Loughrea RFC hosted the latest end of season blitz at their headquarters last Sunday. 11 teams from 6 clubs met for an afternoon of U16, 7-aside action where the emphasis was on sportsmanship and enjoyment rather than challenging for honours.

 

One of the organisers, Connacht Rugby’s Galway Development Officer Craig Hansberry, said:

“It’s a fantastic day out for these young athletes, these participation blitzes are a great way for players to get one last run out before the end of the season. Most of these players aren’t involved in playoffs, or have already been knocked out of cups so to be still playing rugby at the end of April is a bonus.”

 

Teams from Westport RFC, Claremorris Colts RFC, Galwegians RFC, Sligo RFC, Ballinasloe RFC and hosts Loughrea RFC played 10-minute matches over two pitches in glorious sunshine at the Ballygasty venue and fine weather, coupled with the lack of pressure of silverware meant for some scintillating action.

 

Hansberry added:

“From a developmental perspective is brilliant to see these players trying new things, chip kicks, off-loads, skip passes, these are the slightly riskier plays that may not be encouraged during the competitive season, so to see these players enjoying themselves, taking chances, developing new skills, that’s what these blitzes are all about.”

 

Games started with a round of rock-paper-scissors to determine who kicked off, an event that drew some of the biggest cheers of the day, and that the tone for an afternoon of silky skills, good humour and plenty of comradery as the Youths rugby season draws to a close.

 

The 2020 Connacht Junior Cup kicked off over the weekend with four preliminary round ties down for decision across the province.
 
The all-Senior affair between Corinthians and Ballina ended in victory for Corinthians, with the home side winning out in a high-scoring affair 39-22. Elsewhere there was a win for Ballyhaunis at home to Galwegians 13-3, Corrib overcame Dunmore 22-13, while the Loughrea vs NUIG fixture was conceded by NUIG.
 
Those results mean the eight fixtures in the Round of 16 are now set in stone, with all the games taking place this Sunday 12th January.
 
2020 CONNACHT JUNIOR CUP

Preliminary Round (Sunday 5th January)
Ballyhaunis 13-3 Galwegians
Corinthians 39-22 Ballina
Corrib 22-13 Dunmore
Loughrea w/o-con NUIG

Round of 16 (Sunday 12th January)
Ballinrobe v Carrick-on-Shannon
Buccaneers v Sligo
Castlebar v Tuam
Corinthians v Ballyhaunis
Loughrea v Connemara
Monivea v Ballinasloe
OLBC v Corrib
Westport v Creggs

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