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This year’s Chadwicks Cup final (Mayo League FA Cup) sees the meeting of two Uniteds who have seen their historical positions flipped this year. Straide and Foxford United, one of the blue ribbon names in Mayo soccer saw themselves relegated at the death of the 2007 season to the Premier League, while Snugboro United surrvived and launched an all out assault on the higher reaches of the Super League this season. This assault proved ultimately unsuccessful but Johan Collins’s first year in charge of the side can only be marked out as a success so far. And if he is able to guide his men to pick up the Chadwicks Cup the season will have been an unqualified success.
Mayo Oscar Traynor team manager, Declan Kilkelly, announced his squad of players for the forthcoming group one games in the National Oscar Traynor Trophy competition. The panel includes four new players (Emmet Peyton, James Jennings, Paul Walsh and David Reilly) receiving their first call up along with another three players who have been added to last year’s squad (Ronan O’Boyle, Andy Neary and Gerry McLoughlin). Mayo will be competing in group one with the Inishowen League (away) and the Galway League (home).
Mayo will make the long trip north this weekend to take on the Inishowen league in their opening game in this season’s Oscar Traynor Trophy. For the second year in a row Castlebar Celtic manager Declan Kilkelly will be taking charge of the side and after narrowly missing out on qualifiying from the group stages last year Kilkelly will be hoping to at least improve on that this season. This year’s competition sees Mayo in a three team group with this weekend’s opponents the Inishowen League and the Galway League and with only one team to qualify for the next round of the competition.
It's a simple task for Mayo on Sunday: win the game and book their place in the last eight of this season's Oscar Traynor Cup; while for Galway all they need is a point to reach their the last eight.
The first Connacht women’s soccer tournament kicks off this weekend in what is seen as a major step forward for the game in the west.
The Mayo League will see the curtain come down on another season this Sunday (bar one or two re-fixed games), with a number of titles and promotion spots still up for grabs. In the Super League Ballina Town have their destiny in their own hands and on Sunday at 2.30pm on the Pete Murray pitch in Belleek Park, they can wrap up the title with a win over Fahy Rovers. Ballina Town have been leading the charge over the 17 games so far this season, with Westport United nipping at their heels. A win for Brendan Kenny’s side will see them reach 44 points, enough to claim the title as Westport can only reach a maximum of 43 with their two games left this season. They play Iorras Aontaithe this Sunday and have a re-fixed game against Snugboro United also to play, but if Kenny’s men do what is expected of them Westport’s re-fixed game will be inconsequential to the title race.
“Before I ever tell anyone what I can do for them when they come to me with an issue, the first thing I do is let them know exactly what I can’t do. You have to be honest with people when they come to you with a problem, because even though you might have 20 other issues to deal with, the one they come to you with is the most important to them. And they are the ones who elected you to the council in the first place.” It’s a simple tenet, but it’s the one of the most important tenets of someone who is a public representative according to Ballina Town and County Councillor Johnny O’Malley. The Fianna Fail councillor has been elected to Ballina Town Council twice, first in 1999 and again in 2004, and then to Mayo County Council for the first time in the same year.
“It’s not ideal but that’s the nature of junior soccer,” said Mayo manager Declan Kilkelly of his side’s preparation for tomorrow’s quarter final of the Oscar Traynor Cup. Mayo only got back to group training this week after their win over the Galway League in the last round of the group stages of the competition in December, due to the Christmas break and FAI Junior Cup action. Tomorrow they will make the trip to Dublin to take on the United Churches League in the quarter final of the premier tournament for county sides in junior soccer looking to book a place in the final four of the competition.
Run for Fun in Castlebar
This weekend sees the Mayo soccer season really kick into life, with the premier division and Down being in action over the last few weeks, the time has now come for the Super League sides to get in on the action. Westport United will be looking to make it three titles in a row this season and following on from their extra time Connacht Senior Cup victory over Athenry last weekend they have been set up perfectly for the new domestic season. The Coveys will start their campaign away to Manulla in Carrowmore on Saturday evening. Padraig Burns and Kevin Cusack’s team should expect a tough encounter from the central Mayo side who are capable of taking on and beating anyone on the day, especially at home. The league’s three promoted sides, Straide and Foxford United, Kilmore, and Fahy Rover all face a tough start to the season.