Little between sides after early couple of rounds

Soccer: Mayo League Super League

Fresh from their memorable 3-1 win on the road over Mervue United in the quarter-finals of the Connacht Cup, it’s back to local matters for Castlebar Celtic this weekend.

Stevie Gavin’s young side saw off their opponents thanks to an early goal from James Basquille, followed by strikes from Luke Kelly and Mark Howley. But it was goalkeeper Stefan Hester who was the hero of the day, pulling off an early penalty save, along with a number of other important interventions on the day. They will take on Ballinasloe Town at home in the semi-final on Sunday April 17.

But before that, they will be back in action on the home front this weekend, when they face Claremorris in Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon. Celtic were held to a 2-2 draw in their opening Super League game a fortnight ago, but their opponents have yet to pick up a point - having lost their first two games in the league.

They were on the wrong side of a seven-goal encounter against Glenest Rovers, who came from two goals behind to take all three points in Concannon Park. Lewis Lally and new signing, Joe Slevin, gave Claremorris the perfect start with two goals inside the opening twelve minutes, but within ten minutes, the sides were level, as Eoin McNulty got their first from a free kick and then Levi Barrett levelled matters before Pat Mulchrone put the ‘Hest’ in front before the break.

Keith Mulchrone then added a fourth with his first goal for the club midway through the second half, before Claremorris made it an exciting final ten minutes as Ryan McLoughlin got their third of the day as he got onto the end of a cross from Joe Slevin, but Glenhest held out to take the three points.

The Rovers will be in action at home this weekend when Kiltimagh-Knock United come calling. The newly promoted side haven’t picked up a win from their two games so far this season, but they haven’t lost either - drawing both. Last weekend they held the defending champions Ballyheane to a 1-1 draw despite going down to ten men.

Kiltimagh-Knock United went into the lead early doors when James McGrath got his second goal of the season, but before the half-time whistle Ballyheane were level, thanks to a spot kick from Jack Rochford. The game looked to have swung in the champions' favour on the hour mark when Eric Eaton was shown a second yellow card - but the United rearguard held firm to see out the game and claim a valuable point.

Ballyheane will welcome Manulla to Quigley Park on Sunday morning, with the Carramore outfit heading into the game off the back of a good 3-0 win at home against Ballyhaunis Town. Veteran Manulla legend Roger Clarke rolled back the years bagging two goals for his side, with their third coming from Aiden Dunleavy to pick up their first win of the new season.

Ballyhaunis Town will be at home to Straide and Foxford United this weekend, United have drawn their opening two league games, while their hosts from Station Rise have been well beaten in both of their games. After drawing 2-2 with Castlebar Celtic on the opening day, they were involved in another high-scoring encounter last weekend when they shared the spoils with Ballina Town at the end of a six-goal thriller.

The Green Road men went into the league early on through a Kiernan Smyth goal and with just ten minutes gone on the clock, they were leading 2-0 thanks to Michael McGarry’s effort. Ballina Town pulled one back through Benny Lavelle just before the break and Jamie Cawley levelled it up early in the second half.

The Belleek Park side then went into the lead after Oleg Vysochan got his first goal for the club - but S&F kept battling and Johnny Cocozza set up McGarry for his second of the day and the sixth of the contest to share the points.

Ballina Town will welcome a Westport United side who had last weekend off to north Mayo on Sunday afternoon in what should be an interesting early season clash of two sides with serious designs on taking the title off Ballyheane’s hands.

Super League Fixtures: Sunday, March 27; Ballyheane v Manulla, Glenhest Rovers v Kiltimagh-Knock United (All at 11am ), Castelabr Celtic v Claremorris, Ballina Town v Westport United, Ballyhaunis Town v Straide and Foxford United (All at 2.30pm ).


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