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News Report

Westaro Masters League Review - 31st January


Ballina Town Masters Team

There is still no winner of the 2018 Mayo Masters Division One crown following Wednesday night’s final round of games.

Defending champions Ballina Town and 2016 winners Manulla are locked together at the top of the table on 30 points each and a playoff will be needed to decide who claims the crown.

Straide & Foxford United finished their season on a high in the night’s first game with a 7-4 victory against third place Castlebar Celtic. The win ensured the East Mayo side would finish the season on nine points and avoid last place in the league.

United led 4-1 at the break after a fantastic opening half with goals from Michael Prendergast, Michael Smyth, John Jordan and Brendan McHugh putting them in a commanding lead. Brian Mannion pulled one back for Celtic.

The second-half belonged to Castlebar, however, as they closed the gap back to 5-4 before running out of steam and conceding two late goals. Mannion completed his hat-trick and Ashley Stevens added another but Prendergast, Smyth and Jordan all hit the net once again to give United the three points.

Ballina Town-Westport United and Manulla-Fahy Rovers were due to kick off together at 8pm in the title deciding fixtures but while Ballina and Westport were kicking off on time, Manulla were left standing and waiting as Fahy Rovers never showed up. This resulted in referee Ann Sweeney handing Manulla the three points and ensuring that Ballina would need to pick up a victory against bottom side Westport United.

Ballina duly fulfilled their side of the bargain, overcoming the seasiders comfortably on a 7-1 scoreline. There was to be no repeat of the previous week’s shock defeat to Castlebar Celtic with the three points secured in the opening half as last year’s champions led 5-1 at the break.

A Duane Helly hat-trick and goals from Noel Beattie and Tom O’Connell had the tie decided with 25 minutes still left to play and left the Mayo League figuring out when a playoff could be played.

Colm McLoughlin pulled one back for Westport towards the end of the half and the Covies did put in a stronger performance in the second-half, especially in defence. Ballina couldn’t break them down for a good portion of the half but eventually got through for two goals late on from Mark Beattie and a second for O’Connell.

A Friday night in the next two or three weeks looks the most likely for the league playoff as the Oliver Kelleher Masters Cup competition begins in Solar 21 Park on Wednesday evening next.