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News Report

Weekend Preview - 7th/8th April

06/04/18

Partry Athletic v Mulranny United

It’s a big weekend for Castlebar Celtic and Swinford in the Connacht Cup & Shield Semi Finals while there is also action across all four league divisions

Connacht Cup Semi Final

Castlebar Celtic v Carbury FC (Sun 2pm)

In the game of the weekend Castlebar Celtic are looking to reach the final of the Connacht Cup for the first time since 2014 as they welcome Sligo side Carbury FC to Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon. Carbury are the current leaders of the Sligo/Leitrim League and look set to retain the league title as they lead at the top of the table with twelve wins from twelve and have four games in hand. Gareth Kelly and Ibrahim Savage are their two danger men as both have scored seventeen league goals in a prolific attack. Celtic though have home advantage and this could prove crucial if they are to come through on Sunday. Liam Flatley is their main point of attack but with quality players like Gerry Hunt, Colm Nevin, Jason Hunt and Ger O’Boyle in their side they can prove a match for anyone on their day. A huge crowd is expected at Celtic Park as Michael McNicholas and his side go in search of their tenth Connacht Cup success.

Connacht Shield Semi Final

Colemanstown United v Swinford (Sun 2pm)                                                                                                                                                    Swinford are the only other Mayo side left in the external competitions and they travel to North East Galway to take on Colemanstown United in the Connacht Shield Semi Final. Swinford go into this game full of confidence after they opened their league season with two impressive victories over Ballyglass B and Conn Rangers. Niall Price scored four goals in those two games but with other like Paddy O’Donnell, Martin Murphy and Joe Slevin also in top form they will fancy their chances of reaching the final. Colemanstown are coming to the end of their league season as they lie mid-table in the second tier of the Galway League in what as been a difficult season for Timmy Holian’s side. They have struggled to put back to back wins together but have shown some good form in this competition getting past Conn Rangers, Claregalway and Corrib Celtic B. 

Elverys Sports Super League

Ballina Town v Claremorris (Sat 6pm)

Ballina Town have made an excellent start to the season picking up four points from six after they drew away to Castlebar Celtic last weekend. Ballina had huge defensive problems last year and they look to have sorted out this problem as they have conceded just one goal in their opening two games while they have continued to find the net with Jamie Cawley, Brendan Lavelle and Dylan McKee looking particularly impressive. 
Claremorris on the other hand are still looking to pick up their first points of the season after a surprise defeat at home to Ballyheane last weekend. Mark Peter’s side will need to get some points on the board soon but a tough trip to Belleek means they might have to wait another week to start doing so.

Kiltimagh/Knock United v Westport United (Sat 6pm)
Knock/Kiltimagh United had a tough introduction to the Super League last weekend when they conceded four second half goals after leading at the break and on Saturday evening things don’t get any easier as they welcome champions Westport United as they play their first ever Super League match at CMS Park. Westport were in scintillating form in a 6-1 win over Iorras last time out with the younger players to the fore as Brandon Scahill, Peter Corcoran, Mikey O’Brien and Adam Mulchrone on target for the Covies. This won’t be one of the games Kiltimagh/Knock will be expected to pick up the three points but a good performance could set them up for the challenges that lay ahead in the coming weeks.

Iorras Aontaithe v Manulla (Sun 2.30pm)

Both of these sides would have had different ambitions at the start of the season but this game is already one that could have a huge bearing at both ends of the table. A trip to Carne Nash is never easy for any side and Iorras will be relying on their home form to help them pick up enough points to consolidate their Super League status. Iorras are finding it tough defensively so far and the lack of a regular goalkeeper is only adding to their problems. Manulla needed a late header from Johnny Burke to salvage a point at home to Ballyglass last weekend but the introduction of a few Brazilian players to their squad might need a bit more time to gel even though one of them did score twice against Ballyglass as Lucas De Paula found the net on two occasions in the opening half.

Straide & Foxford United v Ballyheane (Sun 2.30pm)
Just like last year Straide & Foxford United have made a great start with two wins from two with victories over both of the sides that were promoted last season. Goals have been easy to come by so far this year with five players already on target including last year’s top goalscorer John Durkan who got his first two goals of the season last week in the 4-1 win over Kiltimagh/Knock United. Ballyheane had an impressive win last weekend as they recorded a 2-0 win away to Claremorris thanks to goals from Shea Benson and Ciaran Lyons. Joe Redmond’s young side will have learned a lot from last years relegation fight and they already look a much better bet to avoid the drop this time around.

CastleCourt Hotel Premier Division

Glenhest v Snugboro United (Sat 6pm)

Two unbeaten sides meet in Beltra on Saturday evening as Snugboro make the short journey to take on Glenhest Rovers. Glenhest needed a superb late freekick from Cathal Chambers to rescue a point against Fahy last week and they will need a much better performance if they are to get anything against an inform Snugboro side. Snugboro drew 3-3 against Achill last Sunday but Achill needed a very late goal to take a share of the spoils as Sean Curry’s first goal of the season looked to have earned Aaron Curry’s side their second win of the season.

