New cup competitions kick-off this weekend

Soccer: Connacht Gold Cup

The Mayo League has mixed things up this year with new structure for the main cup competition, rather than a straight knock-out competition with every team in the league in the one competition, it has divided it into three separate cup competitions with the top 16 sides in last year's league standings in the Connacht Gold Super Cup, the next 16 in the Premier Cup, and the last eight sides in last year's standings competing for the Challenge Cup.

The action gets under way in these competitions this weekend with games across both Saturday evening and Sunday. In the top tier competition featuring 10 Super League sides and six Premier A teams there are just two games between teams in the same league division, with two all Super League clashes taking place when Straide and Foxford United host high flying Manulla, and Ballina Town looking to get back to winning ways when they host Charlestown Athletic. Both games kick-off on Sunday at 2.30pm.

Premier A outfit Swinford will host Super League strugglers Conn Rangers on Saturday evening in a game that could quite easily see the top level side getting dumped out of the competition, but if the Mount Falcon side can find the battling spirit they showed last weekend when losing narrowly to Castlebar Celtic they could get a morale boosting win. Iorras Aontaithe will host Premier A title chasing Westport United B, who come into the game off the back of a narrow defeat to Glenhest Rovers last weekend, which will have dented their title push.

Both Castlebar Celtic and Fahy Rovers are sitting in mid table in their respective divisions at the minute, with the Super League side making the short trip to Moneen on Sunday. Both sides could do with a win, but Celtic's superior class should see them get through this one. Moy Villa and Ballyglass passed each other at the end of last season in the promotion and relegation elevators. While Ballyglass have been ripping things up in the top division since the start of the season, things have just gone from bad to worse for Moy Villa who are rock bottom of the Premier A without a point and staring a second successive relegation in the face right now. Ballyglass will make the trip to Attymass and should come home with a place in next round.

Ballyheane have been making the right moves in the Super League of late and picked up another win last weekend, this Sunday they will head to Concannon Park to face promotion chasers Claremorris in what could be a tricky encounter for the Quigley Park outfit. Claremorris, right in the middle of a three way battle for the Premier title, come into the game on the back of a solid win over Killala.

Westport United will make the short trip to Partry in their round one game against a Partry Athletic side who are sitting in fourth place in the Premier A table just four points off a promotion place, but the visitors should have too much class for their hosts.

Catch up games next week

Next Thursday evening (July 2 ) will see three catch up games take place in the Super League, with Ballyheane and Castlebar Celtic meeting in the postponed round four clash in Quigley Park. Ballina Town and Iorras Aontaithe will square off in Belleek in the round six clash, and Ballyglass and Straide and Foxford United meet in the round seven clash that was postponed last weekend.

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