All eyes on provincial glory as Ballina Town exit FAI Junior Cup

Soccer

The last chance of a Mayo side bringing national glory at junior level back to the county this season disappeared last Sunday when Ballina Town bowed out at the sixth round stage of the FAI Junior Cup. Shangan Athletic, who had seen off Straide and Foxford United in the previous round, came out victorious once again over Mayo opposition; this time they saw off Mayo’s top side. Despite going one up and being in control of the game early on Ballina conceded three first-half goals in quick succession and were never able to get back into the contest.

So Mayo interest in the FAI Junior Cup goes the way pancakes did last week for another year. It’s all eyes on the Connacht Cup and three Mayo sides go into round five action this Sunday at 2pm, and there is no dead cert that any of the Mayo sides will still be standing in round six. Both Manulla and Straide and Foxford United will be at home while Westport United will be heading away from home. Westport face a long haul to Athenry to take on a side who are currently in second place in Galway’s top division.

This will be a tough examination of the Westport challenge, who had to take two attempts to get over Colmanstown in the last round following a paperwork blunder. The likes of Danny Scahill, Gerry McLoughlin, Dave Cameron, and Joe Lawless will need to be on top form on Sunday. Both sides met last year in the final of the Connacht Senior Cup which United narrowly won, and if they see off Athenry on Sunday going all the way in the competition is not out of the question at all. Manulla will host Carbury FC from Sligo in Carramore on Sunday. In the last round Damien Ansbro’s men overcame Strand Celtic from the Sligo and Leitrim league. Carbury will arrive in high spirits and currently sit in third place in the Sligo Super League with seven wins from their eight league games so far this season. Carbury won 6-1 against Cliffony Celtic in their last league outing and will be a tough test for an ever improving Manulla side.

The final Mayo side in action this weekend are Straide and Foxford United who welcome Salthill Devon to Green Road on Sunday after the game was postponed last weekend. While Devon may not be as flush with talent as they once were, with their first team now playing in the League of Ireland first division, they still managed to put seven past Galway Bohs in the last round of the competition back on Valentine’s Day.

Large and Moran latest appointments

Following on from Swinford announcing Alan Gough as their new manager for the 2010 season, both Castlebar Celtic and Ballinrobe Town have announced new managers for their Mayo league teams. Paul Large will take over the controls at Celtic Park for the Super League side, with last years management team of Mick Kilcourse and Adrian O’Brien stepping down to form part of the management team. Also on the move is John Moran, who guided Westport United B to the Premier Division title last season. Moran has taken up the managerial post at Ballinrobe Town, and will be hoping to guide them back to the Super League this season. Mick Wallace took over at Snugboro United a few weeks ago in place of the departing Johan Collins as the pace picks up ahead of the new league season in Mayo.

 

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