It was a bad weekend for the two Mayo sides who were in action in the fifth round of the FAI Junior Cup last week. Both Castlebar Celtic and Manulla took their leave from the competition. Celtic will be the ones feeling hard done by as some strange refereeing decisions cost them their place in the sixth round of the competition. Celtic managed to get the ball in the back of the Rathkeale net three times but two of them were struck off the record. The Castlebar men headed to Limerick with a depleted squad with both Andy Neary and Declan Flynn ruled out through injury. But they thought they had hit the front early on when Peter Dravins fired the ball to the back of the net after a flick on by Sean McHale only for the linesman’s flag to go up. However, 31 minutes in they were rewarded when Sean McHale, was able to direct the ball to the back of the net following a scramble in the box from a Ger O’Boyle corner kick.
The second half saw both sides have chances early on with Ger O’Boyle spurning the best of the Celtic efforts and on 53 minutes the game was drawn level. Rathkeale man Seamus Caroll picked the ball up in what seemed like an offiside position only to be waved on and he played in Declan Nash who slotted the ball home to level it up. The home side took the iniyiative and Gary Egan bundled the ball over the line shortly after to score their second goal and put them in the driving seat. Celtic weren’t done, however, and they went back at the Limerick men. Peter Dravins got the ball in the back of the net for the second time in the afternoon only to once again see it ruled out buy the officals. This time it was all too much for the Celtic bench and manager Declan Kilkelly was sent from the pitch for his protestations and with it went Celtic’s chance of making it to the sixth round.
Visitors out-gun Manulla
Despite having a one-man advantage for 84 minutes of this contest in Carramore, Manulla came undone to a superior Ballymun side last weekend. The Dublin side were reduced to ten men early on when goalkeeper Karl Donnelly was banished to the stands for a foul on Eoin Vahy, but that was as good as it got for the Mayo men as Ballymun ran out three-goal winners. They took the lead half an hour in when the ball came back off the bar from a Jamie Gilbert effort which Barry Kavanagh hammered to the back of the net. Manulla put the pressure on in the closing stages of the first half and the opening stages of the second and it was only when Ballymun got the insurance score on 83 minutes that the game finally fell through their grasp. Kavanagh hit a stinging drive which James Jennings could only parry into the path of David Keane who finished well. Withe Manulla now seriously chasing the game, the third goal for the Dubliners arrived when Kavanagh was rewarded for his performance by flashing the ball past Jennings after running onto a long ball five minutes before the end.
Eight and easy for Westport
Westport marked their escape from the Mayo stages of the competition with an eight- goal hammering of fellow Clew Bay residents. The Super League champions have a serious chance of making an impression on this competition in the latter stages and goals from Gerry McLoughlin, Dave Cameron (two each ), and Vinny O’Malley, Kevin Joyce, Jorge Fernando and David Hoban saw them cruise past Mulranny United at the Sportspark.
Mayo on the road in the Traynor
Mayo have been rewarded for their win over the Galway League a fortnight ago in the group stages of the competition with an away trip to Dublin based United Churches League in the quarter final. If Mayo manager Declan Kilkelly can guide his side through this tricky encounter then they will face another tough away tie against either the Desmond League or the AUL. The quarter final will take place on the weekend of Feburary 14/15.