Ballina Town will be looking to pick themselves up from last weekends defeat at the hands of Ballinasloe Town in the Connacht Cup fourth round at home this Sunday where they have a place in the FAI Junior Cup seventh round at stake. Standing in their way in Beleek are Shangan Athletic from Dublin who overcame the challenge of Straide and Foxford United in the last round of the competition. Ballina came from three goals down before half time last weekend to pull the game back to 3-2 but were not able to find that third goal they needed to force the game level. Mick Duffy and Daniel O’Hara were on the scoreboard for Brendan Kenny’s men and Duffy in particular will be looked for to spearhead their attack on Sunday against the side from Ballymun. Ballina booked their place in this round of the competition thanks to a comprehensive win over Cashel Celtic in the fifth round with Brendan Lavelle scoring a hat trick, the aforementioned Duffy a brace, and Ross Kenny getting himself on the scoreboard before the end of their trouncing of Cashel Celtic. Shanagan Athletic used their home advantage to see of Straide and Foxford United in the last round by 3-1, they went one up before Straide and Foxford levelled through, Chris Downey on the half hour. But the Dublin outfit had enough class to see off the Mayo men to book their date with Ballina.
Straide and Foxford United will have to console themselves this weekend with a fifth round game in the Connacht Cup when they face down Salthill Devon at home on Sunday. The famous Galway nursery will be a stern test for the Mayo club who had an indifferent campaign after sweeping all before them the previous season, where they won the Premier League title and all the domestic cups they entered. Last weekend in the Connacht Cup Ballyheane bowed out while Westport United, after their controversy against Colemanstown in the original fixture, came through on a scoreline of 3-2, while Manulla saw off Strand Celtic.
Mick Duffy called in to preliminary Irish squad
Ballina Town’s star striker Mick Duffy has been called up to Gerry Smyth’s Republic of Ireland amateur international squad. The initial squad is being put together for the upcoming quadrangular tournament of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man in April. Duffy came back very strong this season for Ballina Town as they clinched the Mayo Super League title after an injury affected previous season.
Gough takes over at Swinford
In somewhat of a coup, former Irish u21 international goalkeeper Alan Gough has taken over in charge of Swinford for the 2010 Super League season. The east Mayo club were promoted back to the Super League at the end of the last season after coming second in the league behind Westport United B, picking up 39 points over the season. Gough, who managed Longford Town in 2009, had a very long and distinguished career starting off in Portsmouth before moving on to Fulham, then home to Galway United where he spent two stints, in between which he won two FAI Cups with Shelbourne and a League Cup winner’s medal. He also picked up a number of trophies in the Irish League with Glentoran.
HSE astro turf soccer club raises money for Mayo Intercultural Action
Over the last two years or so a group of core players from Mayo General Hospital/HSE staff from various departments have raised some money through playing regular soccer and through the running of a table quiz in 2008. The group decided to donate €300 to the Mayo Intercultural Action Charity.