Creggs RFC 22-18 Ballinrobe RFC
Creggs RFC built on their Connacht J1A success by overcoming a game Ballinrobe side in the semi-finals of this year’s Bank of Ireland Connacht Junior Cup.
They lost influential playmaker Eoghan Coyle to injury early in the first half and in a mirror scenario of last week’s J1A final, also conceded early points, this time to an Evan O’Brien penalty. Just like in that game, Creggs quickly battled back, with Shane Dowd taking advantage of some broken play to score the first try shortly after. Shane Purcell converted to make the score 7-3.
Not long after, Shane Dowd was once again at the centre of Cregg’s attack, playing the vital pass for Tom Fetherston to quickly follow up with another try which left the score at 12-3.
Danny Arnold was once again at the fulcrum of Creggs' line-out maul attack for the next score. He followed up his heroics from last week’s J1A final with yet another try. Purcell converted to leave it 19-3.
Ballinrobe winger Joe Burke did give his side some confidence before half-time, showing excellent pace to score the Mayo team’s first try of the game to leave it at 19-8 at the break.
If Ballinrobe’s first try was the result of a pacy back, the second try came from strong forward play, using their lineout attack well to make it 19-15 after a conversion. With both sides eager not to make a vital mistake, the play became much more tentative as the game went on. However, when the next score did come, it was Ballinrobe who got it, with O’Brien once again adding to his tally from the boot, leaving the sides 19-18.
In the closing stages, both sides had further opportunities from placed kicks, with Mark Purcell eventually hitting the final score to give Creggs a hard-fought 22-18 win.
Tuam RFC 10-16 Westport RFC
Westport travelled to Tuam in the other Bank of Ireland Junior Cup semi-final on Sunday, and it was the visitors who got off the mark first.
Ryan Convey put the Mayo side ahead in the early stages, with Sam Walsh adding a conversion and a penalty soon after to make it 0-10 after ten minutes. The deficit was halved just before the 30th minute mark when Ross Fahy crossed the line to score Tuam’s first points of the game and leave the score at 5-10 at half-time.
Ten minutes after the break, Fahy once again carried well for Tuam and tied up the game at 10-10.
However, Sam Walsh’s boot proved to be the difference between the two sides as he slotted over two late penalties to put Westport into the decider against Creggs.
That game will be played in the Sportsground on March 26th.