Manulla look to push out their lead at the top

Soccer: Mayo League

Back of the net: Dessie Campbell hit a late winner for Manulla last weekend.

Back of the net: Dessie Campbell hit a late winner for Manulla last weekend.

League leaders Manulla will look to keep up their impressive start to the new season tomorrow evening when they head to Belleek to take on a Ballina Town side that are rooted to the bottom of the table and badly in need of a win. Last weekend they left it late but ultimately saw off the challenge of a Straide and Foxford United side that had been level with them on the top of the table at the start of the weekend, thanks to a goal three minutes from time from the head of veteran striker Dessie Campbell.

That win made it three victories from four for Connie Morrisey's outfit and puts them three points clear at the top of the table at this early stage. Tomorrow night, they will take on a Ballina Town side who have surprisingly yet to pick up a point from their three league games this season - after challenging all the way last year for the league title.

Last weekend's other games saw Westport United get back to winning ways with a 3-1 win at home against Claremorris, where they came from behind after Dean Roddy had put Claremorris into the lead five minutes before the break. Adam Mulchrone levelled it up just on the half time whistle, and nine minutes later put the Covies' into the lead. The win was sealed by a Padraig Folan strike to record the champion's first league win of the season. The other game was a less memorable affair with Glenhest Rovers and Ballyheane playing out a 0-0 draw, but after having seen Castlebar Celtic put eight past them last time out, Ballyheane will have been happy to pick up the point and kept the clean sheet in the process. The share of the spoils left both sides on four points in a group of five teams all with the same number of points at this stage of the season.

Glenhest Rovers will face another of those sides on four points this weekend when they welcome Claremorris on Saturday evening. The south Mayo men will be looking to get back to winning ways after seeing Westport United put three past them last weekend. In the three games they've played so far they've hit the back of the net 10 times. Glenhest saw off the struggling Ballina Town in round one and since then have picked up just one more point - last weekend, in between that they were beaten in tight encounters by both Achill Rovers and Ballyglass. It should be a tight encounter again tomorrow night.

Ballyglass will travel to Westport on Sunday looking to stop the champion's winning run after just one game. The central Mayo outfit have been a tricky enough opponent for the Covies in recent years and they have had a decent start to the season with two wins, one draw and one loss from their four opening games. Their one loss came in round one, when the surprise packet Straide and Foxford United beat them 4-2, but since then they have beaten Achill and Glenhest and held league leaders Manulla to a 2-2 draw.  Danny Broderick and JP O'Gorman have both hit the net twice for them over those four outings and have the potential to cause Westport plenty of problems.

Second placed Straide and Foxford United were caught right at the death by Manulla last weekend with Dessie Campbell's late, late winner seeing the tangerine men go down to their first defeat of the season. Paul Moran and John Durkan have bagged seven goals between them so far this season and they'll fancy their chances of getting a few more against Ballyheane on Sunday. The Quigley Park outfit will be happy to have got back on track last weekend after conceding 13 goals in the two previous games; Sunday will be another serious test for them.

Castlebar Celtic will be making a trip out west to take on an Achill Rovers side that have have been involved in four high scoring games already this season with 24 goals being scored in their matches so far. Rovers have hit the net 10 times and conceded 14 times, while Celtic have scored 15 (Liam Flatley has bagged seven of them ) and conceded just four in their three games to date. So we should see goals on Sunday on the island, and you'd expect the points to be going home with the Hoops.


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