Celtic hit United for eleven but league clash will be different says McNicholas

Soccer: Mayo League

Castlebar Celtic reached the quarter final of the Connacht Gold Super Cup with a comprehensive 11-1 win over Straide & Foxford United in Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon last.

It was a comprehensive display from the Hoops with Jason Hunt hitting four goals, Ger O’Boyle and Colm Nevin grabbing a hat-trick each, and former manager Steven Gavin grabbing the other goal from the penalty spot.

Manager Michael McNicholas told the Mayo Advertiser that United just met his side on a good day; “I think Straide & Foxford just got us on a good day where everything clicked for us. I won’t say that result, but certainly that performance, has been in us all season and to carry it for 90 minutes, we’re delighted with that.”

McNicholas continued: “One of the things we have challenged ourselves on in the dressing room is can we transfer what we do at training to a match day and I think within reason we have been doing that, although not all the time. Today was one of those days where everything just clicked and it was excellent, and the big difference is that we were clinical, we got an early lead and after that the shackles were off. Gerry Hunt came in and played the number 6 role for us superbly today, and with Ger O’Boyle playing in front of Colm Nevin it worked a treat and it was something different. It doesn’t happen every week but when it does it’s nice.”

The two sides meet again in the Super League on Sunday morning in Green Road, Foxford, and the Celtic manager is expecting a completely different game; “We’re into the next round of the cup, but we know we are going to meet a different team next week. I’m sure S&F will feel they have a point to prove. They are flying in the league sitting in third place and we are only a point ahead of them. It’s a massive game and I don’t think we’ll get anything easy down there at the weekend.”

In the weekend’s other Connacht Gold Cup results, Ballyglass beat Achill 2-0, Claremorris were 4-1 winners over Iorras Aontaithe, Ballina Town defeated Bangor Hibs 5-2, Westport United B were 3-2 winners after extra time against Ballyheane, Westport United won 1-0 against Manulla, and Glenhest Rovers were 2-0 winners away to Conn Rangers.

There is a full round of Elverys Super League fixtures taking place across the county this weekend with the rematch of Castlebar Celtic and Straide & Foxford United taking centre stage at the top of the table. United will be looking to atone for last Sunday’s Cup defeat and should have Ashley Atkinson and Stephen Moyles back in harness.

Ballyheane will be looking to build on their recent wins over Manulla and Westport United when they host the Super League leaders Ballina Town on Sunday morning. Mick Duffy’s side remain unbeaten after six games, but despite a threadbare squad at Joe Redmond’s disposal Ballyheane have confounded expectations on more than one occasion this season.

Claremorris will look to pull away from the relegation zone when they travel to Iorras Aontaithe for another repeat of last weekend’s cup fixtures. The south Mayo men were 4-1 winners last Sunday and with Derek Glynn back in harness they will expect to follow that up with another win.

In yet another repeat of last weekend’s round of cup games Westport United host a Manulla side who have disappointed so far this season. Last year’s runners-up are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference but will be coming up against a Westport side who have lost their last two league fixtures. United won the cup game 1-0 in Westport last Sunday and with Thierry Baba on board from Sligo Rovers in defence they will be hoping to repeat that.

In Sunday’s last game Kiltimagh/Knock United face Ballyglass in a battle at the bottom of the table. United have surprised many this season while Ballyglass have impressed but have found themselves unable to hold on to leads. With JP O’Gorman top scoring in the league so far Tom Connolly’s side will need more from across the board if they are to pick up a win on Sunday.

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