No more than seven points separated five of the round two clashes after 80 minutes, testament to the calibre on show over the weekend.

And while Galwegians posted the biggest tally (25 over Corinthians), Corrib chalked up 22points, and lost. Of the surviving quarter-finalists, five contest the Junior 1A and comprise the league’s top-four, and the sixth-placed Westport.

quarters_copy_640x331Fifth-placed Tuam pushed league leaders Monivea throughout the match away from home and while their heroics limited the deficit to four, Monivea’s stranglehold on this winter’s league carried over to the Cup staving off the red-and-blue assault. Sligo and Ballyhaunis – the second round’s 1C entrants – offered stoic challenges to each’s 1B opponents. And while Sligo succumbed 13points to 24 giving Loughrea a sniff at a semi-final, the other clash by contrast threw up a fairytale finish to Ballyhaunis’ weekend who put seven points worth of space between them and 1B mid-tablers Ballinrobe.

Two culls remain before this year’s Heineken Connacht Junior Cup final, the first of which is the quarter-finals, drawn on Monday afternoon.

They are as follows:

Loughrea v Westport; Ballyhaunis v Monivea;

Ballina v OLBC; Galwegians v Buccaneers.

While none may be billed a “walkover”, it will be a particularly tough day at the office for Junior1C grade frontrunners Ballyhaunis who meet provincial tabletoppers Monivea, and Ballina and OLBC who have locked horns twice this year already with barely a score separating them.

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The plate fixtures comprise Portumna v Corrib; Sligo v Connemara; Castlebar v Corinthians; Creggs v Dunmore; Carrick-on-Shannon v UCG; Ballinrobe v Tuam; and first-up byes for both Ballinasloe and Gort.

Heineken Junior Cup, round two results (weekend of 14,15/01/12): Buccaneers bt Ballinasloe (22-10/extra time); OLBC bt Creggs (10-0); Ballyhaunis beat Ballinrobe (15-8); Ballina bt Corrib (23-22); Galwegians bt Corinthians (25-7); Monivea bt Tuam (10-6); Westport bt Castlebar (10-5), and; Loughrea bt Sligo (24-13). OLBC and Loughrea won away from home.

Related

Club & Community statement following the conclusion of domestic rugby season