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Two of the three Mayo sides in FAI Junior Cup action have home advantage this weekend in the fifth round of the FAI Junior Cup, with just Super League champions Westport United hitting the road to take on Swords based outfit Rivervalley Rangers in the nation's capital.
The never ending season for successful junior soccer sides continues this weekend, when three Mayo League outfits go looking for a place in the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup. Castlebar Celtic, Manulla, and Westport United are all in action in the last 32 of the competition and will be looking to make home advantage count.
Ballina Town v Manulla
With Mayo playing against the Sky Blues on Saturday night there was a somewhat congested Mayo League card on Sunday afternoon. Westport Utd recorded a facile 6-0 win at home to their former fierce rivals Castlebar Celtic on Sunday morning. Dave Hoban fired home four goals in a stunning display, as well as efforts by Phil Keegan and Darren Browne in a superb display by the Covies. Ballina Town were made work for their three points at home to Conn Rangers. A first half Brendan Lavelle strike ultimately proved the difference in a closely fought affair.
Westport United maintained their push for a league title with a 5-1 win over Manulla last Sunday afternoon. Dave Hoban nailed two first half goals along with an unfortunate Keelan McDonnell own goal. Tom Healy’s men were struggling to generate any momentum and in fairness to them they regrouped after the break with Matthew Nolan cutting the gap on 52 minutes. However, the Covies reignited their challenge as goals from Joe Lawless and a close range Vinny O’Malley effort put a seal on the three points on offer.
League form is always a great leveller when trying to determine the outcome of cup finals and bearing this in mind this one will certainly go down to the wire. After a brilliant start to the season the Covies have struggled in recent weeks for consistency and fallen well back in the race for the Premier A title.
After knocking out Ballyheane a couple of weeks ago many observers felt that Claremorris would not have enough in the tank to take out Ballina Town. They proved all their doubters wrong on Sunday afternoon as they booked their last four ticket following their 3-2 win over the Super League side in Concannon Park. Daniel Gorman had given Ballina an early lead with a smashing free-kick from 20 yards, but the south Mayo men regrouped and were rewarded as Dean Roddy opened his account after Simon Butler put him through on goal and it remained dead-locked at the break.