United showdown on Sunday in cup final

This year’s Chadwicks Cup final (Mayo League FA Cup ) sees the meeting of two Uniteds who have seen their historical positions flipped this year. Straide and Foxford United, one of the blue ribbon names in Mayo soccer saw themselves relegated at the death of the 2007 season to the Premier League, while Snugboro United surrvived and launched an all out assault on the higher reaches of the Super League this season. This assault proved ultimately unsuccessful but Johan Collins’s first year in charge of the side can only be marked out as a success so far. And if he is able to guide his men to pick up the Chadwicks Cup the season will have been an unqualified success.

Collins’s has moulded a Snugboro side who have a good blend of experience and youth and set the early pace in the Super League till the old heads of Westport United came steaming through to take the title. New imports like the expereienced pair Russell Gibbons and Stevie Gavin provided a solid backbone while for Castlebar Celtic, youth starlet Paul Curry was in a good goalscoring vein upfront as they charged to the top of the reaches of the Super League.

Hat-trick of trophies up for grabs for S & F

While the ‘boro are looking to pick up the a trophy to cement a good season, silverware hasn’t been thin on the ground for Straide and Foxford United. Recent years have seen a number of sides slip out of the Super League and continue on a downward trajectory, but not so the tangerine clad men. This season has already seen them pick up the Premier League title and the Touhy Cup and now they are looking to make it three from three. Former Mayo ladies senior manager (who guided them to the WFAI Senior Cup in 2006 ) Aidan Flately took over the reins at the Green and turned a side who could have got caught in the quagmire into a slick outfit who had gained promtion back to the Super League with five games to go. In the semi-final of the cup they went in as underdogs against Ballina Town but despite going two goals down early on they were able to stem the tide and run out 4-2 winners in normal time. There is pleanty of quality in the Straide and Foxford line up with the experienced Johnny Jordan who can still ruffle the feathers of any defence and the attacking dynamo Paul Fitzpatrick, while club captain Alan McDonnell is a true leader on the field.

First time winners a guarantee this time out

The Mayo FA Cup was played for for the first time in 1985 and neither of this seasons finalists have ever picked up the trophy. Straide and Foxford were in the final in 2005 for the last time but lost out to Castlebar Celtic and they previously lost out to Urlar United in the 1990 final. For their part Snugboro United made it to the final in 2003 only to go down to Westport United. So when the full time whistle is blown on Sunday in Milebush a new name will be inscribed into the list of winners of the pre eminented cup competition in Mayo for the first time.

Liam McEntee has been apppointed as the referee for the game and he will be assisted on the day by Damien McGrath and Harry Loftus on the line, and the officials can be counted on to be on top form on Sunday. The game is down to kick off at 3pm on Sunday.

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