When the Super League kicked off a few weeks ago, Straide and Foxford were still playing out the last throws of their season from last year in the Connacht Cup. Once that dream died there was no rest for the Green Road side, who went straight into league action and they have kept up their good winter form. Wins over Ballyheane last weekend, Castlebar Celtic and a draw with Fahy Rovers see them sitting on seven points from four games in fourth place. Their solitary defeat so far came at the hands of Ballina Town the defending champions, and even then the result on that day didn’t justify the performance, according to Straide and Foxford manager, Aidan Flatley. “The Ballina game was a disappointment, they’re a good side but the scoreline didn’t really reflect the game as a whole.” Also coming out of that game Straide and Foxford lost two players to injury which could start to mount up over the league season as players feel the effects of the long winter cup campaign. “We lost Paul Fitzpatrick with a broken wrist in that game which could have him out from six to eight weeks and Shane Hughes picked up a shoulder injury. We’ll be hoping that the lads are able to keep fit over the season as we haven’t had a break really since the end of the Connacht Cup.”
Flatley’s side are in a much better position this year than they were last season, their first back in the Super League after a brief drop down to the Premier Division. “We’re happy with how things have gone so far this year, two wins and a draw out of four is a good start, but we’ve got to keep it up over the coming months. This time last year we only had a point on the board and if we were like that now, relegation would be a big fear especially this year with four teams going down.”
This weekend the Green Road side face into a local derby against Swinford who are hot on their heals in fifth place in the table only a point behind. “They’ve been doing well this year and it’ll be a tough game and in a local derby there’s always more to play for, it seems. It’ll be a tough game but that’s the way they all are this year.” This is how Flatley sees this weekend’s opponents. As for the top of the table it’s all about keeping in touch with the leaders as the season progresses, according to the Straide and Foxford supremo. “You have to look at Ballina and Westport again this year, Westport seem to be playing very well and we have them up in the game after this weekend’s one which will be another tough game. Iorras are also there as they always are, but we’ve just got to keep in touch with them as the season goes on.”
Elsewhere this weekend, Castlebar Celtic who lost out 4-2 to Swinford last weekend will host Ballyheane in Celtic Park. Both sides have a win a piece from the league so far out of their five games and it’s a must win contest for both sides. Westport United and Ballina Town clash in the game of the day in the Sports Park. Ballina will be hurt after letting a two goal lead slip away to Fahy Rovers last weekend and with it their 100 per cent record. Westport have only played three games so far this season and this is one that they will have been targeting to win as they bid to reclaim their title lost to Ballina last year. Iorras Aontaithe have four out of four on the boards thanks to their win over Manulla last weekend, but were given a warning that Fahy can put most sides to the pin of their collar by the west Mayo sides 3-3 draw last weekend with the champions. But home advantage should be a big advantage to the Carne men. The last game of the weekend is the meeting of Manulla and Snugboro United, both sides are coming off defeats last weekend with Westport putting five past the ‘Boro and Manulla seeing their title credentials take a beating by Iorras Aontaithe, but Damien Ansbro’s side possess more quality than the ‘Boro boys and should get their season back on track on Sunday.