Eight games out and at the top of the table and with one trophy already in the bag, Ballina Town have it all to play for over the next few months in the Elverys Sports Super League. Last weekend they followed up their Westaro Cup win over Ballyheane with a 2-0 win over Kilmore to keep themselves level on points with Westport United, but ahead of them on goal difference, and maintain the poll position.
It’s been a case of so far so good for the north Mayo men, but manager Brendan Kenny isn’t counting any chickens just yet. “It’s been so far, so good. Winning the trophy a few weeks ago was a major boost for us all, both players and management. I think it was something like eight years since we last won it and we have been in the final for the last three years. It was a long time for a big club like Ballina Town.”
With the Westaro Cup settling in for a winter on the banks of the Moy the next task at hand is the Super League title. Westport United looked to be cruising to another league title in the early stages, but came unstuck a couple of weeks ago when they lost a few games and a manager and Ballina were there to take advantage and pull themselves to the summit of the league where they remain (albeit on goal difference only ).
“We’re delighted to be there, it looked like early on Westport were going to walk the league, they won six out of six, I think, at the start. You can say what you want about what has happened in the last few weeks, but they are still a phenomenal team, one of the best in the country. Our lads just had to keep their head down and keep working all season, which they did to their credit, and we stuck with it and are now in with a chance of winning the league. But there are going to be a few twists and turns before this league is over. There are no easy sides in the league this year, you have sides like Iorras and Snugboro who are still battling about at the top, but you also have sides like Straide and Foxford United, Ballyheane and Castlebar Celtic who can beat any side on any given day. We have eight games left and we have to try and win each one, and any side that finishes ahead of Westport, well they’re in with a great chance of winning the league,” joked Kenny.
Kenny also mentioned that the players and management dedicated their winning of the Westaro Cup to the memory of Pete Murray. “Pete was a big part of the team down here and his loss was huge to everyone involved in Ballina Town and the lads were just delighted to win that trophy for Pete, to thank him for everything he had done for them down through the years.”