Castlebar Celtic will be hoping to cut their nearest challengers off at the pass on Sunday evening as the Mayo Super League season comes up near its midway point for the year. Declan Kilkelly’s charges go into their sixth game with four wins out of five so far on Sunday. Their nearest challengers are Super League newboys Claremorris who are hot on their heels, only one point behind the leaders. Celtic dropped two points when they drew with Swinford in round two, while Claremorris’s only blotch on their copy book so far came when they lost by the odd goal in five to Manulla in the same round.
Both sides kept up their winning form last weekend, when Castlebar Celtic beat Westport United 2-1 in Celtic Park and Claremorris piled on the pressure on pointless Ballinrobe Town with a 5-1 at Concannon Park. Derek Glynn, who is back playing for Claremorris this year after a couple of years away, bagged his second hat trick in as many games for Claremorris. He hit Ballinrobe for three inside of 25 minutes last weekend after the bottom placed side had taken the lead early on, while Celtic had the O’Boyle brothers (Ronan and Ger ) to thank for grabbing a goal in each half to see off the challenge of Westport United in Celtic Park.
Both sides have been in free scoring for this season, with each netting 17 times in the past five games, an average of almost three and a half goals a game, with Celtic having a better defensive record, only conceding four to Claremorris’s eight. A win for Declan Kilkelly’s side on Sunday evening will put them four points clear of their opponents just as the league reaches the midway stage.
The second big game of the weekend pits third place Manulla against defending champions Ballina Town who are currently in fourth place in the table. Both sides are heading into the game on the back of wins, with Ballina Town starting to get their season back on track after a couple of poor weeks, seeing off Iorras Aontaithe 4-1 away from home last weekend. Manulla saw off Swinford thanks to a Roger Clarke goal about an quarter of an hour from the end. Ballina Town may be in fourth place at the minute, but they are only two points ahead of a gang of three who are all joined on five points each, stretching from fifth place to seventh place and the relegation zone. Swinford are the current occupants of that second relegation spot on goals scored, rather than goal difference, as both they and Iorras Aontaithe are on -3 each in the goal difference column. Ballinrobe Town, who are currently pointless at the bottom of the table after five games, look to be waving good-bye to the Super League even at this early stage of the competition. With only eight teams in the division there is going to be a very tight finish from the last relegation spot up to mid-table safety this year. The other games this weekend in the Super League have Westport United entertaining Swinford in the Sportspark and Ballinrobe Town hosting Iorras Aontaithe.
Divisional cup action for Bank Holiday weekend
Next weekend will see plenty of Bank Holiday cup excitement when a number of divisional cups reach the semi-final stage. In the FCS Cup semi-final Westport United will host Castlebar Celtic, looking for revenge for their defeat in the league last weekend, while Iorras Aontaithe will be looking to stop Claremorris’s great start to the season. In the second tier competition, Conn Rangers and Westport United B will square off with Straide, and Foxford United and Snugboro United meeting up in the other semi-final.