Title race coming to the crunch in top flight

Soccer: Mayo League

Photo:Sportsfile

Photo:Sportsfile

Castlebar Celtic could have wrapped up the Super League title in their last outing, but Westport United weren't going to let their old rivals claim the championship with a win over them and they ran out 2-1 winners in Celtic Park.

With two games left to go in the league, the title is still in Celtic's hands - if they win their last two games they are going to be league champions - but Westport United are breathing down their necks with just three points separating the sides in the standings.

Both teams face into tough encounters this Sunday with Celtic on the road against Ballyglass and Westport United taking on Ballina Town in United Park, the north Mayo men are just two points behind Westport in the standings, following a 4-0 win over Straide and Foxford United last weekend.

The maths are simple enough going into this weekend's games, if Celtic win and United fail to take the three points from their game against the current league champions, the title will be heading to Celtic Park with a game to spare. If both sides win, it will all come down to the final day of the season, as it will if both sides draw, or Celtic lose and United win or draw.

Celtic will head to Ballyglass hoping for a far less nail-biting encounter than the sides played out in their previous league meeting, when Celtic won 5-4 - a game that saw Jason Hunt bag all five goals for the Hoops. The earlier league meeting between Ballina Town and Westport United in Belleek finished in a 2-0 win for the home side in that one - with Brendan Lavelle and Jamie Cawley getting the goals - United can't afford a result like that this time around.

At the bottom of the table there is a key game in the race to avoid the drop. Currently three teams are battling it out for eighth place, which will see them hold on to their place in the Super League for next season.

Snugboro United are bottom of the table with six points, in front of them at the minute is both Ballyhaunis Town and Straide and Foxford United on seven points. Two of those bottom three sides will fight it out on Sunday when Straide and Foxford United host Snugboro United in Green Road. A win for either side would be vital and could assure them of their spot in the division for next season - Snugboro picked up their sole Super League win of the season in the earlier meeting of the teams back in May.

The other side looking to avoid the drop, Ballyhaunis Town, will be hosting Claremorris in Station Rise on Sunday - the visitors are safely in mid-table with finishing in either fifth or sixth place in the table the only prize they are playing for - however they won't want to let Ballyhaunis have things easy on Sunday; when the teams met earlier in the season, the Concannon Park side ran out 4-3 winners - Ballyhaunis could really do with reversing that result this time around.

O'Leary appointed Oscar Traynor manager

Danny O'Leary has been appointed as the new Mayo Oscar Traynor manager for the upcoming campaign, which is due to start next month

Danny O'Leary was this week ratified as the Oscar Traynor Manager and Mayo League Chairman Gerry Sweeney wished Danny all the best in his new role. saying: "I’d like to welcome Danny O’Leary into the role of Oscar Traynor manager and would appeal to all clubs to fully cooperate with him and his management team in order to ensure we give ourselves the best chance possible of success in the competition.

"Danny has experience in the Sligo/Leitrim League as well as here in Mayo as manager of Manulla FC and he has recently completed the Elite Youth A Licence coaching course.

"Mayo have never won this tournament and reached the Quarter Final in our last campaign 2017/18 losing out in New Ross to a strong Wexford League side.

"The League will be advising all clubs of a date for trials for the squad and the information on this will be available shortly. I believe it’s crucial to have a League representative side and I’d like to wish Danny and his management team all the best for the campaign and I’m looking forward to seeing some refreshing and exciting football in the months ahead."

Mayo League Fixtures

Elverys Sports Super League

Sunday, September 15 at 2.30pm

Ballyhaunis Town v Claremorris

Ballyglass v Castlebar Celtic

Westport United v Ballina Town

Straide and Foxford United v Snugboro United

Ballyheane v Manulla

Calor Gas Premier Cup

Sunday, September 15 at 11am

Conn Rangers v Manulla B

Bangor Hibs v Westport United B

Claremorris B v Kiltimagh-Knock United

Fahy Rovers v Castlebar Celtic

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