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Westaro Masters League Review 20th December

21/12/17

Straide & Foxford United Masters Team

Ballina Town extended their lead at the top of the Masters League Division 1 table after a hard fought 3-2 win over Manulla on the most eventful night of the season so far.

With Division 2 having started their Christmas break a week previously there was only three Division 1 matches down for decision, and only two of those reaching the final whistle.

The bottom of the table clash between Westport United and Ballyhuanis Town was abandoned with just seven minutes left to play. Westport player Martin Gill was sent off for a second yellow card and when he refused to return to the dressing room referee John Mulroe called the game off, much to the annoyance of both sets of players. Westport had staged a fantastic comeback in the game, leading 6-4 at the time of the abandonment, having been 4-1 down towards the end of the first-half.

In the night’s other games Ballina Town opened a six point gap between themselves and Manulla, who have a game in hand, when they overcame their rivals 3-2 in a feisty affair. Five yellow cards and a red card for Manulla striker Dessie Campbell will give an indication of both teams attitude going into the game. Not an inch was given. Noel Beattie opened the scoring for Ballina before Cormac O’Malley doubled their lead before the half-time break.

It looked like Ballina would cruise to victory but with 12 minutes to go the game burst into life when first John Kelly smashed home a fantastic long range effort before Campbell put a free kick from the edge of the box to the net. Despite being down to six men Manulla looked like they would hold on but a soft free conceded on the edge of their own box with just 3 minutes left was scored by Aidan O’Hora to secure the three points.

Fahy Rovers moved themselves clear of the relegation spots with a confortable 5-2 win over fellow relegation threatened side Straide & Foxford United in the night’s final game. The result gives Fahy some breathing space but leaves S&F looking over their shoulder could lead to their penultimate round game against Ballyhaunis being a winner takes all relegation battle. The returning John Jordan hit two goals for the East Mayo side but they had no answer to Fahy Rovers quick start to the game and powerful second-half. Sean McGreal, Larry Joyce and Colin Napier all picked up goals while Tom Gill added a brace to secure an early Christmas present.

The league now takes a break for Christmas but teams will return for the final rounds on Wednesday, January 3, before the cup takes centre stage in February.

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