Is the race for the Elverys Sports Super League over already? With four games gone from 14 for six of the eight sides, Ballina Town have found themselves six points clear at the top of the table with four wins from four. Packed neatly behind them on six points are three sides, Ballyheane, Manulla, and Snugboro United, with Castlebar Celtic and Westport United tied together on four points in fifth and sixth places. Claremorris and Iorras Aontaithe make up the bottom two, with Claremorris just one point behind the two flagship names of Mayo soccer, and Iorras Aontaithe who have only played three points have just a point to show for their efforts so far.
This time last year it was Westport United who were cantering off at the top of the table and were never hauled in. The condensed nature of the league leaves little room for error for any side and it has been a bone of contention for a number of teams in the league, which have found themselves adrift of the title challenge or locked in a relegation battle from early on in the season with little hope of getting out of it following a short bad run of form.
Last weekend’s round of games saw wins for Castlebar Celtic, Ballina Town, Ballyheane, and Claremorris in the Super League.
Celtic picked up their first win in the league with a 3-0 win over Iorras in Celtic Park thanks to a brace of goals from Colm Nevin and one from Stevie Gavin. The game of the weekend that promised to be the toughest to call was the meeting between Snugboro United and Ballyheane in Snugboro, and it was not decided until injury time when Barry McLoughlin swept in a free kick to bag the points for the Heane. The visitors had gone into a two goal lead 10 minutes into the second half with goals from Terry Maughan and Peter Burke after they were reduced to ten men midway through the first half. But Snugboro battled back and a brace of goals from John McCarthy had them level in the battle of the two sides which were promoted last season. But deep in injury time McLoughlin bagged the points and first win in the league for Ballyheane, who drew their first three games and have shown an impressive run of form so far this season. Claremorris moved themselves from the bottom of the table with a 2-1 win over Manulla at home in Concannon Park, thanks to two goals from Mark Doble inside the final 15 minutes of the game, after Gary Durkan had given his side the lead from the penalty spot in the first half. League leaders Ballina Town swept aside a weakened Westport United side in Belleek to keep their 100 per cent record intact and push themselves six points clear of the chasing pack after four games. David O’Mahony struck in the first half with Ben McGarry adding two goals in the second half, one from the penalty spot, to leave Fergal Forde’s men out on their own at the top of the table.
There are only three games in the Super League this weekend, with the meeting of Westport United and Castlebar Celtic postponed. Ballyheane will be looking to keep up their great start to the season when they host Claremorris in Quigley Park on Sunday, while Ballina Town’s 100 per cent record is at stake when they take on a Manulla side which won two and lost two so far this season in Carramore. The final game in the top division is the meeting of Iorras Aontaithe and Snugboro United in Erris, this is already a must win game for Iorras who do not want to get cut adrift at the bottom of the table.
International duty for Mayo men
David Hoban (Westport United ) has been included in the squad for the Irish Amateur International team for tomorrow’s international friendly against Northern Ireland, the game will kick off at 2pm in the AUL Complex. Former Castlebar Celtic underage player and current Fulham man Noe Baba is part of Paul Doolin’s Republic of Ireland u19 squad which is in Serbia this weekend taking part in the UEFA Elite Qualifying Championships. Ireland played Switzerland last night and will face Slovakia tomorrow on Saturday at 4.30pm and the hosts Serbia on Tuesday also at 4.30pm