In many ways it is the classic cup final between the historic big two in Mayo soccer this Sunday when Castlebar Celtic and Westport United meet in Milebush. For a team that dominated at home and in the province last year, this year has been successful on the field for the Covies. A so-so start to the league saw them chasing from early on, but they found their form as the season went on and had a major say in the destination of the title in the closing stages, beating eventual champions Ballina Town on the penultimate day ensuring the destination of the Super League crown went down to the last day of the season. They then held second placed Ballyheane to a 2-2 draw at the end of October killing off their hopes of sneaking the title on the last day of the league. They eventually finished six points behind Ballina in the league, and know if they had been able to turn any of the four draws they were held to in the league season the day would have been right in the mix to retain the title.
Castlebar Celtic finished back in fifth place, five points behind Westport United in the table, but were out of the reckoning in the title race from early on. They also had to get over the disruption midseason of Declan Kilkelly stepping down from the manager’s post, with Stevie Gavin stepping in and putting them back on the front foot as the league season wound down. When the sides met in the league this year Westport United drew first blood with a 4-1 win in the Sportspark in June, while Celtic got revenge with a 3-2 win in round 11 at the tail end of August. But with the way Westport United finished the season, they will go into Sunday’s game as the favourites to bring home the cup.
Sunday’s cup final which kicks off at 2.30pm will be preceded by the shield final at 12 noon where Snugboro United, who were relegated from the Super League this season, take on Conn Rangers who finished well clear of the relegation battle in the Premier A, but also well out of the promotion hunt.
Monthly award winners
The Mayo League player of the months for September and October were announced this week. In the top division Andy Neary (Castlebar Celtic ) was the September winner with Jamie Cawley (Ballina Town ) winning the October award. The other September winners were Ger Gaughan (Conn Rangers ), Mark McNally (Westport United B ), Gavin Groarke (Kiltimagh/Knock United ) and Kenny O’Donnell (Newport Town ). The other October winners were Christopher Moore (Moy Villa ), Padraig Folan (Westport United B ), Michael Goulding (Ballyhaunis Town ) and Shane Maughan (Conn Rangers B ). The September manager of the month went to Trevor Quinn (Fahy Rovers ) and Jim Rociliff (Westport United B ) was the October winner. The team of the month awards went to Kiltimagh/Knock United in September and Ballina Town in October.
Anniversary Mass for Jeremy Dee
The first anniversary Mass for Jeremy Dee will take place tomorrow, November 16 at 12 noon in Bekan Church. Jeremy died tragically on November 18 last year, a huge loss to his family and of course to his football family.