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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.
In the Welcome Inn Premier A there are three sides locked together at the top of the table with Glenhest Rovers, Westport United B, and Killala all level on six points after two wins from two for the three sides. Glenhest Rovers followed up their 7-0 win over Moy Villa in round one with a 1-0 win over Swinford last weekend on the road, with Paul McLoughlin scoring the goal. This weekend they face a Kiltimagh/Knock United side who have neither won nor lost a game this season, drawing in both their outings against Claremorris and Castlebar Celtic B. Westport United B will take on Castlebar Celtic B on Sunday as they look to keep their 100 per cent record up. Last Saturday night they had a 3-0 win over Partry Athletic with Mark McNally, Paul Geraghty, and Jordan Ring finding the net. The other side with six points so far, Killala, will take on Swinford on Sunday, last time out Killala had a 3-1 win over Moy Villa who have found it hard to adjust to the life after the Super League so far this season, losing both their opening two games.
There are eight Mayo sides left in the Connacht Junior Cup after last Sunday’s third round of action. The competition now moves forward to the last 16 with only three games between those remaining and a place in the final. The first of those fourth round games takes place this Sunday when Manulla host St Patrick’s in Carramore at 2pm. The Galway side currently are sitting second bottom of the Western Hygiene Supplies Premier Division with just one win from their 11 games so far this season. Manulla will be hoping they have the quality to breach a defence that has conceded 36 goals in league football already this season.
It is back to action after the winter break for most of the teams in the Mayo League with a full round of fixtures in the third round of the Connacht Cup down for decision this Sunday. There are 16 Mayo sides still in contention in the cup proper with five sides in the shield competition.
One can only imagine what odds you would have got at the start of the year that Glenhest Rovers would pitch up against Ballina Town on Sunday, in the Connacht Gold Shield Final. Last year’s Super League winners will feel that they should be taking part in the showpiece event a couple of hours later but it has been that sort of season for Ballina. After losing a string of top quality stars it was always going to be tough to repeat the kind of form that parachuted them to glory last season.
It’s a battle of the Towns in Milebush Park on Sunday, when Newport Town face off against Ballyhaunis Town in the Tuohy Cup final at 3pm. The men from Ballyhaunis Town will go into the game as favourites, as they sit 14 points clear of Newport Town in the Welcome Inn Premier B table. Ballyhaunis Town are right in the title hunt only three points off first placed Kiltimagh/Knock United, and two points behind Glenhest Rovers in second place. Newport Town are currently sitting third from the bottom in the league table with only three wins from their 11 league games so far this season, but they are still six points clear of the relegation zone. When these sides met in the league a few weeks ago, Ballyhaunis Town ran out 5-2 winners in Ballyhaunis and also saw off Newport Town 1-0 in the second round of league games.
The Mayo League representative side made the short trip to Eamon Deacy Park in Terryland on Tuesday night for this first round EA Sports Cup tie. But unfortunately they came up short against the SSE Airtricity League side after holding them at bay for more than 75 minutes of the contest. Galway FC had been pushing for a goal all night, but Mayo League goalkeeper Gary Cunningham had been in fantastic form. When he was finally beaten it came from the boot of Marty Owens who fired home at the back post from close range after being set up by Jake Keegan. The hosts doubled their lead seven minutes before the end when Keegan riffled the ball past Cunningham from out on the right hand side after some neat footwork to create the space for the shot.
The 2013 Elvery’s Sports Super League title headed to north Mayo after a titanic battle that stretched right until the very last day of the season. Ballina Town wrapped it up with a 1-0 win away to Castlebar Celtic, while Ballyheane were held to a 2-2 draw by Westport United at home. Although the title deservedly went to Ballina Town, Ballyheane had a impressive return to the Super League finishing in second place and going the whole 14 game season unbeaten in the league, finishing up with seven wins and seven draws.
Next Friday night (December 6) in the Welcome Inn Hotel the Mayo League will honour the best performers of the year at its annual awards night. The league has selected teams of the year across all five divisions of the Mayo League, from the Super League to League Two, and team of the year for the Masters competitions it runs. It will also announce on the night the player of the year in each division.
In many ways it is the classic cup final between the historic big two in Mayo soccer this Sunday when Castlebar Celtic and Westport United meet in Milebush. For a team that dominated at home and in the province last year, this year has been successful on the field for the Covies. A so-so start to the league saw them chasing from early on, but they found their form as the season went on and had a major say in the destination of the title in the closing stages, beating eventual champions Ballina Town on the penultimate day ensuring the destination of the Super League crown went down to the last day of the season. They then held second placed Ballyheane to a 2-2 draw at the end of October killing off their hopes of sneaking the title on the last day of the league. They eventually finished six points behind Ballina in the league, and know if they had been able to turn any of the four draws they were held to in the league season the day would have been right in the mix to retain the title.