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There is always plenty of open and honest discussion when the Mayo League hosts its AGM. This year’s will surely be no different when the clubs and the league executive meet for the AGM on Tuesday March 8 at 8pm in Milebush Park.
Fine Gael Ballina Town councillor Mark Winters demanded answers why a motion he submitted to the town council to change the standing orders of the meetings to include an item called either engineers report or questions was ruled not valid by the council.
It is another hectic weekend of action for a number of Mayo sides on the soccer fields this weekend. Thirteen Mayo teams will be in action across the province in Connacht Junior Cup and Junior Shield action either on Saturday or Sunday. The action gets underway on Saturday evening at 6pm, when Manulla make the trek to Shiven Rovers to take on the 2010 Roscommon and District League champions in what will be a very tough encounter for the Carramore men.
Ballina Town are on the look out for a new manager following the news that Brendan Kenny has decided to step down form the position of manager. Kenny who led Ballina Town to back to back Super League titles stood down this week following Ballina’s elimination from the FAI Junior Cup last weekend. He told the Mayo Advertiser this week that, “It’s been a great four years with the lads, but I think it was time to step away. It’s been all go in the Mayo League because your going all year round and I feel like I have brought them as far as I can. A big thing for me was retaining the Super League title, but I don’t have the energy to give it all the time you need anymore so I’m taking a step back. I’ve been there for four years now and the lads need a new fresh voice to push them on further, and it’s a great opportunity for a manager to come to a side who are the top of the tree in Mayo. The club has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years not just off the pitch, we have the new club house and the astro turf which is a great credit to all those involved and I’m pleased to have been involved in that.”
It was a bad day for the majority of Mayo sides in FAI Junior Cup action at the weekend. Of the four sides who were playing fifth round ties only Westport United made progress to the sixth round of the competition. Barry Kilgannon’s side were 2-1 winners over City United in the Sports Park on Sunday afternoon. Super League champions Ballina Town were knocked out of the competition by Ennis side Avenue United 5-1, while Castlebar Celtic were beaten 5-0 by St Peters FC. The other Mayo side in action in the cup Kiltimagh/Knock United were also beaten 5-0 by Wilton FC in Cork.
There is a busy weekend of action in store on the local junior soccer scene in Mayo. Four Mayo sides will be in action in the FAI Junior Cup fifth round, with two more in Connacht Junior Cup third round contests and one side in the Connacht Junior Shield.
The Mayo League Oscar Traynor side will go to McSharry Park in Sligo on Sunday afternoon knowing that only a win will do if they want to progress in the competition this season. A fortnight ago Brendan Kenny’s side played their first game in the competition at home to the Roscommon League and were only able to come away from the game with a draw. However Kenny was happy overall with the performance of his players. “It was a tough game and the lads hadn’t played for a long time,” he said. “We were going into the game soft, having only a few training sessions under our belts. We went behind three times and pulled it back each time which was a positive itself. You can’t doubt the commitment of the lads, you can have the best players in the world but if you don’t have the commitment you won’t win anything. Everyone of them showed pride in the jersey which is something you can’t buy.”
After the cold weather put paid to most football across the county since the middle of December eight Mayo sides will be back in action in round four of the FAI Junior Cup this Sunday. There are four games down for decision between eight Mayo teams. Super League champions Ballina Town, who after claiming to titles in a row will be looking to make a dent on the national stage, will make the trip to Carnenash to take on Iorras Aontaithe in what should be a tight encounter. While Ballina Town were deserving league champions the men from Erris pushed them all the way along with Westport United finishing only four point behind back in third place. When the sides met back in June Ballina won 4-1 in Belleek and the sides played out a seven goal thriller in Sunday’s venue in August with Brendan Kenny’s side coming out 4-3 winners en route to the title.
“It’s a cup competition in reality, you can’t afford to lose a game,” is how Mayo League manager Brendan Kenny sees Sunday’s game against the Roscommon side in the Oscar Traynor Trophy. Weather permitting, Kenny’s Mayo will host neighbours Roscommon on Sunday in Milebush Park at 2pm in their first game in this year’s Oscar Traynor Trophy. It will be the visitors’ second game in the competition this year after going down 3-1 to a Sligo/Leitrim side a few weeks ago, meaning it is do or die on Sunday for them.
The last round of games in the local stages of the FAI Umbro Junior Cup are down for decision on Sunday all over the county. With four games down for decision, there are a number of interesting contests to whet the appetite of the soccer supporter. The big game of the day is the meeting of Iorras Aontaithe and Ballina Town in Carnenash at 2pm. Ballina Town picked up their second Super League title in a row in the autumn and will be looking to make a splash in this competition.