Competitive club rugby is just six weeks away!
Connacht Rugby today confirmed the fixtures for the upcoming Connacht Senior League and Cawley Cup with both competitions set to get underway on the weekend of the 14th/15th of August. Fixtures for the Curley Cup, the J2 Cups and the U21 Women’s Rugby Initiative will follow in the next couple of weeks. This comes after the full season plan for men’s Senior & Junior rugby was released last week.
There are some exciting changes in the Connacht Senior League and the corresponding Connacht Senior Cup. The five Senor clubs will compete in both competitions. The Senior League will be played as a precursor to the AIL which is in line to start on October 2nd. Teams will play each other once only in the Senior League with each team playing two home games and two away games. The team who top the table at the end of the 5 rounds of matches will be crowned the Senior League champions. However, in a change from the norm the Senior League winners will now also qualify for the IRFU Bateman Cup semi-finals, but that’s not all. The Senior League winners will also qualify directly for the Connacht Senior Cup Final, a move that is sure to add extra excitement to the league.
The remaining four teams will compete in de facto quarter-finals and semi-finals post-Christmas for the remaining place in the Senior Cup Final. The pairings for the Senior Cup quarter-finals will be determined by finishing positions in the Senior League. i.e. 2nd vs 5th & 3rd vs 4th. The teams who finish 2nd and 3rd in the Senior League will have home advantage in these cup quarter-finals. The overall rationale for structuring the Senior League & Senior Cup in this way is to spread games equally across the season. This ensures senior teams don’t play more than 4 weekends in a row without a break.
Fixtures for the Cawley Cup have also been confirmed. The Cawley Cup will again follow a pool based format which was introduced ahead of the curtailed 2020/21 season. The eight J1A teams will be joined by Dunmore RFC and NUIG RFC from J1B. The 10 teams will be split into two pools. Teams will play each other once only in their pool. The top two teams in each pool will qualify for the Cawley Cup semi-finals. The 3rd & 4th placed teams in each pool will qualify for the Cawley Plate semi-finals.
The Curley Cup and J2 Cups will also follow the pool based system again in the 2021/22 season. The fixtures for both competitions will be released by mid-July once all entries are confirmed. The Cawley Cup will get underway on the weekend of the 14th/15th of August while the Curley Cup and J2 Cups will kick off a week later. The Junior Leagues are then set to return from early October with fixture details to be announced in due course.
Connacht Senior League Fixtures
Round 1 14.08.2021
Sligo RFC v Buccaneers RFC
Ballina RFC v Galway Corinthians RFC
Round 2 21.08.2021
Buccaneers RFC v Ballina RFC
Galwegians RFC v Sligo RFC
Reserve Weekend 28.08.2021
Round 3 04.09.2021
Galway Corinthians RFC v Galwegians RFC
Sligo RFC v Ballina RFC
Round 4 11.09.2021
Ballina RFC v Galwegians RFC
Buccaneers RFC v Galway Corinthians RFC
Round 5 18.09.2021
Galway Corinthians RFC v Sligo RFC
Galwegians RFC v Buccaneers RFC
Cawley Cup Fixtures
Pool 1
Round 1 15.08.2021
Creggs RFC v Castlebar RFC
Buccaneers RFC 2nd XV v Monivea RFC
Reserve Weekend 22.08.2021
Round 2 29.08.2021
Monivea RFC v Creggs RFC
Castlebar RFC v NUIG RFC
Round 3 05.09.2021
NUIG RFC v Buccaneers RFC 2nd XV
Monivea RFC v Castlebar RFC
Reserve Weekend 12.09.2021
Round 4 19.09.2021
NUIG RFC v Monivea RFC
Buccaneers RFC 2nd XV v Creggs RFC
Round 5 26.09.2021
Castlebar RFC v Buccaneers RFC 2nd XV
Pool 2
Round 1 Score Score 15.08.2021
Tuam RFC v Connemara RFC
Sligo RFC 2nd XV v Westport RFC
Reserve Weekend 22.08.2021
Round 2 Score Score 29.08.2021
Westport RFC v Tuam RFC
Connemara RFC v Dunmore RFC
Round 3 Score Score 05.09.2021
Dunmore RFC v Sligo RFC 2nd XV
Westport RFC v Connemara RFC
Reserve Weekend 12.09.2021
Round 4 Score Score 19.09.2021
Dunmore RFC v Westport RFC
Sligo RFC 2nd XV v Tuam RFC
Round 5 Score Score 26.09.2021
Connemara RFC v Sligo RFC 2nd XV
Tuam RFC v Dunmore RFC
Semi-finals W/E of 6th/7th Nov. 2021
Final W/E of 11th/12th Dec. 2021

Connacht Rugby head coach Andy Friend was on hand to conduct the draw for the 2019/20 Cawley and Curley Cups earlier today at The Sportsground.
The draw saw 18 teams in all learn their fate across the two competitions, with the 1st rounds taking place on Sunday 1st September.
10 of those teams are competing in the Curley Cup, which features two preliminary round ties before the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final later in the season. Those preliminary round games will feature Loughrea taking on Ballinrobe and OLBC face Tuam 2nd XVs.
The Cawley Cup is a straight knockout affair with 8 of the best junior clubs in Connacht taking part. Reigning champions Creggs begin the defence of their title with a home tie against Tuam, with the winners then travelling to either Dunmore or Westport. The other side of the draw features Junior League and Cup winners Connemara making the trip to Castlebar, with either Monivea or NUIG awaiting in the semi-finals.

