Ballyclare Comrades treble leaves Dundela on the brink
Ballyclare Comrades 3 Dundela 0
Saturday's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Ballyclare Comrades has left Dundela teetering on the brink of relegation to Championship Two.
In truth, the Duns were rather unfortunate to lose 3-0 at Dixon Park on Saturday. Two late goals from the rejuvenated Comrades added salt to the wounds for the Belfast side. Joel Cooper gave the home side the lead in the 25th minute after an evenly-balanced first quarter of the game. With Dundela pushing for an equaliser, Eion Kane found the net for the Comrades in the 82nd minute before substitute Randall Reid completed the scoring with three minutes left on the clock.
After the game, Ballyclare boss David Dorrian said: "It was a great win for us - I'm over the moon, as you can imagine. The Duns actually gave us a really tough time and we really didn't play as well as 3-0 suggests. I actually think the wind ruined the game in many ways, it certainly stopped us from playing passing football. Their goalkeeper hit the crossbar with a kick-out, which probably tells you everything you need to know. But it was a real six-pointer and the lads didn't let us down."
The 3-0 win sees Ballyclare move into 10th and eight points clear of the relegation zone. Dundela, on the other hand, now need a miracle to avoid the drop. The East Belfast side's fate would have been confirmed if Donegal Celtic had managed to beat the PSNI at Newforge, but the West Belfast side could only manage a 0-0 draw.
There is now a frantic scramble among a number of teams to avoid finishing in the second demotion position. The PSNI are currently in 13th place, five points behind DC, but they do have two games in hand. In theory, Lisburn Distillery, Armagh City and Loughgall could still go down but in reality, Ballyclare, Knockbreda and Donegal Celtic are the ones still looking over their shoulder as the Police continue to improve.
Ballyclare Comrades and Loughgall have both found form in recent weeks, with the Villagers beating Larne 3-0 on Saturday. Knockbreda, on the other hand, are on something of a downward spiral. The Castlereagh club have lost six games in a row and have won none of their last eight league matches.
Ballyclare boss David Dorrian believes his club will need to put a few more points on the board before their second-tier status is secure.
"We're far from out of it. We've got three tough games left in Carrick, PSNI and Ards. That's three teams all with something to play for. We will now prepare for the Carrick game next Saturday. They're a quality team, but our lads will give everything at Taylor's Avenue next Saturday."
Belfast Telegraph Digital