Youths Cup Business End Beckons

The Under13 Cup first round was nearly a clean sweep for the home sides, although on the wrong side of the ledger.

Six of seven sides bucked the odds away from home, Ballinasloe the only host to advance. NUIG seek to be the second this weekend home to Creggs, Creggs sneaking through their preliminary round by a point over Galwegians White. NUIG emerged victorious after a close-fought five-pointer over Monivea 20-15.

While few will raise eyebrows at Sligo’s, Westport’s, Ballina’s and Corinthians’ entry into the quarterfinals, Claremorris is the only incumbent quarterfinalist to have survived both the preliminary AND first round. They will be joined by a second, on the outcome of NUIG and Creggs’ clash this weekend. The semi-finals kick off March 31.

For Sligo to get there they have to cut either NUIG or Creggs’ quarterfinal party off at the knees, Castlebar White and Westport vie for the away berth.

At the other end of the draw Ballina hosts Corinthians, and bolters Claremorris have to survive the Ballinasloe clash if they’ve any chance to prolong their campaign beyond the 19th.

In the Under15 grade Creggs and Sligo have booked themselves home spots in each of the semi-finals.

Creggs’ opposition depends on the outcome of the Corinthians/An Ghaeltacht and Galwegians game next weekend (March 18); Sligo will meet the winner of Monivea and Buccaneers A.

Creggs opened their cup campaign 18-10 over Connemara on February 19 but found the going a little easier on March 4 beating the travelling Ballina 22-5. Sligo opened their own quest for glory with a 60-point hiding, Dunmore bearing that brunt, and a comfortable but trying 15-3 win in Ballinasloe.

The Under17 Cup semi-finalists are all but confirmed, a local derby remains Corinthians to host Galwegians (to meet Sligo at the bottom of the draw). The other semi-final pits Westport against Ballinasloe.

If the league is anything to go by Westport will wind up hosting Galwegians, but Ballinasloe showed serious mettle to beat Buccaneers by four, 12-8. And Sligo, without the luxury of a bye (unlike three of their first round colleagues) have amassed 59 points in two games and surrendered only 12.

With an affinity for scoring points and a refusal to let many in, Sligo poses a formidable hurdle. And there’s nothing like a local derby, like the Corinthians/Galwegians quarterfinal for instance, to see “giantkilling” in action.

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