CAWLEY CUP 2019/20

Dunmore v Westport
Monivea v NUIG RFC
Castlebar v Connemara
Creggs v Tuam

Castlebar/Connemara v Monivea/NUIG RFC
Dunmore/Westport v Creggs/Tuam
CURLEY CUP 2019/20

Preliminary Round
Loughrea v Ballinrobe
OLBC v Tuam 2nd XVs

Creggs v Carrick-on-Shannon
Corrib v OLBC/Tuam 2nd XVs
Ballyhaunis v Loughrea/Ballinrobe
Corinthians 3rd XVs v Ballinasloe

Creggs/Carrick-on-Shannon v Corinthians/Ballinasloe
Corrib or OLBC/Tuam v Ballyhaunis or Loughrea/Ballinrobe

Creggs RFC produced a professional and clinical display to defeat Castlebar RFC 19-0 and claim the Cawley Cup for the first time in their history on Sunday.
At a wet and windy Crowley Park, the village ensured they made every opportunity count in the 1st half by running in two tries in their only two visits to the Castlebar 22 to take a 12-0 lead into the break.
A third try then stretched their lead early after the restart, and from then on it was a case of their defence holding firm as the Mayo side struggled to break them down.

The win tops off a brilliant 2018 for Creggs who were also crowned Curley Cup champions earlier in the season. They’re also very well placed in the J1A league, sitting six points behind leaders Connemara with a game in hand.
The two sides will meet again on 5th January in J1A.


With the majority of Junior League games finished for the Christmas period, the focus in Connacht this weekend is on the Cups where the Cawley Cup final and Curley Cup semi-finals are down for decision.
The Cawley Cup decider takes place on Sunday at Crowley Park in Galway (k/o 2pm) where Creggs take on Castlebar for the right to take home this year’s trophy. Creggs saw off Connemara and Monivea en route to this year’s final while Castlebar overcame Ballinasloe and Westport.
In the Curley Cup the first of this year’s semi-finals is at 2pm on Saturday when Dunmore play host to Ballyhaunis, then at the same time on Sunday it’s the meeting of Loughrea and Ballinrobe. The final will take place later in the season.
Meanwhile the five senior Connacht clubs will look to finish 2018 on a high this weekend when they play their final games in the All-Ireland League before the annual Christmas break.
Ballina will look to solidify their place at the top of Division 2C of the AIL when they travel to City of Derry for their 9th game of this year’s campaign. The Mayo side have won 7 of their 8 games so far this season, a brilliant return after making their long-awaited return to the AIL last summer. Midleton and Bruff remain hot on their heels however, sitting 3 points and 5 points behind them respectively.
In Division 2B Sligo aim to make it three wins in a row after overcoming Corinthians in the Connacht derby last time out. They play host to Belfast Harlequins in Strand Hill while Corinthians make the trip to Wanderers in Dublin. Both sides have identical record in 2B so far, picking up three wins and 16 points.
Moving up to Division 2A where Galwegians’ latest search for an elusive victory sees them host Nenagh Ormond at Crowley Park. Nenagh are directly above ‘Wegians at the foot of the table but 11 points still separates the sides.
Lastly in 1B Buccaneers play Ballymena in a game which could have big ramifications on who avoids automatic relegation to 2A. Both sides are level on 14 points at the bottom of the table, but a better points differential for Buccs has them slightly ahead.

The draw has been made for the 2018/19 Cawley Cup and Curley Cup with a number of hugely exciting meetings on the agenda.

In the Cawley Cup the pick of the quarter-finals sees Junior 1A runners-up Connemara take on Junior 1B winners Creggs. Elsewhere Westport take on Tuam, Monivea host NUIG and Castlebar meet Ballinasloe. A new winner will be crowned as last year’s winners Ballina do not enter the cup due to their promotion.

Those ties will be played on Saturday 1st September.

Moving to the Curley Park where Creggs begin the defence of their title with a meeting against either OLBC or Loughrea who face off in a preliminary round tie. The other preliminary round fixture will see Oughterard take on Ballyhaunis, with the winners making the trip to Portumna.

The other two quarter-finals sees the meeting of local rivals Ballinrobe and Corrib, while Dunmore face Corinthians.

The two preliminary round ties are also scheduled for Saturday 1st September with the quarter-finals down for decision a week later.

The full list of fixtures, including potential semi-final pairings, can be read below.


Quarter-Finals (1/9/18)
Westport RFC v Tuam RFC
Monivea RFC v NUIG RFC
Connemara RFC v Creggs RFC
Castlebar RFC v Ballinasloe RFC

Semi-Finals (8/9/18)
Connemara / Creggs v Monivea / NUIG
Westport / Tuam v Castlebar / Ballinasloe

Final (w/e of 15th/16th December)


Preliminary Round (1/9/18)
OLBC RFC v Loughrea RFC
Oughterard RFC v Ballyhaunis RFC

Quarter-Finals (8/9/18)
Creggs RFC (2nd XV) v OLBC / Loughrea
Portumna RFC v Oughterard / Ballyhaunis
Ballinrobe RFC v Corrib RFC
Dunmore RFC v Corinthians RFC (3rd XV)

Semi-Finals (15/12/18)
Dunmore / Corinthians v Portumna / Oughterard / Ballyhaunis
Creggs / OLBC / Loughrea v Ballinrobe / Corrib

Final (TBC)


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