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Super League race put on pause


THERE FOR THE TAKING Ballina Town’s Jonathan Doherty is challenged by Manulla’s Conor Byrne as Andrew Shally moves in during Sunday’s Mayo Super League clash in Carramore. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Ger Flanagan

JUST as the Mayo Super League was really beginning to heat up, the fire was quenched temporarily yesterday (Monday) as the Government announced the move which sees the country go into ‘Level 3’ of Covid-19 restrictions.
That means that all Junior soccer matches cannot take place until further notice.
Next weekend would have seen Round 9 of the Mayo leagues take place. This would also signal the half-way stage of the divisions, or the point of separation between the top half and the bottom half.
In the Super League it looks like a three-way battle for the title at the moment with Westport United leading the way, Ballina Town hot on their tails, and Manulla just about keeping up.
Next weekend Manulla were due to travel to Westport United for a clash that would make or break their season. A win for Roger Clarke’s men would have blown the title race wide-open again and set up a mouth-watering final five games.
A win for Westport, would put them firmly in the driving seat and looking on course to win their first Super League since 2017.
No doubt it would have been a humdinger.
Manulla easily could have beaten Ballina Town at home last weekend only for some poor shooting, and their squad has been seriously bolstered since the GAA season concluded with the likes of Conor Byrne, Gary McHale and Gerry Canavan now focussing solely on soccer. Ruairi Henry also just resigned after a season spent with Sligo Rovers Under-19s.
The Covies have looked impressive this year, developing a squad that blends the experience of Joe Lawless and Shaun Tagg, with exciting youngsters like Cian McAllister, Mikey O’Brien and Caoimhin O’Toole.
Meanwhile, it’s the bottom half of the table that looks all the more exciting and unpredictable. Only three points separates bottom side Glenhest Rovers and sixth place Ballyglass, with Ballyhaunis, Swinford and Claremorris sandwiched in between.
Those five sides have been unpredictable, if anything, thus far in this campaign, displaying some good, bad and downright ugly form.
So you can bet that the second half of the season, whenever it takes place, will be a dogfight for survival.
However, now they’ll have to retreat and ride out ‘Level 3’ of the Government regulations until the action resumes.

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