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As a result of the torrential rain all weekend a number of games were pulled for the safety of the players. However, those that did go ahead threw up some cracking ties amid the shocking conditions. In the Elverys Sports Super League, Castlebar Celtic had gone into an early lead thanks to a Jordan Loftus goal after only 20 seconds, but with the rain getting heavier and the surface water in Celtic Park causing problems, referee Jimmy Cawley called both sets of players aside and abandoned the game after only nine minutes. Westport Utd were pushed all the way by Iorrais Aontaithe on Saturday night in what can only be described as a thriller. And the star of the show most definitely was Phil Keegan who bagged a hat-trick in a stunning display. Deadlocked at 2-2 at the break the Covies found something extra after the break with Keegan grabbing the late winner. Dave Cameron also got in on the act for Westport, with Ivan Barrett (two) and Kyle O’Reilly on target for Iorrais Aontaithe.
Westport United will be looking to avoid exiting the FAI Junior Cup at the seventh round stage for the second year in a row on Sunday, when they make the trip to Dublin. Standing in their way is a familiar foe in the shape of Sheriff YC the side that knocked them out of the competition at this stage last year. The Dublin outfit booked their place in this round of the competition with a comfortable 6-2 win over Tramore last Sunday on their home patch in Fairview. The Dublin outfit were in control of the contest from start to finish, and could have scored more than the half-dozen they did if they had their shooting boots on. Darren Dunne chipped in with a hat-trick, with John Rock scoring a brace to round off the scoring starting with a penalty and finishing with a neat finish from inside the area to make it number six.
In the end it was easier than expected, but Westport United are in the fifth round of the FAI Junior Cup alongside fellow Mayo teams, Iorras Aontaithe and Ballyhaunis Town, in three weeks’ time.
While some of their local rivals were bowing out of the FAI Junior Cup at the fourth round stage, Westport United were booking their own spot in that round last weekend with a 4-1 win over Claremorris in Concannon Park. The all conquering treble champions did have their supporters sweating for a while though, after they fell behind early on when Paul Burke finished a rebound to the net from close range. Westport United did manage to pull the game level before the break when Pat Fitzgerald rolled the ball to the back of the net after being set up by the veteran Vinny O’Malley. United took the lead early on in the second half when Martin Geraghty found the back of the net before Vinny O’Malley and Dave Cameron rounded off the win and booked their side’s place in the fourth round and their fourth meeting with Ballinasloe Town in the last three seasons.
There are not many superlatives left to describe how good Westport United have been this season in league and cup competitions in Mayo. A second treble in three years of the Elverys Sports Super League, FCS Cup and Connacht Gold Cup was achieved last Sunday, with a 3-0 win over Ballyheane in the Connacht Gold Cup Final, and with that they went through the entire domestic season, league and cup unbeaten. The only minor blemish on their record was a draw at home to Straide and Foxford United in July. But last weekend it was jut about taking care of business and they did that with ruthless efficiency and killing the game off early thanks to goals from Dave Cameron and Pat Fitzgerald inside the opening 20 minutes, with Philip Keegan rounding off the win before the hour mark.
Fifteen years ago Manchester United bagged the famous treble after a last minute Ole Gunnar Solskjær winner against Bayern Munich at Camp Nou. On Sunday Westport Utd will be hoping to emulate that feat by taking home the Connacht Gold Cup, after an unbeaten season in all competitions.
Going into Sunday’s game in Green Road against Straide and Foxford United the news that the previous evening, Ballina Town had been held by Manulla gave Westport United the chance to stretch their legs at the top of the Elverys Super League table. And that’s exactly what they did and in some style thanks to a 4-0 win. That’s 22 goals the Coveys have now scored in their four games so far in the league, an amazing 5.5 goals per game so far in the league.
Even with eight regulars missing from their starting line-up, Westport United showed no mercy to Charlestown Athletic in the Sportspark on Sunday. No less than seven different Westport United players got on the score sheet in their 7-2 route of the east Mayo side. Westport struck four goals on the bounce from injury time in the first half until the 56th minute of the contest, to turn at 1-0 lead into a 5-0 lead and sap the fight out of a Charlestown Athletic team who up until that point had been doing their best to hang in with home-team.
It’s wagons east for Westport United and their loyal band of supporters on Sunday, as they look for a place in the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup. Standing in their way is the imposing figure of Sheriff YC from the capital. The hooped side from Dublin won the competition last June in the Aviva Stadium when they saw off fellow Dublin side Kilbarrack FC. They are currently sitting in third place in the AUL Premier A table in the capital, but have four games in hand on the league leaders Kilbarrack United.
There will be plenty of drama in the Elverys Super League on Sunday when the final round of games kick-off, with both Ballina Town and Ballyheane having a chance to claim the title. Last Sunday Fergal Forde’s men from north Mayo had a chance to claim the title when they played their catch up game against Westport United, but last years champions were not in any mood to just let Ballina Town take their crown and ran out 3-0 winners against them in the Sportspark.