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The main attention switches from the league to the league cup this weekend, with four sides left in the hunt for the Westaro Cup.
The Mayo League have announced the September/October winners of their awards. League and cup winners Ballina Town won the team of the month award, while Ballyhaunis Town manager Tommy Page, who guided his side to promotion to the top flight for next year - along with winning the Premier Cup - was rewarded with the manager of the month award.
Tomorrow evening sees the Connacht Gold Super Cup quarterfinals down for decision as the league action takes a backseat for a weekend. The line-up sees Ballyglass host league leaders Westport United, Straide and Foxford United will tangle with Castlebar Celtic in Celtic Park, Achill Rovers will host Glenhest Rovers, and Ballyheane will travel north to take on Ballina Town.
The Connacht Gold Super and Premier cups get moving this weekend, with 16 games in both competitions down for decision over Saturday and Sunday. In the Super Cup there are just two all division ties with the meeting of Super League sides Manulla and Ballyglass in Carramore, and Claremorris and Westport United two of the stand-out ties of the round.
Last weekend all eyes were on the divisional cup competitions with the Westaro Cup taking centre stage for the top flight clubs. League champions Westport United needed a penalty shootout to progress as Claremorris after the game finished 3-3 after extra time. Colm Keane struck two first half goals from free-kicks, with Andrew Peters and Matthew Peters both finding the net for Claremorris before half time in this entertaining encounter. Westport went in front for the third time not long before the full time time whistle, thanks to a Adam Mulchrone goal, but Oisin Brady leveLled it up again right on full time to send the game to extra time. No one could find the net in the additional periods and Westport emerged winners 5-3 on penalties.
League leaders Manulla will look to keep up their impressive start to the new season tomorrow evening when they head to Belleek to take on a Ballina Town side that are rooted to the bottom of the table and badly in need of a win. Last weekend they left it late but ultimately saw off the challenge of a Straide and Foxford United side that had been level with them on the top of the table at the start of the weekend, thanks to a goal three minutes from time from the head of veteran striker Dessie Campbell.
When the season was about to kick-off, you would have got pretty good odds on Straide and Foxford United leading the league table after the first few rounds of games, but that is exactly where they are right now, with seven points from their opening three games. You would have also probably got as long odds that the two sides who battled it out for the title last year would be in the bottom two, but once again that is what we have so far with Ballina Town propping up the table and Westport United just ahead of them.
This weekend sees the 2017 Mayo League soccer season kick off, with 34 different sides lined up for competition this season. In the top division all eyes will be fixed on seeing whether anyone can finally step up and stop Westport United's domination of the league. Last season Ballina Town gave it a right good go, but came up short down the home stretch with John Brennan's men edging them out down the home stretch.
Westport United's David Hoban will be part of the Irish squad that will take part in this Regions Cup in Italy at the end of the month. The United man will make up part of a 18-man squad that have been drawn in a group with Macedonia, Slovenia and Italy. Manulla's Cillian McGlade has been put on standby for the squad. The competition kicks off on September 28 when Ireland take on Italy, they follow that up with a clash with Macedonia on September 30 and then take on Slovenia on October 2.
With Ballina Town in action in the Connacht Junior Cup against Galway Bohs there was only four games down for decision on the opening weekend. Current holders Westport entertained Super League newbies Glenhest Rovers to the Sports Park on Sunday afternoon. In a closely fought affair, goals from David Hoban and Adam Mulchrone got the Covies off to a flying start in a 2-0 win. Ciaran Kelly and his Castlebar Celtic side travelled to North Mayo on Saturday evening and they gained a share of the spoils in a real humdinger. Anthony Johnston, Ioseph O’Reilly and Jamie Ivers opened their league accounts for the Hoops, whilst Jason Boylan, Tom Ivan and Jamie Flannery were on target for Iorrais in a 3-3 draw.