The Bank of Ireland Junior Cup gets underway this weekend, with four sides making their bow in this season's tournament.
The first of the two weekend games takes place on Saturday, as Ballina 2nd XV host Galwegians 2nd XV in Heffernan Park. Both sides have demonstrated mixed league form this season, with Galwegians seconds winning two and losing two in the J1C League, and Ballina winning one of their four in J1B.
This tie does renew a rivalry from last season though, when both teams were fighting relegation in J1B.
The regular season tie between the two finished 49-14 in favour of the Galway City side. However, Ballina did get the better of ‘Wegians in the Relegation final, coming out 33-22 victors to stay in J1B.
There is a clear evenness between the two teams, with the 2.30pm game on Saturday sure to be a tight affair.
This weekend’s other Bank of Ireland Junior Cup game will see Ballinrobe take on Loughrea. The home side will be hoping to build on last year’s semi-final appearance in having another strong tournament.
Although Loughrea’s league form hasn’t been brilliant this season, they have showed glimpses of what they’re capable of, most notably in their November win over Ballina 2nd XV.
This game takes place at 2.30pm on Sunday in Ballinrobe RFC. A full list of Bank of Ireland Junior Cup fixtures is available here.