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Westaro Masters League Review - Week 1

31/10/19

Achill Rovers Masters Team 2019/20

The still great over 35s of Mayo soccer returned to Solar 21 Park on Wednesday evening, and in its 10th season, the Mayo Masters League looks set to be as exciting as any of its predecessors

The Masters are back. October can be synonymous for many a thing, and some of which, we do not yearn for. However, once those clocks go back, an air of optimism and excitement seeps into the minds of all those involved in the Mayo Masters League, as our Wednesday evenings become jam packed full of drama, intrigue, opportunism, despair and more. 

With 15 teams and 12 clubs represented, it was the locals of Castlebar Celtic who got the ball rolling, defeating a plucky Conn Rangers side 4-2 in the opening game of Division Two. Ashley Stevenson, Kevin Malone, Declan Lavelle and Stephen ‘Jynxy’ Jennings were on target for the Hoops, who will be looking to bounce back up to Division One at the first time of asking. For Conn Rangers, Liam McHale and John Clarke found the net.

Fahy Rovers and Swinford ‘B’ shared both 14 goals, and the points, in their rip roaring encounter which opended proceedings in Division One. The two sides went hammer and thongs for the full 50 minutes in this one, and while Fahy did go 2-0 up early on, neither side could have any complaints about sharing the spoils in their absorbing tie. Colin Napier (4), Michael Mulchrone (2) and Guaillaime Valdie were on the score sheet for Fahy, with Keith Robinson (3), Paul Kenny (2), Paddy McDonnell and Jakub Galackiewicz on target for Swinford ‘B’.

Swinford ‘A’ were in ruthless form against Manulla ‘B’ in the second game in Division Two, scoring 11 goals in a clinical display in front of goal. Paul McDonagh was the star of the show, scoring four, with a brace each from Pawel Starnowicz and Robert Purtly and one from Enda Campbell rounding off the scoring. Manulla ‘B’ more than contributed to the tie themselves, however, with a goal each from Shaun Burke, Keith Bourke, Jason Flynn, Michael Cuffe, Darragh Lyons and an own goal securing six of their own goals in this 17 goal thriller.

While the net was being uncontrollably hit on one pitch, on the other, Manulla and newly promoted Claremorris were level at 0-0 with three minutes remaining, with both sides cancelling each other out thanks to their organisation and guile. Claremorris looked to have secured all three points in the 48th minute, thanks to a fine Mickey Mullins strike, only for Gary Dillon to secure a point for Manulla with a superbly struck free kick with literally, the last action of the game.

Achill Rovers produced a devastating display against the leagues newest side, Claremorris ‘B’, heading west with all three points thanks to a resounding 5-1 victory on Wednesday evening. Despite trailing at half time, the victors responded superbly in the second half, with goals coming from Manus O’ Donnell, Mark Davitt, Tommy Joyce, Martin Moran, and an own goal. The evergreen Mick Mullee had put his side 1-0 up midway through the first half.

Reigning champions Westport United look even stronger, if that is even possible, on paper, this year, and they showed no signs of relinquishing their title of Wednesday evening, defeating newly promoted Straide and Foxford United 5-1 in Division One’s final game of the night. Not for the first time, David Hoban bagged a brace for United, with Colm Keane, Vinny O’ Malley and Mark McNally also on target. Conan O’ Farrell was on target for a Straide and Foxford United side who are sure to once again be competitive throughout the full season.

Kiltimagh/Knock United secured all three points in an entertaining East Mayo derby, eventually coming out on top with a 7-4 victory over Ballyhaunis Town. Andy Leadbetter was the star the show, scoring four splendid goals for his side, with Gavin Groarke (2) and Colm Kelly also on target. For Ballyhaunis, the lively Paul Finn scored two, with AP Kelly and Damien Matthews also finding the net.

Player of the Day: Andy Leadbetter (Kiltimagh/Knock United)......not only a great goal scorer, but a scorer of great goals.

Goal of the Day: Leadbetter’s glancing header over Ballyhaunis’ goalkeeper Tom Colleran was a thing of beauty, while special mention must be given to John Gill’s wonderful assist. 

Goalkeeper of the Day: Sean Fahey was as dependable as ever between the sticks for Manulla.

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