WITH Athenry already confirmed as Premier Division champions, the main focus in the top flight in recent weeks has been on the relegation issue, as over half the teams in the league were in trouble.
Well over the weekend, two sides saved themselves, as previous champions St Bernard’s and Corrib Celtic picked up the points required to move them out of the danger area. However, for Colemanstown United their time in the top flight looks to be over, as the bottom side are running out of games, while the same could be said of second last Corrib Rangers, who have also just one game left.
However, just above them Hibernians, Loughrea and Salthill Devon have a number of games left to save themselves and extract themselves from the danger area.
After going two down in the opening minutes as Andrew Dillon and Andrew Connolly put Mervue United two up, matters appeared to be going from bad to worse for St Bernard’s, but a spirited recovery saw them eventually win out by 7-3 in Abbeyknockmoy on Sunday.
They recovered from their poor start to lead by 4-2 at the break, with Jason Finn (three), Eoghan Roche (two), Darren Finn and Adrian Roche all finding the target. Barry Moran completed the tally for the visitors.
Thankfully, scoreless draws are a pretty rare feat in local soccer, but no doubt Corrib Celtic were grateful for both of them as the points gained moved them into the safe zone and the top half of the table.
In midweek, they helped bring Athenry’s campaign to a conclusion with a 0-0 draw in Moanbawn and, on Sunday, repeated the feat in another scoreless encounter with a Loughrea side who were also grateful for the point.
No doubt West United have Connacht Cup honours on their mind, but on Sunday they were comfortable 4-0 winners over a Colemanstown United side who were badly depleted due to many demands on the players.
Manager Gerry Moran is selecting from a small playing panel and for a rural community club, they have competed honourably in the top league for the past two seasons. However, when the selection is not there, it is hard to compete and while they have one game left, it is difficult to see them saving themselves.
On this occasion, West scored twice in each half through Eoghan Dooley (two) Shane Keogh and Mixer Devanney to easily see off a weakened visitors.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.