Not unlike their Heineken Cup all-star heroes, Castlebar and An Ghaeltacht/Corinthians Under15s belted out a Battle Royale on Saturday.IMG_6370_640x437

Drawn 10-all on Corinthians’ number-two pitch, the hosts opted for the wind in the first spell and made good use of it in the first quarter but managed only a single score 33minutes in. Castlebar struggled to compete at the breakdown but thrust wave after wave of plucky defenders at blue, black and white socks cutting down all but one among dozens of wouldbe tryscorers.

Castlebar, backed by the breeze in the second half, relied on aerial superiority in the lineout claiming not only 100percent of its own throws but near enough 90 percent of the opposition’s too.

IMG_6408_640x374The composite An Ghaeltacht/Corinthians conceded two tries in the second to go three points down with four minutes on the clock before winning a penalty 18m out from the upright. Colm de Buitleir added the extras and drew the scores even.

Primed for a replay with mere minutes on the clock, Castlebar surged into local territory and were awarded a penalty at the death. Castlebar opted for the shot.

Ambitious at the high veldt, a 47m kick at sea-level by a 15year-old surprised a few but with time up on the clock it was as tactically-sound a decision as any.

IMG_6395_640x383Surprise turned to astonishment when the Gilbert sailed over the line of the Crossbar with about two metres to spare. Sadly, for the visitors, it was a metre-and-a-half wide and the score remained 10-all, a fitting finish to a well-matched clash of the titans and a fine prelude to a pressure-cooker semi-final decider in Mayo this weekend.


Mini rugby in focus: Buccaneers RFC