A big weekend lies ahead for the Roscommon and District Football League with two local and one Connacht Cup Final as well as the Masters League.
By Vincent Brooks
This evening, Friday, Cam Celtic play Strokestown United in the Roscommon and District Football League Division 2 Cup Final at the League Grounds Lecarrow.
While Strokestown United will start favourites they may find it difficult to beat a determined Cam Celtic side who reached the Semi-Finals of this season’s Connacht Shield. Kick off is at 8pm.
Tomorrow, Ballymoe FC and fellow Roscommon and District Football League Premier side Castlerea Celtic clash in this seasons Cup Final in Lecarrow at 6pm and on Sunday Ballinasloe Town take on the Galway Premier Division side West United in the Connacht Cup Final. This game is being played at the Eamon Deacy Park Galway with a kick off time of 3.30pm.
This season’s Roscommon and District Football League Challenge Cup Final will be a repeat of last season’s final when Castlerea Celtic beat Ballymoe FC 1 – 0.
As a result Castlerea Celtic won the Cup for the sixth time and in the process completed a League and Cup Double. Injuries to key players at the end of the season was no help to a Ballymoe side who were also in contention for the League title for a long period.
A new season can change everything and Ballymoe started this season in style. They won ten League games in a row and by the end of the campaign they were crowned Premier Division Champions for the first time in the history of the club. They only lost two games and drew one and were not beaten in any away game all season.
Castlerea Celtic were in the best position to win the League and a home win against Ballinasloe Town would have clinched the title. However after taking the lead they surprisingly conceded two goals in the last seven minutes of the game and with Ballymoe beating Moore at the same time Castlerea Celtic had to settle for second place. To reach the Cup Final Ballymoe beat Premier side Shiven Rovers 1 – 0 away at Newbridge in the last sixteen. They beat another side Moore United at Ballymoe 2 – 0 with Keith Keenan and Damien Goggins scoring and in the Semi-Final they beat Division 1 side Lough Harps 1 – 0 at Lecarrow.
Castlerea Celtic beat Skyvalley Rovers 5 – 1 in the last sixteen with Peter Farrell scoring three and Dominic Bligh and Oisin Ward adding one each. They nearly came a cropper away to Division 2 side Strokestown United. Despite being 2 – 0 down they showed all their experience to come back and win 3 -2. The experienced Ronan Curran scored two and David Fitzpatrick one for Castlerea Celtic. They had an easier run in the Semi-Finals but they were forced to extra time before beating Moylough 4 – 1. Again Ronan Curran scored their first and Eoghan O Connell added a second before Dominic Bligh added two more.
A good Cup final is assured between these two sides. Of their two meetings this season they have won one each. At the end of the day the bounce of the ball could well decide the outcome.
In the Connacht Cup Final at Galway on Sunday Roscommon and District Football League Premier Division side Ballinasloe Town take on the Galway Premier Division side West United at the Eamon Deacy Park at 3:30 pm.
Ballinasloe Town will be hoping to win the Connacht Cup for the fourth time and will be going into this game full of confidence. They will be hoping to wipe the memory of last season’s final when they were beaten 7-0 by the Galway side Athenry. On their way to this season’s final they beat they beat West Coast United 5 – 0 at Ballinasloe with Owen Mc Cormack and Joe Woods scoring two and David Grehan getting a fifth. In the next round they were at home to Moore United and won 3 – 0. David Cullen Owen Mc Cormack and David Grehan scored against Moore. Next up was a fancied Corrib Rangers side. The game finished 1 – 1 at Ballinasloe with the home side winning 4 – 2 in the resultant penalty shoot-out.
They beat the Sligo League side Manor Rangers in the Quarter Final again at Ballinasloe. Owen Mc Cormack scored three and Joe Woods one. The Semi-Final was away to the Galway side St Bernard’s with Liam Lynch heading the winner near the end of Extra time.
The Galway City side West United are surprise finalists. They are currently nineteen points behind Athenry in the Galway Premier Division and apart from a good run in the Connacht Cup they look an average side. In the Semi-Final they came from 2 – 0 down at home to Boyle Celtic to win 3 – 2 after extra time. In their most recent outing they drew 1 – 1 at home to Mervue United.
Overall a more experienced Ballinasloe Town side are expected to win.
There are three games in the Umbro Masters League on Saturday at 7pm:
CB Trotters host Dunmore Town
Glen Celtic host Skyvalley Rovers
Shiven Rovers host Ballinasloe Town.