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News Report

FAI Junior Cup Round 2 Preview


FAI Junior Cup

There are eight ties in the opening round of the FAI Junior Cup with Westport United and Manulla facing Premier League teams while there are also three all Super League ties.

FAI Junior Cup Round 2

Ballina Town v Castlebar Celtic (Sun 2pm)

The tie of the round takes place in Belleek when league champions Ballina Town host Castlebar Celtic on Sunday afternoon. These two sides will meet again in the Connacht Gold Cup Final at the end of October but that game will be far from their minds this weekend as they aim to progress to the next round. They have met twice in Belleek already this season and Ballina came through both encounters with a three goal victory. Celtic have had a good end to their league season and can still finish second if results go their way on the final day of the season. Liam Flatley returned to the side in their recent win over Manulla and the striker hit a hat-trick in a 5-2 win. Ger O’Boyle and the Hunt brothers are also in fine form but they will need more than those few players to be at their best if they are to have any chance of getting past Mick Duffy’s side.

Ballina United v Crossmolina (Sun 11am)
Ballina United host neighbours Crossmolina in what should be a hard game to call. Crossmolina have had only one win in their last six games as their early season form was enough to secure their position in League One for another season. Ballina had a good first season back in Mayo League Football as they won the McDonnell Cup back in July and they were very competitive in League Two. Crossmolina should be slight favourites for the tie but home advantage gives Ballina a chance.

Ballyheane v Claremorris (Sun 11am)
One of the all Super League clashes takes place in Pat Quigley Park when Ballyheane face an in-form Claremorris side. Ballyheane meet Knock/Kiltimagh United in a final day relegation winner takes all battle in two weeks time and they will be looking to get only their second win since May on Sunday. They were very impressive in the 7-0 win over Iorras in their last game with Imoh Atoi, Paddy Bourke and Padraig Mulroe coming into form at the right time of the season. Claremorris have won four out of their last five league games and are hoping to take their domestic form into the external cups. Danny Broderick, Andrew Peters and Finian Brady are their main goalscoring threats but they have tightened things up at the back after a tough first half of the season where they conceded a lot of goals.

Manulla v Fahy Rovers (Sun 11am)
Fahy Rovers played their first ever game at their new home ground last weekend when they exited the Connacht Cup and this weekend they face an even tougher task when they travel to Carramore to take on Super League side Manulla. Fahy for the first time in a few seasons were not involved in a relegation battle and look like they will finish in 5th position in the Premier League. Manulla had a very tough first half of the season and despite winning the Westaro Cup in August they have lost their last three league games which should give Fahy hope going into Sunday’s encounter.

Partry Athletic v Ballyvary Blue Bombers (Sun 11am)
Partry Athletic and Ballyvary Blue Bombers will both see this as a great chance to progress to the next round when the two sides meet in Partry on Sunday afternoon. League One side Partry will be favourites but Ballyvary should test them after missing out on promotion from League Two by just a few points. Ballyvary were disappointed to miss out on promotion as they lost their last league game to Ballina United and they were also knocked out if the Connacht Cup last weekend by Cartron United. Partry were involved in a high scoring goal in their opening Connacht Cup game as they beat Castlerea Celtic B 7-4.

Snugboro United v Westport United (Sun 11am)

Newly promoted Snugboro United’s nineteen game winning run came to an end recently as they have lost their last two games but they are still in pole position to clinch the Premier Division title. Before that they face Westport United in the FAI Junior Cup where a win for Aaron Curry’s side will still be seen as a shock result despite their brilliant form this season. Westport would have been looking for an easier opener than they face this weekend and the pressure will all be on John Russell’s side to progress as they will be aiming to go far in this competition after a disappointing early exit last season at the hands of Straide & Foxford United.

Ballyglass v Kiltimagh/Knock United (Sun 2pm)
Kiltimagh/Knock United will try to put their relegation worries behind them when they travel to Michael Keaveney Park to take on Tom Connolly’s side. They will be looking for a good performance on Sunday and progression to the next round would be a bonus for Aiden Flatley’s side. Evan Connolly has lso been amongst the goals recently as he has formed a good partnership with Jp O’Gorman who continues to bang in the goals on a regular basis. Ballyglass have ended the season very well after been dragged into the relegation battle midway through the sesson.

Glenhest Rovers v Conn Rangers (Sun 2pm)

In an all Premier Division tie Conn Rangers travel to Beltra to take on Glenhest Rovers. Conn Rangers have ended the season in good form as the introduction of a number of their U18 squad gave their side a much needed boost to move them away from the relegation zone with wins in their last two league games. Liam Durkin, Jason Farrell and Ben Stowe are just a few of these players who have been amongst the goals in those important victories. Glenhest are going to finish fourth in the league but will go into this game on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Bangor Hibs last weekend. Chris Rowland is still their key man but they have other players like Kevin Warde and Cathal Chambers who can make a difference if they are on for

Iorras Aontaithe v Swinford (Sun 2pm)
Iorras will be glad that the season is coming to an end after a difficult return to the Super League saw them relegated with three games to go. On Sunday afternoon they host a Swinford side that have just missed out on promotion from the Premier Division. Swinford are a real attacking force with Paddy O’Donnell, Joe Slevin and Martin Murphy just three of the players who have had impressive seasons. Iorras failed to win a game at home in the league all season so it’s hard to see this changing this weekend.

Charity Game
Achill Rovers Legends v Shamrock Rovers Legends (Sat 3pm)
At 3pm on Saturday, Shamrock Rovers Legends will play Achill Rovers in a special event to mark the 20th anniversary of Achill's 1998 league title. 11 members of that famous 1998 squad will be making an appearance for Achill. Joining them will be a host of other former and current players including former Cameroon international Joseph Ndo who played for both Shamrock Rovers and Achill Rovers. Proceeds from the event will be going towards the Achill RNLI.