Ballina and Celtic battle it out for last four spots

Soccer: Connacht Cup

Super Hoop: Castlebar Celtic's Ger O'Boyle will be looking to help his side to a Connacht Cup win over Ballina Town this weekend. Photo: Castlebar Celtic

Super Hoop: Castlebar Celtic's Ger O'Boyle will be looking to help his side to a Connacht Cup win over Ballina Town this weekend. Photo: Castlebar Celtic

Just a week after the start of the domestic season, three of the top sides in the Mayo League Super League will see their attentions switch to other matters this weekend, as they battle it out for semi-final spots in the Connacht Cup.

There will be at least one Mayo League side in the final four, with the meeting of two of the favourites for the Super League title - Ballina Town and Castlebar Celtic - meeting in Belleek on Sunday at 2pm - while Manulla will be aiming to make sure there are two Mayo sides in the next round, when they travel to Roscommon to take on Boyle Celtic at the same time.

Ballina Town opened their league season last weekend, with a hard-fought win on the road against Ballyglass - having to come back from going one down early on, when JP O'Gorman netted for Tom Connolly's side. The defending league champions didn't let that early concession faze them and they pulled themselves level through a penalty from new signing Johnny Cocozza. Dylan McKee put Town in front before the break and they wrapped up the win thanks to a Jamie Cawley goal in the second half.

Celtic also had a tricky start to their league season last Sunday, travelling to Concannon Park, against a tricky Claremorris side, and they left it late to pick up the points, with Liam Flatley grabbing the three points with an injury time winner for Michael McNicholas' men. Sunday's game should be a tight affair, with Ballina Town looking to make home advantage count against their southern neighbours.

Manualla will face a tough test when they travel to Boyle Celtic on Sunday - the Carramore men opened their league season last weekend with a 3-1 on the road against Straide and Foxford United - with Shea Benson netting a first half goal, before strikes from Sean Morrisey and former League of Ireland man, Jesse Devers, saw them hit home.

Their opponents on Sunday currently sit in second place in the top division of the Roscommon and District League, four points behind league leaders St Peter's FC. They booked their spot in this stage of the competition, thanks to a 4-2 win over West Coast United from Letterfrack, three weeks ago, coming back from going 2-0 down early on. They cut the gap back to a single goal, thanks to a Danny Browne strike ten minutes into the second half, and the same man had the game level five minutes later. Boyle put themselves into the lead through a goal, from sub Darren Foley, and wrapped up their win with an injury time goal from Daniel Hughes.

League One outfit, Killala, are also in provincial action this weekend when they take on Real Tubber at home in the quarter final of the Connacht Shield. The north Mayo men face a tough test against a side who ply their trade in the top flight of the Sligo-Leitrim District Soccer League and are three quarters of their way through their league season, while Killala still have to get their domestic season under way.


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