Outside the Box was off last week. But some things don’t change, and Westport United kept on winning, making it ten out of ten so far in the Elverys Sports Super League. I don’t know if any bookmakers are giving odds on the men from the Sportspark going through the whole season with a 100 per cent record, never mind unbeaten, but if they are they are surely shrinking with each week that goes by. This weekend they will make the trip to Charlestown Athletic to take on a side who have more than held their own with the rest of the league this season, and picked up their fourth win last time out with a 1-0 win over Fahy Rovers in Moneen. But when these sides met in round three of the league back at the tail end of April, Westport United ran out 7-2 winners with a side that was shorn of many of their biggest names.
Defending champions Ballina Town fell to their fourth defeat of the season when they coughed up a two goal lead away to Straide and Foxford United last weekend, to lose out 3-2. It’s the second time this year the men in tangerine have beaten their northern neighbours, putting a dent in their title defence. On Saturday evening, Straide and Foxford United will make the trip to Castlebar to face Castlebar Celtic in a game that could see the Hoops pull four points clear of their guests if they pick up the win. Celtic had a big 7-3 win over Moy Villa last weekend, with Jason Hunt scoring a goal for the ages for the Hoops by all accounts. Celtic have two games in hand on the league leaders from down the road, but even if they manage to win those games they’ll still be nine points behind Westport United in the table. If Celtic were not distracted by their Connacht Cup final appearance at the start of the domestic season, “Could they have made a stronger challenge for the title?” is a question that many will be mulling over. But with the Mayo League preferring summer soccer and most other leagues going for winter football, it is a clash that will continue to arise for teams who are successful in out of Mayo competition.
While Westport are running away at the top, the bunch in the middle of the table are all well within touching distance of themselves with second to eighth place only separated by four points and third to seventh by three points. That’s just one win the gap between third placed Celtic and eighth placed Ballyheane.
Manulla will host Fahy Rovers on Saturday evening. They picked up their third win in the league last weekend with a 3-1 win over Iorras Aontaithe in Carnenash, and will be expecting to win number four against the bottom of the table Fahy Rovers at home. Manulla’s win over Iorras last weekend saw their drive from the relegation zone halted, but there’s still plenty of time for them to make up the ground on those ahead of them. Only five points separate them from eighth-placed Ballyheane at the minute and a win away to Ballina Town on Sunday would keep them well within touching distance, and have everyone ahead of them looking over their shoulders as the final seven games of the season come around.