Connacht Gold Cup action takes centre stage

Brave battle: The Castlebar Celtic women’s side who came up just short against Peamount United in last Sunday’s Bus Éireann National League Cup final in Milebush. Photo: Sportsfile.

Brave battle: The Castlebar Celtic women’s side who came up just short against Peamount United in last Sunday’s Bus Éireann National League Cup final in Milebush. Photo: Sportsfile.

While most eyes last weekend were on Westport United’s big game in Lecarrow in the Connacht Junior Cup, there were still three rounds of games in the Elverys Sports Super League. Ballina Town made it three wins from three with a 7-2 win over Claremorris at home. That is 19 goals scored in three games by the north Mayo men, who are laying down a serious assault on this year’s title. Their goals came from a David O’Mahony hat-trick with Barry Higgins, Daniel Gorman, Pat Duffy, and Ben McGarry all chipping in with goals.

Castlebar Celtic’s potential title challenge dissolved a little more last weekend, when Ballyheane held them to a 2-2 draw in Quigley Park. Ballyheane were 2-0 up through goals from Terry and Chris Maughan, before Celtic pulled the game level through Gareth Dunne and Shane Moran goals. That is the third draw in row for Ballyheane, who have held out against Westport United and Iorras Aontaithe already this season. Snugboro United moved up to third place in the table, and level with second placed Manulla on points, with a 3-2 over the same side in Carramore last Sunday. The early season predictions had Snugboro as relegation strugglers, but they have belittled that status so far this season. Darragh Duffy, Sean McHale, and John McCarthy bagged the goals for the victors, with Mark Mongan and Gary McHale on target for the home side.

Knock-out games this weekend

This weekend the action moves to the Connacht Gold Cup first round, with the games spread out over Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. Claremorris find themselves rock bottom of the Super League after three rounds without a win. They will travel to Crossmolina, who find themselves rock bottom of the Mayo League itself in League Two also without a win from three games. This should provide the perfect chance for Claremorris to get their season back on track. Ballyheane, who have shown they are more than capable of mixing it again with the big boys, are on the road to Hollister on Saturday night. It should be an easy win for the Hane against a side who have yet to register a win in League One and have conceded 20 goals in the process.

Manulla will be looking to put last weekend’s disappointment of being turned over by Snugboro United behind them when they travel to Mount Falcon for what should be a routine win over Conn Rangers’ second string side. On Sunday Castlebar Celtic will be hoping they can get their season back on track, but face a very tough game. Celtic on paper will be favourites for their clash with Straide and Foxford United in Foxford. But Celtic are on a downward trajectory at the minute in the league and S & F are coming into the game on the back of two wins from two in the Premier A and will fancy taking the scalp of Hoops. Snugboro United also face Premier A opposition, when they host Charlestown Athletic. The league has been a success for both sides so far, so both sides will fancy their chances. Conn Rangers, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the Super League last term, will host high flying Ballina Town who will go into the game as hot favourites to book passage to the next round. The final game involving a top division side is the meeting of Charlestown Athletic and Iorras Aontaithe, this should be a run of the mill win for Iorras against a side from the bottom tier of the league.

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