Ballina Town will host East Wall Bessborough in the sixth round of the FAI Junior Cup in Belleek on Sunday afternoon. The Dublin based visitors are currently sitting in seventh spot in the 12 strong AUL Premier A table, 10 points off table toppers Kilbarrack United. The league leaders saw off East Wall Bessborough 3-1 last Sunday and Ballina will be hoping they can grab a similar win on Sunday.
Ballina Town warmed up for Sunday’s game with a 2-1 win over Galway Hibs in round two of the Connacht Junior Cup away from home. Back to back wins in external cup competitions on the road, following Ballina’s win over Castleisland the previous weekend in the fifth round of the FAI Junior Cup, has Fergal Forde’s men in very good form ahead of Sunday’s game. Tom O’Connor was their main man last weekend, bagging a goal at the end of each half to see off the Galwaymen, and Forde will be hoping for a similar return from his front man on Sunday. Forde has seen his squad stretched since the end of the league season with a number of retirements and departures for various reasons, and has been promoting from the clubs youth system, it will be another major test for both his experienced and inexperienced side this Sunday. If they come through on Sunday they have been drawn to face Limerick side Geraldine’s FC at home in the next round.
Already into round seven of the competition are Westport United who booked their place last Sunday with a 3-1 win over Trim Celtic in Meath. Not for the first time in recent weeks JP O’Gorman was the main man for the Coveys. He came home from the Royal County with a hat-trick after grabbing four goals the week before against Aughannagh Celtic in the Connacht Junior Cup. Westport’s reward for the win was a very tough test away against Dublin side Sheriff YC. Sheriff YC are currently sitting in third place in the AUL Premier A division, nine points behind the leaders, but they have played three games fewer than those they are chasing and have yet to lose a league game this season.
In the Connacht Junior Cup, Castlebar Celtic will be out for revenge when they travel to Ballaghaderreen to take on the Roscommon and District League side in round two of the competition. Both sides met back in October in the second round of the FAI Junior Cup, with Ballaghaderreen going home from Celtic Park with a 3-1 win. In the Connacht Shield, Straide and Foxford United B will host Ballyheane B.