Last Monday saw the draw for the opening rounds of the 2007/08 Heineken Connacht Junior Cup take place in Sligo for the first time
The Glasshouse Hotel was the venue for the draw which has thrown up some interesting ties, not least the preliminary round visit of Monivea, the current Connacht Junior League Division 1A leaders, to their Galway rivals Corrib.
Division 1B outfit Ballinasloe will be hoping to dump reigning champions Buccaneers out of the competition, while Ballina’s clash with Corinthians could be one of the games of the preliminary round given the clubs’ current league placings of fifth and third respectively.
Buccaneers won last season’s final by beating Monivea 11-6 in a thrilling clash at the Sportsground.
Loughrea, who are unbeaten in Division 1B this season, have received a bye into the first round proper where they will face Galwegians. Draw hosts Sligo, who have struggled to hit form in the league, will travel to Tuam for their opening cup game.
The Connacht Junior Cup’s six preliminary round matches will take place on January 13, with the eight first round games, which will see the likes of Ballinrobe, OLBC, Portumna and Connemara enter the competition, are down for decision on January 26.
Attending the draw on Monday were Connacht Branch President Michael Cunningham from Westport, the CEO of Connacht Rugby, Gerry Kelly, Pat Heneghan of Heineken and members of the Connacht Branch and members of the Connacht senior squad.
2007/08 HEINEKEN CONNACHT JUNIOR CUP DRAW
Preliminary Round (January 13, 2008) –
A: Buccaneers v Ballinasloe
B: Corrib v Monivea
C: Ballina v Corinthians
D: Westport v NUI Galway
E: Ballyhaunis v Carrick on Shannon
F: Gort v Dunmore
First Round (January 26, 2008) –
G: Creggs v Castlebar
H: Tuam v Sligo
I: Ballinrobe v E
J: OLBC v A
K: Galwegians v Loughrea
L: Portumna v C
M: F v B
N: D v Connemara