Ballina Town and Ballyheane will go toe to toe in Milebush Park on Sunday afternoon with the FCS Cup up for grabs. Sunday’s final will be a meeting between the two sides placed in first and second place in the Super League table as the home stretch approaches in the league. Ballina Town, who had a weekend off from league action last weekend, currently sit four points clear of Ballyheane and Westport United who are locked together on 18 points each.
Ballyheane, who are back in the Super League this year after a brief drop down to the Premier A, are the only unbeaten side left in the top division this season, winning four and drawing six of their 10 games so far. But they have hit a winning run in their last two games, putting seven past Snugboro last Saturday after they put three in against Castlebar Celtic in their previous league outing. The men from Quigley Park have built their season around a strong defence and have only conceded nine goals in their 10 league games this season, the lowest in the division. In this year’s FCS Cup, Ballyheane have seen off Manulla in their quarter-final, before disposing of Celtic in the semi-final to book their spot in Sunday’s decider. Ballina Town blitzed Claremorris in their quarter-final, before seeing off Westport United in the semi-final. The two sides already met in the league once this season back in June, with the sides sharing the points after a 1-1 draw in Belleek Park, and the sides are due to meet again in the league in Ballyheane at the start of September. When the teams met in that league game, Ballyheane secured the draw thanks to a Barry McLoughlin goal in the final 10 minutes after John Durkan had put Ballina Town into an early lead. That game was the first one where Ballina Town dropped points in the league, having won their previous five games in the division. Ballina only dropped points once more in the division when they were beaten by Iorras Aontaithe in early July.
Being table toppers puts Ballina Town, justifiably, into the position of favourites to claim the trophy, and you also have to throw into the mix that Ballyheane were in action in the Connacht Gold Cup in the quarter-final last night (Thursday, August 15 ) against Ballyglass. It will test their squad depth to play two big cup games inside four days.
Fahy look to keep noses out in front
On Saturday evening, Fahy Rovers will look to keep their noses out in front in the Premier A when they visit fourth place Moy Villa. Rovers have only lost once so far this season in the league, winning seven of their nine games, drawing with Charlestown Athletic away and going down to the same opponents at home at the end of July. Charlestown Athletic themselves will be looking to shake off the disappointment of losing out to Snugboro United on penalties in the Westaro Cup final last Sunday after a 1-1 draw. The east Mayo side will be confident of shaking off that defeat when they take on bottom of the table Ballinrobe Town on Saturday night. The men from Ballinrobe have only picked up one win and one draw from their first nine league games this season. The Westaro Cup winners will make the short trip to Mount Falcon to take on Conn Rangers in a game they will fancy taking maximum points from to keep the pressure up on Fahy Rovers at the top of the table who currently lead them by two points in the race for the title. The final game in the Premier A is the meeting of fifth place Castlebar Celtic B and seventh placed Clew Bay United.
All still to play for in Premier B
The top four sides in the Premier B are currently only separated by five points. Table toppers Swinford and fifth placed Killala are not in action this weekend and it gives the chance for the chasing pack to take advantage. Currently Swinford are leading the table, but are level on points with Westport United B. The Covies’ second string team will travel to Ballyglass on Saturday night where a win for either side would put them top of the table. Ballyglass are only two points behind the top two at the minute and a win would leapfrog them into a one point lead at the top. The other game sees bottom of the table Kilmore host Urlar United, where a win for Kilmore would see them leapfrog their opponents and Bangor Hibs out of the relegation zone, provided the north Mayo men fail to get a positive result against fourth place Partry Athletic at home.
Castlebar side in community games action
The Castlebar u12s Community Games soccer squad are travelling today to Athlone to represent Connacht in this years national finals. This year the squad is represented players from Snugboro United and Castlebar Celtic. They are coached by Tom Coen, Dennis McHugh and Noel Coll. Castlebar play Cork in the semi-final on Saturday, with the final and third and fourth placed play-off taking place on Sunday. The squad who have got them this far is Bob Tuohy, Thomas Coen, Michael Fahy, Paul Walsh, Conor Sloyan, Ben Edeh, Paddy Heneghan, Donnacha McHugh, Ciaran Mylett, Dylan Felle, Callum Lavelle, Joe Tuohy , Thomas Waldron, Conor Quinn and Jamie McArdle and Dylan McGarry