After 13 games in the Welcome Inn Hotel Premier A Division, they cannot be separated on points, but come Sunday either Conn Rangers or Swinford FC will be heading home with a piece of silverware for the winter when they meet in the Westaro Cup final. Both sides are competing in one of the tightest league races seen in recent years as they battle for the title promotion to the Elverys Sports Super League with Westport United B (who even if they win the league cannot get promoted ) and Ballyglass. The current league table has Westport out in front with 29 points, the three other sides locked together on 28 points with five games to go in the league.
But on Sunday, it is just about one game of football between Conn Rangers and Swinford on the lush pastures of Milebush Park. Both sides locked horns as recently as three weeks ago in the league, with Conn Rangers running out 2-0 winners, with the goals coming from a Swinford own-goal and Gerry Gaughan who finished off a move involving Shane Burke and Bryan Mannion. When the teams met in round two of the league back in April, it was the Swinford men who ran out 2-0 winners in James McEvaddy Park.
Last weekend Swinford warmed up for the final with a 3-0 win over Snugboro United, with Ian Price, Sean Kavanagh, and Shane Holleran grabbing the goals, while Conn Rangers had a 5-3 win away to Castlebar Celtic B with Shane Bourke, Owen McNamara, Matthew Leneghan, and Darren Coleman among the goalscorers for the Mount Falcon side.
Both managers PJ Duffy (Conn Rangers ) and Val Kenny (Swinford ) will have been busy working on their tactics and preparations ahead of the game on the wide open spaces of Milebush Park. Conn Rangers go into the game as the top scoring side in the league finding the back of the net 38 times this season, while Swinford have the meanest defence in the league only conceding 10 goals in their 13 league games, half the number that the Rangers defence have let in.
Swinford booked their place in the final thanks to a 3-1 win over Claremorris in the quarter-final before they saw off Castlebar Celtic 3-1 in the semi-final thanks to goals from Richie Dalton, Tom Kavanagh, and Alan Carter, while Conn Rangers saw off Ballyglass 6-2 with Trevor Ward bagging three goals, Duane McDonnell a brace, and Darren Coleman also finding the net. In their semi-final Darren Coleman and Duane McDonnell were the goalscorers when the saw off Partry Athletic 2-1 to book their spot in Sunday’s final.