Football: Bad weather plays havoc with the start of the league season
Ballymena and Provincial
Last Saturday saw six games lost to the wet conditions and this only the second Saturday in the new season. Hopefully this trend will not continue as, if it did, the situation at the end of season could be chaotic.
In the games that survived in the Intermediate division, there were away wins for Cookstown Olympic and Raceview at Ballycastle United and Mosside.
In the Junior section all three games scheduled for Division One fell victim to the weather, but all three planned for Division Two went ahead as planned, resulting in home wins for Desertmartin Swifts against FC Ballynure Athletic and Chimney Corner Reserves against Carnlough United, while Cookstown Olympic Colts and newcomers Castle Rangers shared the points at Cookstown.
In the Steel & Sons Cup, Dunaghy had a very good home win over Bangor Amateurs while Rasharkin United lost away to Queens.
Saturday next will see the Steel & Sons Cup second round games played and there are a couple of interesting games down for decision - namely Wakehurst against Clough Rangers Athletic and Ballynure Old Boys against Glebe Rangers
BALLYCASTLE UNITED 0 COOKSTOWN OLYMPIC 1
Both these teams had won their opening games and as the first half passed by, it appeared that a single goal might be the deciding factor in this game as chances were at a premium up until half-time.
The second half again saw plenty of good football, but clear chances around goal were few. The game then went into stoppage time and Cookstown struck a telling blow when Mark Graham scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time to win the game for his team. This was a bit tough on Ballycastle who had contributed to a good entertaining game. Referee: Mr John Logan, Gracehill.
MOSSIDE 0 RACEVIEW 1
This was a big game for Mosside in their second game of the season, up against last season's league winners. Mosside started well and were well in the game. Then in the 31st minute the home defence failed to deal with an Ian Millar free-kick which resulted in Bobby Hanna rattling the loose ball into the net. Half-time came with the single goal still the difference between the teams and as the second half went past, both teams had a few chances to score. No more goals were scored, but Mosside will certainly be pleased with their performance as will Raceview who had lost the previous Wednesday night at Connor. Referee: Mr Gusty Crawford, Rasharkin.
CONNOR 2 RACEVIEW 1
Connor, who finished off last season strongly, were early into their stride in this game taking the lead after Colin Moor scored on the fifth minute. Raceview then got into the action, but were matched all the way by a confident home side and it was not until the 43rd minute before the second goal of the game was scored. This was a penalty for Raceview which Ian Millar converted to send the teams in level at half-time.
Connor were early on the attack in the second half, again rocking Raceview when Andy Logan finished off a good move on the 49th minute putting Connor back in front. After this both teams had a few chances, but at the end it was Connor who claimed the points after a confident display against last season's champions. Referee: Mr David Dunlop, Antrim.
PORTGLENONE 2 RASHARKIN UNITED 4
Rasharkin got off to a quick start in this game taking the lead in the 10th minute through a well taken goal scored by John McFadden. Rasharkin then doubled their lead on the 15th minute when Aaron Scott scored and at half-time they were still two goals to the good. Portglenone came well into the game in the second half and two goals scored by Gavin Gribbon on the 55th and 64th minute saw then back level. The next goal was going to be the important one and this went to Rasharkin when Jason McFadden scored on the 76th minute. Portglenone than had to chase the game again and with time running out Colin Craig ensured the points for Rasharkin when he scored against his old team in the 86th minute. Referee: Mr David Gillen, Carrickfergus.
COOKSTOWN OLYMPIC 2 COOKSTOWN ATHLETIC 0
The bragging rights went to Olympic after this derby game.
After a bright opening Olympic struck the first blow when Mark Graham scored with a well timed shot in the 16th minute. This then opened up the gam,e but when half-time came the single goal still divided the teams.
Olympic then struck a telling blow in the 47th minute after Barry Hughes scored.
Athletic then had to chase the game, but with a two goal cushion Olympic played it tight at the back and went on to claim the points at the end. Referee: Mr Ted Heffer, Lisburn.
BALLYCASTLE UNITED 2 DUNAGHY 1
This was a good win for Ballycastle and certainly pleased new manager Bob Kane, who has stepped up from the reserve team. Ballycastle took the lead in the fifth minute when Kieran Collins scored and held this lead until Gavin Elder scored the equaliser for Dunaghy in the 40th minute. The second half saw little to choose between the teams - then in the 77th minute Benny McCarry scored the all important goal which proved to be the winner for Ballycastle. Referee: Mr David Walker, Dervock.
STEEL & SONS CUP ROUND 1
DUNAGHY 5 BANGOR AMATEURS 1
Dunaghy got off to a good start in this game with Gavin Elder putting them in front in the 10th minute. This goal was added to when Ian Parkhill scored in the 21st minute, but the visitors came back to reduce the deficit on the 34th minute. Dunaghy restored their two goal advantage in the 51st minute when Gavin Elder scored his second goal. Then goals scored by Trevor Parkhill and Ian Christie in the 76th and 80th minutes saw Dunaghy safely into the second round.
QUEEN'S 4 RASHARKIN UNITED 1
Rasharkin started off well and took the lead on the 15th minute through a well taken goal scored by Johnny McFadden, only to see the home team come back to score twice before half-time. The second half saw Queen's have the better of the play scoring twice more to claim their place in the second round.
DESERTMARTIN SWIFTS 5 FC BALLYNURE ATHLETIC 2
Both teams were making their debut in the league and it was the home side that scored first through Steven Bigger in the 15th minute. Athletic came back into the game after this, getting the equalising goal when Neil Braiden scored in the 31st minute, only to see Aaron Campbell score in the 35th minute to put the Swifts back in front. As half-time then approached Steven Bigger scored his second goal in the 41st minute, putting the Swifts two goals clear at the break. With an hour of the game played, Robin Patton scored number four for the Swifts. Then Brian Wilkinson scored in the 76th minute for Athletic before Aaron Service completed the scoring in the 89th minute from the penalty spot. Referee: Mr Bobby Fleming, Ballymena.
CHIMNEY CORNER RESERVES 1 CARNLOUGH UNITED 0
This game was played in very trying wet conditions and it is a credit to both teams that it was a good evenly contested game throughout the 90 minutes. At the end of play it was a goal scored by Paul McIntyre for the home side in the 77th minute that decided the game. Referee: Mr Robert Meban, Ballymena.
COOKSTOWN OLYMPIC COLTS 2 CASTLE RANGERS 2
Castle were another team making their debut in the league and no doubt as the season progresses, they will make an impact, as will the Colts. The first goal in the game went the way of Rangers when Ross McAllister scored in the 25th minute. This was cancelled out when Eamon McElduff scored the equaliser in the 32nd minute. The second half saw both teams go looking for goals, but it was not until the hour mark before Neil Young scored the third goal in the game to put Colts ahead. The Colts were ahead until the 90th minute - then up popped Ross McAllister to score his second to give Rangers a point. Referee: Mr Gary Ewing, Maghera.