Mayo Football League
Mayo Football League - Logo
News Report

Oliver Kelleher Masters Cup Quarter Finals Review


Swinford B Masters Team

Castlebar Celtic, Ballina Town, Manulla and Swinford ‘B’ are the last four left standing in this year’s Oliver Kelleher Masters Cup following Wednesday night’s quarter finals at Solar 21 Park.

All four had to work hard to ensure their place in the semi-finals, in particular Castlebar Celtic who had to come from three goals down in the second-half against Straide & Foxford United.

The East Mayo side raced into an early lead against their fancied opponents and looked to be in complete control of the game after Michéal Smyth put them 5-2 ahead early in the second-half. An injury to John Jordan, however, robbed United of their midfield creativity and offered Celtic a route back into the game.
A pair of cracking goals from Ashley Stevenson and one from Brian Mannion brought Celtic level and a flurry of late goals at either end of the pitch eventually ended with Castlebar on top 7-6.
Mark Rowland and Ashley Stevenson hit two each for Celtic with Brian Mannion adding a hat-trick. For Straide, Michéal Smyth also hit a hat-trick while Brian Joyce, John Jordan and Anthony Ruane added the others.

At the same time as Celtic were coming back from the dead, Division 2 champions Swinford ‘B’ ensured their place in the last four with a 3-1 win over 2016 finalists Conn Rangers.
Rangers put in a good defensive performance but were eventually overran by a superior outfit who have to be considered dark horses to win the competition outright despite being the only second division side left.
Goals from Karol Rushe and two for Patrick McDonnell were enough for the East Mayo side who always looked comfortable despite sitting on a one goal lead until quite late in the game. Mark Hanahoe grabbed Conn’s goal.

Fresh from winning the Division 1 title in a playoff last week Manulla ran out comfortable 9-3 winners against Kiltimagh Knock Untied in a game which didn’t feature one free kick such was the spirit it was played in.
It took Manulla 10 minutes to get themselves on the scoreboard but once they hit the net there only ever looked to be one winner of the tie. Kiltimagh put in a game performance over the hour but were playing for pride for much of that time.
James Cunningham, John Kelly, Gerry Jennings, two for Stephen Fadden and a Roger Clarke hat-trick put Manulla into the last four. Colm Kelly with two goals and Jerome Hunt also hit the net for Kiltimagh.

Ballina Town bounced back from losing their Division 1 crown against Manulla with a hard fought 5-2 victory over Swinford in the night’s final game.
Swinford will wonder how they let this game slip through their fingers. After falling to an early 2-0 deficit the East Mayo side dominated proceedings for much of the rest of the game but couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard. A missed penalty by Paul Halligan summing up their misfortune in front of goal.
A defensive lapse immediately after Swinford found themselves 3-2 down midway through the second-half and a red card for goalkeeper Nuri Paktis put paid to any hopes of an upset in what was a very physical game with neither side giving up an inch.
Brendan Giblin grabbed two for Ballina while Mark Beattie hit a hat-trick. Eoin Gallagher and Joe Kelly hit the goals for Swinford.

The semi-final draw was also made in Solar 1 Park on Wednesday night. Manulla will play Swinford ‘B’ and Ballina Town face Castlebar Celtic.