Ballina Town manager Alan Gough always had a difficult task this season, taking over from Brendan Kenny who had just taken the side to back to back Super League titles. But Gough has managed to steer his side, which is in a transition period, to second place in the table - within striking distance of Castlebar Celtic, with half of the season left. Last weekend Gough faced a tough task in bringing his side to Swinford, the team he guided to safety last season in a year when four teams were relegated.
Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser this week he said “We scored three great goals last weekend that were good enough to win any game. We didn’t get off to the best start, but I was confident that once we started to create chances that we would take them and we did that. It was difficult going back to Swinford, it was my first involvement in junior football last year and I know the hard working team that they are. They probably didn’t get enough credit last season for what they achieved, coming into the Super League and surviving in a division where four teams went down was a great achievement. The players there put in a huge effort as did everyone there and they should get the credit for that.”
Injuries and the lack of a full pre-season hurt Ballina Town at the start of the current season, but Gough is confident that his side are coming along as both he and the players get used to each other as the season reaches the half way point. “We only had 11 fit players last weekend which isn’t ideal, it’s been a tough start as we came into the league with out a real pre-season. But we’ve won four on the bounce now and we’ve got ourselves back in a position were comfortable with. Hopefully we’ll bring in a few new players in the near future both from the youths and from outside which we’re having a look at. It’s a transitional time for period for both myself and the team. The players are getting used to a new manager and I’m getting used to a new team.”
This weekend Ballina Town have a game that looks like it’s one that they should win in the Connacht Gold Cup, but Gough isn’t taking anything for granted on Sunday. “There are no games that you have a right to win, that’s not a cliché, it’s reality. You never know what is going to happen in a game. A player can get sent off or you can concede an early goal. We’ll be giving Mulranny United nothing but respect on Sunday. They were watching us last weekend, which shows that they are going about it the right way. I’m going to have to rest a few players on Sunday that’s a reality but were approaching this game the right way as you have to any game.”
Mayo League Fixtures
Saturday June 18
Connacht Gold Shield Round 1 (At 7pm )
Ballinrobe Town v Ballyglass, Swinford B v Killala, Claremorris B v Moy Villa B, Hollister v Snugboro United, Iorras Aontaithe B v Urlar United, Ballyvary Blue Bombers v Westport United B, Newport Town v Ballyheane. Byes: Straide and Foxford United B, Conn Rangers, Clew Bay United B, Castlebar Celtic B, Bangor Hibs B, Westport United C, Crossmolina B, Moy Villa, Cross Celtic.
Sunday June 19
Connacht Gold Cup Round 2 (At 2.30pm )
Iorras Aontaithe v Swinford, Manulla B v Fahy Rovers B, Castlebar Celtic v Kilmore, Conn Rangers B v Bangor Hibs, Glenhest Rovers v Ballyhaunis Town, Ballina Town v Mulranny United, Westport United v Crossmolina, Charlestown Athletic v Claremorris. Byes: Achill Rovers, Partry Athletic, Kiltimagh/Knock United, Straide and Foxford United, Manulla, Clew Bay United, Ballyheane B