Soccer Local Scene with Mike Rafferty
WEST United might be struggling in the relegation area of the Premier League but Cup action brings a bit of fire to their bellies and, on Sunday last, they displayed admirable qualities to come from behind twice when seeing off a fancied Castlebar Celtic side in the Connacht Junior Cup.
John Egan is on a recovery mission following a recent injury and it was his springing from the bench that was to turn matters in their favour, as two late goals set up a last eight contest against neighbours Corrib Rangers.
>In the Airtricity U19 League, Salthill Devon brought a successful campaign to a conclusion with a 4-0 away win over Bohemians and, in the process, guaranteed themselves a top four finish in the Elite Division.
West United 3
Castlebar Celtic 2
Conditions were Baltic at South Park on Sunday and the action on the pitch did little to warm the hearts of the watching few as there was a reminder of an earlier round when West also came back from the dead to see off Knocknacarra.
On this occasion, they trailed to a Dessie Campbell goal at the break as Castlebar got a slender reward for a wind assisted opening half. However it was an advantage that never looked good enough, but the question was would West have the ability to recover?
Though the football was poor, some telling set piece deliveries by Paul Murphy proved to be their lifeline as two goals were acquired through such an approach. The winner six minutes into additional time was almost fictional as John Egan got on the end of a Tony Ward delivery to tap home from a yard for a dramatic finale.
Like the home side on the resumption, Celtic’s more threatening moments in the opening half came from the corners expertly delivered by Colm Nevin, but apart from a glaring miss by Campbell, they really only had a half of regrets.
An amazing feature of the game was that five goals aside, neither goalkeeper actually had a shot to save. The visitors’ opener arrived on 37 minutes when Campball spun in the box after collecting an Andy Neary pass and drilled a cracking low effort past Aaron Connolly for a 1-0 advantage. It was one of the few moments of class in an ordinary affair.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.