Football: Dunmurry toppled as title race tightens up
Downpatrick's dream of landing the Amateur League Premier Section title for the first time in their history took a giant step forward on Saturday.
The county town team remain the only unbeaten team in the section, and did their championship chances no harm at all when they toppled current leaders Dunmurry Rec. 3-2 at their own ground.
Stephen Galbraith, Stephen Douglas and Kevin Truman scored their goals at Ashley Park, with Ashley Gregg and an own goal keeping Dunmurry in the hunt until the end.
Dunmurry still lead Downpatrick by four points, but have played four games more.
Also very much in the frame are Newington YC, champions Albert Foundry, Nortel and Killyleagh YC, who are separated by just a few points.
Newington chalked up a significant success in beating Nortel 3-1 at Monkstown, where Cormac Carmichael, Neil Quinn and Thomas Duffy were on the scoresheet.
Foundry ran up a convincing 6-1 success at East Belfast where Dean West netted a double.
Barn United beat Kilmore Rec. 2-1 to move comfortably into midtable, leaving Holywood FC and Malachians at the foot of the table.
Relegated Knockbreda are now thinking about promotion again after moving clear at the top of the section.
The Breda boys started the season poorly but new manager Roy Bennett has turned things round and Saturday's 3-0 win at bottom team Rathfriland Rangers leaves them two points ahead of last week's leaders Islandmagee who were involved in the Border Cup.
Colin Gallagher, Chris Hunter and Glenn Booth were all on target to give them a two-point cushion, although the Islanders have three games in hand.
Grove United are back up to third place after a 5-3 win at Ards Rangers and Saintfield United moved into midtable with a fine 2-1 win at UUJ where Johnny Wallace struck twice.
Sirocco Works and Rathfern Rangers both won again to consolidate their top two places in this section.
Sirocco won 3-1 at Bangor Amateurs to make it nine wins from ten, and Rathfern showed they are adapting well at intermediate level by beating Downshire YM 3-2 to move ahead of Dundonald on goal difference.
Dundonald lost 2-1 at home to Ballynahinch United whose marksmen were Michael Jones and Aidan Walsh.
There were also wins for Bryansburn Rangers against Dunmurry YM (4-1) and Civil Service against bottom team Shorts ((4-3), while Lisburn Rangers and Bloomfield drew 2-2.