Ballyglass B v Conn Rangers (Sun 12pm)                                                                                                                                                            Ballyglass B host Conn Rangers in the early game on Sunday morning as both sides go in search of their first points of the season. Ritchie Dalton and Rory Malone put in good performances in their 2-1 defeat in Bangor last time out as Ray Prendergast’s side were just edged out by Bangor Hibs. Conn Rangers were promotion challengers last year but on the evidence of the first two games their challenge will be a much different one this season. Joe Faughnan has had to introduce a number of youngsters to his first team and they will need to find their feet quickly if they are to survive in probably the most competitive division in the League. 

Achill Rovers v Ballyhaunis Town (Sun 2.30pm)
Ballyhaunis Town new signings have made a big impression for Tommy Page’s side as they made it two wins from two with a seven goal rout of Westport United B last Saturday. Cathal Carney and Dayo Adex have been at the heart of their brilliant attacking play and with Keith Robinson continuing to find the net on a regular basis they look a match for any side in the Premier Division. Achill kicked off their season with a late equaliser in Snugboro last Sunday but they showed plenty of determination to take a share of the spoils after coming from behind on two occasions in Martin Fadian’s first game in charge. Kevin Lynch made a return to action in this game and having his experience back in the squad can only have a positive effect as they bid to make an instant return to the top division.

Westport United B v Bangor Hibs (Sun 2.30pm)
Westport United B have a good recent record against Bangor Hibs and they will need this to continue as they look to arrest their recent form where they have been well beaten in their opening two games. Hibs on the other hand were fortunate to come away with all three points last weekend when they needed a fine penalty save from Pat McHale to secure a 2-1 win over Ballyglass B. Cathal Doherty was key to this victory as he struck up a partnership with Brian McHale as both players were on target before half time. Vinny O’Malley was the difference between these two sides when they last met at United Park and Westport will need their more experienced players to help them change their early season form.

Three Store Ballina League One

Castlebar Celtic B v Killala (Sat 6pm)

Killala will feel a bit unfortunate not to have picked up at least a point in their opening game against Ballina Town B and they now face a difficult trip to Celtic Park to take on Castlebar Celtic B on Saturday evening. Rory Gallagher has been their star player for the last few seasons and their captain for the season will need to start finding the net on a regular basis if Killala are to challenge for promotion. Celtic also suffered a defeat on the opening day as Kilmore put six past them as Bryan Mannion’s side put in their worst performance since he took over as manager last year but a home came might be just what they need to get their season back on track

Manulla B v Partry Athletic (Sat 6pm)
Manulla second side always has a good blend of youth and experience and this was very evident in their opening day victory over Crossmolina as Shane Durkan  struck both goals in a 2-0 win for Mossy Lally’s side. Partry felt they were unfortunate to fall to a defeat in their opening game against Mulranny and Neil Donnelly’s side will be looking to get their first league points of the season in Carramore where they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the start of last season.

Crossmolina v Kilmore (Sun 2.30pm)
Crossmolina have a hard task in front of them on Sunday when Kilmore are the visitors to Abbeyview. Kilmore showed they have the potential to make the step up to League One with a convincing 6-1 win over Castlebar Celtic B with six different players on the scoresheet. Gerard McDonnell has been a rock at the heart of their defence and with players like Sean Brogan and Jamie Flannery in attack they are sure to cause problems for Derek Grehem’s side. Crossmolina were on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline against Manulla B as their poor form at the end of last season looks to have continued into the 2018 season and they will look to their top players like Kevin McHugh and Ian Gordon to improve their fortunes.

Mulranny United v Ballina Town B (Sun 2.30pm)
Adrian McManamon was in charge when Mulranny won promotion to League One two years ago and he has returned this year as one of the player managers and his return proved decisive last weekend when he hit the winner in a 1-0 win over Partry Athletic. Philly Devers is in charge of Ballina Town B and after an excellent pre season they continued their good form into the new season with a very good 2-1 win over Killala thanks to goals from the ever reliable Shane Devers and the other from the influential Jason Muldoon.

Killeen Sports Ground League Two

Claremorris B v Ballina United (Sun 2.30pm)                                                                                                                                                           Two new teams meet in Claremorris on Sunday afternoon when Claremorris B take on Ballina United. It’s the opening game of the season for Claremorris B as they look to make an instant impression on Mayo League Football. Ballina United made a winning return to the League last weekend as a Jimmy McDonagh goal was enough to secure the three points at home to Newport Burrishoole.

Newport Burrishoole v Ballyvary Blue Bombers (Sun 2.30pm)
The second game in League Two takes place at Solar 21 Park as Newport take on the Blue Bombers as both sides look to pick up their first points of the season. Ballyvary can count themselves unlucky as they were unfortunate not to get at least a point against Hollister in their opening game while Newport also put in a good performance against Ballina United but also came away with nothing following a 1-0 defeat.

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