Title race closes up after big win for Westport last weekend

Soccer: Mayo League Super League Preview

The Manulla mascots receiving their medals at half time in last weekends, Westaro Cup final. Photo: Michael Donnelly

The Manulla mascots receiving their medals at half time in last weekends, Westaro Cup final. Photo: Michael Donnelly

Ballyglass v Ballina Town

Saturday August 13 at 6.30pm

In Keaveney Park

The league leaders title hopes suffered a big setback last weekend when Westport United saw them off 2-1 in The Sports Park, that defeat has seen Ballina Town's lead at the top of the table close in from four points to one with just six games to go. There is no room for error for the north Mayo men as the league enters its final third of the season.

Ballyglass come into the game on the back of a cup final loss last weekend after they were beaten 1-0 by Manulla in the Westaro Cup final thanks to an Anthony Elding strike in Milebush Park. The Keaveney Park outfit sit in third place in the table eight points behind Ballina at present. When the sides met earlier this year in the league Ballina Town had a 2-0 win thanks to a brace from Dylan McKee.

Verdict: Ballina Town

Castlebar Celtic v Conn Rangers

Saturday August 13 at 6.30pm

In Celtic Park

Both sides had a weekend off last time around, but the round before that saw both sides go down to defeats. Celtic come into the game on the back of a 3-1 turnaround against Westport United in their last outing, while Conn Rangers went down 1-0 to Glenhest Rovers that has left them rooted to the bottom of the table, but they are still just three points away from safety.

If Conn are going to stage another late season surge they will want to start it soon and on Saturday they will be looking to get some momentum behind them. Last time these sides met in the league, Celtic ran out 3-0 winners with Connor Griffin bagging a hat-trick and Anthony Johnson and Colm Nevin chipping in with the others.

Verdict: Celtic

Iorras Aontiathe v Ballyheane

Saturday, August 13 at 6.30pm

In Carne Nash

The gap between these sides is just one point in the standings, with Ballyheane trailing the north Mayo men at present and occupying the last relegation place in the table. Iorras were in action last weekend and they fell to their eighth league defeat of the season when they were well beaten by Claremorris in Concannon Park. The south Mayo men put seven past them in that outing and that is 43 goals conceded in the league by Iorras after 11 games.

When the sides last met in the league earlier this season the game ended up in a 2-1 win for Iorras thanks to goals from Jason O'Donnell and Ryan Ruddy, with Arek Tobiaz hitting the net for Ballyheane. Finding the back of the net has been Ballyheane's problem all season so far scoring just 15 times in their 11 games.

Verdict: Draw

Glenhest Rovers v Manulla

Sunday August 14 at 2.30pm

In Glenhest

The visitors will be hoping they do not suffer a cup final hangover this weekend, spirits will be high in the Manulla camp after last weekend's win in the Westaro Cup final thanks to an Anthony Elding goal against Ballyglass. The Carramore outfit sit in fourth place in the table with six wins from their 11 games and are currently five points ahead of their hosts on Sunday.

Last time the sides met in the league Manulla had a 2-0 win on the road with Anthony Elding and Dylan Roche both finding the back of the net. Glenhest have had a fine return to the top division this summer and their return of 14 points from their 11 games thanks to four wins has set them up for what looks like a decent mid-table finish.

Verdict: Manulla

Westport United v Claremorris

Sunday August 14 at 2.30pm

In The Sports Park

The home side gave the title race a big injection in the arm last weekend when they saw off Ballina 2-1 in The Sports Park and they will be looking to make sure that they keep up this winning run on Sunday when they host the seventh place outfit in the league. James O'Donnell put Westport United ahead early on last weekend, but it was an injury time own goal that sealed the points in the top of the table clash.

Their opponents will come into the game on the back of a big win after they saw off Iorras Aontaithe 7-2 last weekend, they hit the back of the net six times in the second half after the sides went in level 1-1 at the break before Claremorris hit the net half a dozen times in the final 45 minutes. When the sides met earlier in the season United had a 7-0 win over Claremorris, a game in which Mark McNally scored five times.

Verdict: Westport United.

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