Ballyheane scored a free-kick in the final seconds to earn a draw against Conn Rangers in Division 2. Photos: Michael Donnelly

Big win for Swinford, Ballyheane earn point with late free kick in Mayo Masters League

Westaro Masters League Week 2 Review

DESPITE the foggy conditions at Solar 21 Park this week, there were some competitive matches and top performances in all divisions in the Westaro Masters League.

In Division 3, Ballyhaunis Town picked up their first win of the season with a 5-2 victory over Ballinrobe Town B.

The sides were one apiece at half-time, Ballinrobe’s Keith McTigue cancelling out the opener by Vladimir Gibala. Karl Lyons put Ballinrobe back in front but further goals by Gibala, Pat McGee and Aidan McTigue secured Ballyhaunis their first three points of the season. Straide & Foxford United continued their good start with a 6-3 win over Killala. Conor McHale put Killala in front but S&F roared back through Pat Jordan, two wonder strikes by Michael Prendergast and a goal from Mark Howley before the interval.

Howley got another in the second half and Andrew Neary finished off the scoring for S&F, with Kevin Whyte and Brendan McNulty netting further efforts for Killala.

Swinford fired 15 past Ballyglass in a rout to go top of Division 3. Jakub Gawalkiewicz and Paddy O’Donnell got four each, Gerry Henry scored a hat trick, Paul Kenny got two while Vinny Doherty and Brian Sheeran both got one. John Boyle (two) and Vinny Flannery got the consolation goals for Ballyglass B.

Division 1 saw the best game of Wednesday night when Ballyvary Blue Bombers and Claremorris played out an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Conor Kelly put Ballyvary in front with a pinpoint header only for Paul Ryan to equalise. A low drive by Danny Broderick edged Claremorris ahead but a Simon Cloherty free-kick for Ballyvary levelled matters once more. Ballyvary had chances to win but were denied by the woodwork and a great performance by Claremorris goalkeeper Jamie Burke as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Despite some scares in defence, Westport United saw off a brave Kiltimagh/Knock United on a 10-4 scoreline.

Mark McNally (two) and Colm Keane opened the scoring for United, but KK got back into the game after Conor Heneghan finished off a quick counter. Keane, Jesper Frisch and McNally made sure of the win early in the second half but KK continued to attack and were reward through another by Heneghan and one each by Sean Garvey and Gavin Groarke. United’s scoring was finished off by Patrick Morrison, Austin O’Malley, Danny Scahill and McNally’s fourth of the evening.

Ballina Town went top of Division 1 on goal difference after a 7-1 win over Ballinrobe Town. John Durkan, Aidan O’Hora and Tom O’Connor established a 3-0 lead at the break. Ballinrobe’s Mark Gibbons pulled one back early in the second half but another three goals by Durkan and one by Mark Beattie capped off a good night for the north Mayo side.

On Thursday, Division Two took centre stage and all three games didn’t disappoint as Achill Rovers and Ballyglass picked up their first wins and Conn Rangers and Ballyheane were involved in the match of the night, Ballyheane snatching a late draw after giving up a three-goal lead.

Achill Rovers and Iorras Aontaithe met in one of the opening two games and it was the islanders that left with all three points as Martin Keane struck a late winner to seal a 3-2 win. In a tough contest, both of Achill’s other goals came from Krzysztof Jablonski while Brendan Nallen and Henry Gaughan were on target for Iorras.

At the same time, Ballyglass, inspired by Alan Plunkett, got the better of Castlebar Celtic in a real high scoring game that saw the men in the red and white stripes win by 10 goals to six. Plunkett hit six of the goals for the winners, who got their first win of the season.

In the final game of the night, it looked like Ballyheane were going to have an easy time as they went into a three-goal lead against Conn Rangers after only seven minutes as David Sheridan, Gary Dillon and Theron Coghill all found the back of the net. James Noone gave Rangers a lifeline as he pulled a goal back from the penalty spot just before the break and they dominated the second half as Aiden Gallagher scored twice on his debut and Paul Coleman put them into the lead for the first time.

Just when it looked like Rangers would take all three points, Ashley Stevenson was fouled on the edge of the area in the dying seconds and David Sheridan stepped up to earn a point for his side a draw with a brilliant free kick.

Goal of the week: If you were to do a top three this week, Straide & Foxford United’s Michael Prendergast would have first and second. His second strike was a powerful low drive into the corner, but his first goal off the outside of his right boot from a similar distance was one to savour.

Goalkeeper of the week: Ballyvary Blue Bombers were unfortunate not to beat Claremorris. Much was it was down to the performance of Claremorris goalkeeper Jamie Burke with a string of great stops.

Player of the week: A tight call this week, with strong performances by Swinford duo Jakub Gawalkiewicz and Paddy O’Donnell, Westport United’s Mark McNally, Claremorris goalkeeper Jamie Burke, Alan Plunkett of Ballyglass and Ballina Town’s John Durkan. The nod goes to Durkan for all-round display. He could prove to be a vital addition for Ballina Town as the season goes on.