Junior Cup Round 16 | Castlebar V Tuam

  • Jan 14,2020


Castlebar welcomed Tuam to Cloondeash on Sunday with the prize being a place in the quarter final of the Connacht Junior Cup. The game was a tightly fought battle between the two teams but after an entertaining contest, Castlebar emerged on top on a score line of 17-14 to earn a place against Corrib next Sunday. The opening score of the game came after 13 minutes with Tuam kicking the ball downfield only for it to be taken in the air skilfully by Barry Walsh who ran at the defensive line, offloading the ball to Sam Hastings who made great ground through the Tuam defensive line and passed to the supporting runner - Aaron Walsh  to score an excellent opening try. Barry Walsh added the conversion bonus points giving the home side a 7 -nil lead.  A few minutes later Castlebar had the opportunity to add another 3 points with a penalty where the Tuam second-rower David Cunningham was shown a yellow card but the home side selected to scrum the ball to no avail with the scrum being overturned,  However, on the 20 minute mark, Castlebar made amends with Barry Walsh kicking an excellent long range penalty to give his side a 10-nil advantage. As Tuam tried to gain a foothold in the game, they turned up the pressure and spent much of the remaining time of the first half inside the Castlebar 22. However against the momentum of play, Castlebar regained possession and through a penalty, Barry Walsh kicked to bring play just outside the visitors 22. With a lineout being overthrown by Castlebar, Aaron Moran was able to correct the error  and gather the ball. The Castlebar pack advanced and fought hard to recycle the ball through a number of phases  which eventually led to the very much in-form Simon "The Fridge" Staunton getting over the line to add the second try that was again converted by Barry Walsh to give Castlebar a commanding 17-nil lead.

The second half began with Castlebar making two changes - namely Joe Leddy replacing  Daire Mulgrew in the front row and Marty Moran replacing  Richard Newcombe at flanker. With a 17 - nil margin to make up, Tuam raised their game and overall intensity as they faced imminent elimination from the Junior Cup competition. The visitors controlled the early stages of play and brought the attack inside the Castlebar 22 but were denied a try due to a knock - on. However after sustained attacks and 15 minutes of play their winger Owen Halian eventually crossed the line to score a try which was converted by Eoghan Kelly to bring them back into the game at 17-7 and re-ignite the game as a competitive contest.

As the game competitiveness intensified, Tuam suffered a blow with the referee giving them a yellow card for a repeat offence of a no arms tackle but despite being down to 14 men, they went on the attack and found themselves inside the Castlebar 22 for much of the remaining part of the game. However, the Castlebar young -guns found a new strength to hold out the prolonged attack from Tuam. Much of the latter part of the game was a demonstration of the Castlebar defence as the ball was recycled time after time. With 10 minutes left to play, Tuam eventually crossed the line only to have their hard work denied by the referee for a knock-on. With the clock ticking down Tuam dug deep to keep themselves in the competition and were rewarded with a consolation try from their scrum half, Alan Tierney just before the final whistle to bring the final score to 17-14.

After a tough encounter, Castlebar move on under the guidance of Man of The Match and Captain Mark Staunton to face Corrib at home next Sunday at 2pm in another massive home fixture where local support would be greatly appreciated.


 Liam Molloy, Sean Tonra, Daire Mulgrew, Matthew Staunton, Simon Staunton, Richard Newcombe, Davey Staunton, Aaron Moran, Damien Togher, Barry Walsh, Gareth Dunne, Mark Staunton, Sam Hastings, Andrew Feeney, Daniel Plaster.

Subs ; Joe Leddy, Marty Moran, Joe Howley, James Staunton, Conor King.


 Gearoid Connolly, David Noone, Stephen Leo, David Cunningham, John Fahy, Alan Finnerty, Oisin Morrin, Conor Hurst, Alan Tierney, Eoin Cosgrove, Owen Halian, Ian Murphy, Brian Ruane, Eoghan Kelly, Jamie Murphy Subs : Andrew Atonio, Niall Carney, Pa Brady, TJ Kelly, Rory Cosgrove.

Match Report by Gerry Melley