Much like last season, Claremorris have hit the ground running early in the Elverys Sports Super League. Maximum points from their opening brace of games, have the south Mayo side sitting on top of the league table, albeit ahead only ahead of Westport United on goal difference. On Sunday, Claremorris will have to make their first away trip of the season when they travel to the home of the champions Castlebar Celtic.
Claremorris manager Michael Hutton is looking forward to the game, having already achieved what at the start of the season he believed would have been a good outcome from the first three games. “When we looked at the fixtures when they came out, we would have been happy with five points from the first three games. But we’ve got six points now, thanks to the two home wins over Fahy Rovers and Iorras Aontaithe. So we can go into Sunday’s game fairly relaxed and confident in our own abilities. When you look at the fixtures on paper this is should be our hardest game of the year away to the champions.”
Claremorris have yet to concede a goal this season which is something that has surprised even their manager. “Yeah, it’s quite unusual that for us. Normally we score a lot but let in a good few at the back. But it’s a good start for the year for us at the back. It’s also been good to see we’ve managed to hit the back of the net five times so far without being able to call on Derek Glynn yet.” Glynn was last season’s top scorer in the Super League scoring 20 goals in the 14 game season, and in his place this year the Claremorris midfield and defence have chipped in with the majority of the goals so far.
While the season will only be three games old come Sunday, the Claremorris manager is keenly aware that any dropped points can rule a side out of the league title race in a few weeks. “I heard Declan Kilkelly (Castlebar Celtic manager ) saying that the league was a sprint rather than a race and he’s right. There’s not much room for error and Celtic will be very aware of that on Sunday having lost their first game. They hit back with a good win over Manulla last weekend and will be a very tough examination for us on Sunday. But we’ll be looking forward to it and it will be another benchmark for us to measure ourselves against. It should be a good game of football two, were two good footballing sides and it will hopefully have the headlines being written about what happens on the field rather than off it as it was a few weeks ago.”
United look to make it three out of three
Westport United the other side who have a one hundred per cent record from their opening games, will be odds on to take another three points from their game on Sunday. The Connacht Junior Cup finalists will be making the trip north to bottom of the table Straide and Foxford United on Sunday. Despite being the best side for most of last weekend’s clash with Ballina Town, the Covies were made work hard for the win after Ballina fought back from a two goal deficit early in the second half.
David Hoban and David Cameron had put Westport United 2-0 not long after the break, but an own goal from Sean Tagg with 25 minutes left gave Ballina a foothold back in the game and three minutes later Mick Duffy volleyed home the equaliser. But Westport dug deep and it was Martin Geraghty who popped up to score the winner.
Ballina Town, will be looking to get back on winning ways themselves when they host Manulla on Sunday, a win is a must for Fergal Forde’s men if they are going to stay in the title race. The other game in the league this weekend is the meeting of Iorras Aontaithe and Fahy Rovers in Erris. Fahy Rovers bagged their first win of the season when they put three past Straide and Foxford in Mooneen last weekend. Rovers fought back from going one down through a Paul Convey strike, but goals from Michael Bourke, Rob Fadden and Morgan Flaherty sealed the points for Fahy Rovers.
‘Hane celebrate historic win
There was plenty celebration around Ballyheane last Sunday night when the men from Quigley Park lifted the Connacht Junior Shield in dramatic fashion on penalties in McSharry Park in Sligo. Matthew Conroy was the man who delivered the decisive strike from the spot after Real Tubber missed their second penalty of the shoot-out to leave the winning of the game at Conroy’s feet. The tie had finished 1-1 after extra time with Ballyheane having to battle back to pull themselves level through an Alan McHugh strike and finish the game with 10 men after Alan Tuffy was harshly sent off. But Noel Tuffy’s side held their nerve to claim an historic win.