Celtic edge Westport in netbusting weekend of action

Soccer: Westaro Cup Review

Hard tackling: Ballyheane's Theron Coghill goes in for the ball against Conn Rangers. Photo: CG

Hard tackling: Ballyheane's Theron Coghill goes in for the ball against Conn Rangers. Photo: CG

There was no shortage of action in the Westaro Cup this weekend as the first round of games saw 23 goals hit the back of the net over the five games played. The big game of the weekend saw Castlebar Celtic grab the bragging rights over Westport United with a 4-3 win over their old rivals in Celtic Park. It was a thrilling encounter that saw both sides swap the lead on a few occasions and Westport United finish with ten men.

The Covies took the lead through a David Hoban goal just before the quarter of an hour mark, Colm Nevin squared it all up on 31 minutes and that's how it remained until the half-time break. Celtic took the lead early in the second half when Paul Fitzpatrick hit the first of the three goals he would score in the second half, but the lead lasted only until just before the hour mark when David Hoban swooped for his second goal. A few minutes later and it was advantage Westport United once more when David Cameron was on hand to finish from close range. But Celtic kept plugging away and when Westport United were reduced to ten men after Joe Lawless picked up a second yellow card, the Hoops' went for the jugular. A quarter of an hour from time Fitzpatrick nicked his second goal after being played in by Ger O'Boyle. Not long after Fitzpatrick netted his third and Celtic's fourth goal to secure the win over the side that last year won everything on offer in Mayo.

On Saturday evening in Green Road, Conn Rangers were the nominal home-side after their game with Ballyheane was switched their from their home venue of  Mount Falcon. The visitors were worthy 4-0 winners in a game that saw them grab two goals in each half, with Terry Maughan grabbing two goals before the break. Maughan's first goal came after neat build up work between Chris Maughan and Arek Tobiasz broke the Conn rearguard. Just over a minute later his second goal was almost a carbon copy of his first with Maughan once again finishing from close range. Dan Purcell was introduced by Ballyheane early in the second half and the winger was the star man of the closing stages, grabbing his sides third goal and causing all kinds of problems for the Conn rearguard. The final word on the day was left to the hard working Tobiasz who scored his sides fourth goal which was a just reward for his efforts all evening.

Iorras Aontaithe pulled off the surprise of the weekend when they knocked Ballina Town out of the competition with a 4-2 win in Belleek Park. Ballina Town took the lead inside the first minute when Aidan O'Hora finished from close range. Ballina went two goals clear just before the half-hour mark when O'Hora found the net again. But the men from Erris weren't throwing in the towel just yet and Kyle O'Reilly cut the gap to just one goal before break with a neat finish. Ballina were reduced to ten men when goalkepper Kieran O'Malley was given his marching orders eight minutes into the half. David Reilly fired the resulting spot kick to the back of the net and swung the momentum in the visitors direction.  A second Iorras penalty 15 minutes from time was dispatched again to the net by O'Reilly to put his side into the lead and with time ticking down he completed his hat-trick to secure a win for the his team and book their spot in the next round.

Manulla booked their place in the next round on Saturday evening thanks to second half goals from Shane and Gary Durcan that cancelled out Hassan Orang's first half goal for visitors Charlestown Athletic. The other game in the competition saw Ballyglass keep up their winning run with a 3-0 win over Straide and Foxford United to book their place in the next round of the competition.

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