixtures to be played out across the four divisions. The Cawley Cup will be first up on St Patricks Day as J1A high flyers Westport take on Monivea. This will be closely followed by the Curley Cup Final on Good Friday where Tuam RFC will battle it out with NUIG. The Easter weekend will then see a double header of Cup rugby played at the Sportsground. J1C rivals Dunmore and Ballinrobe will do battle in the Junior Plate. This will be directly followed by the show piece of Connacht Junior Rugby as Westport take on Ballina in the Junior Cup Final. Both games will be played on Sunday the 27th of February 2016. The Junior Cup Final promises to be a tight affair as the two form junior clubs in the province do battle. Westport reached the cup final having beaten Dunmore, NUIG and Tuam along the way. The Mayo club will be hoping to land an impressive treble given that they are currently sitting top of the J1A league and are in the final of the Cawley and Junior Cups. Ballina will also be in confident mood as the final approaches having come through a difficult route to the final including wins over Creggs and Galwegians.
The Junior leagues are now also reaching a crucial stage with all still to be decided. Following a comprehensive victory over Ballinasloe last weekend Westport know a bonus point win at home to Connemara this weekend will see them crowned J1A champions. Connemara will no doubt have other ideas as they battle to avoid relegation to J1B. Connemara have been in better form recently and will be hoping to pull off an upset when they visit Westport this weekend. Buccaneers also pick up a vital win last weekend over Monivea to give the Athlone clubs relegation fight a much needed boost.
In J1B NUIG continued their march towards promotion as they defeated Castlebar 43-15 in Dangan. The victory means NUIG know victory in their final four games is likely to result in them being crowned J1B champions. Creggs and Tuam will still have other ideas however, Tuam defeated Ballyhaunis 20-6 last weekend while Creggs still have four games remaining also and sit just one point behind NUIG.
The J1C league has now reached the round robin phase which will see the top four teams from the regular season play off against each other to decide the title. These games will be played on three consecutive weekends starting on the 6th of March. Dunmore sealed top spot in the league proper with just point’s difference separating them from their closest rivals Ballinrobe. A 45-0 for Dunmore last weekend over Corrib was a crucial result which means they will enjoy home advantage over Ballinrobe in the final round robin game.
In J2 Portumna sealed a last minute win over Corinthians to reach the summit of the league. The top four teams at the end of the regular league campaign will compete in a playoff for the J2 title. There promises to be plenty of twists and turn before these top four teams are known with just six points currently separating the top six teams in the league. Elsewhere in J2 last weekend Monivea defeated Creggs and Oughterard were resounding winners over NUIG.



Gallery: University of Galway hosts Kay Bowen Cup