Football: 'fern off to flyer as Benson doubles up
Amateur League Reserves
Rathfern Rangers II are off to a flying start as they try to make an impact in the Amateur League's top reserve section.
The Newtownabbey lads began their Division 3A season on Saturday and ran up a convincing 4-1 success over Killyleagh YC II. Stephen Benson struck twice and Nigel Duncan and Gary Weir also netted.
Comber Rec II join them at the top on goal difference following their similar scoreline at Nortel II. There were also wins for Bloomfield II against Orangefield II (3-2), Crumlin United II against Knockbreda II (2-1) and Barn United II at Dunmurry Rec II (2-1).
Newington YC II and Sport & Leisure II shared four goals, while champions Albert Foundry II game against Malachians II was called off.
Islandmagee II have wasted no time in taking their usual position at the top of the league table when they beat Abbey Villa II 3-1 in Millisle on Saturday.
The Islanders won promotion for the third successive time and now they're contemplating a place in the reserve league's top flight, if they can maintain their fine start.
Others, like Ford II and Wellington Rec II, will be out to halt their climb, especially as both also started with a win.
Ford beat Shorts 3-1 with Declan Owen, Chris Flanagan and Gerald Craig getting the goals.
Wellington's success was at East Belfast (3-2), while the remaining two games ended all square.
These involved Holywood II and Queen's Graduates II (2-2) and UUJ II and Shankill United II (1-1).
The two teams relegated last season - Ards Rangers II and Larne Tech OB II - are making an early impact as they bid to regain their 3B status.
Ards romped to a 5-0 win over Lisburn Rangers II on Saturday, with Gregory McGivern striking twice and the others coming from Michael McKeown, Keith Mowat and Johnny Carolan.
The Larne lads beat Bryansburn Rangers II 3-2 and there were also wins for McQuiston Rec II at Drumaness Mills II (2-0), Mossley II at Bangor Swifts II (2-1), Downshire YM II at 18th Newtownabbey II (2-1), Crumlin Star II at home to Dromara Village II (3-1) and Iveagh United II (2-1) at home to Groomsport II.
The McQuiston goals came from Gareth Ryan and Neill Allen.