Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph Championship round-up, November 1

All the latest from Championship One and Two:

Championship One


Ballyclare Comrades 4 Armagh City 0

Following an untidy first half, three second half goals in seven minutes from Ballyclare saw off Armagh at Dixon Park.

Comrades had a let-off in the first minute when Stephen Murray's low shot crashed off the base of the post. Ballyclare’s left winger Joel Cooper was posing problems with his incisive thrusts, but the home team had to wait until the 43rd minute before Ryan Reid opened the scoring with a close range downwards header from a Samuel McIlveen free kick.

The introduction of substitutes Chris Trussell and Kyle Agnew on the hour mark swung the game in Ballyclare's favour.

In the 68th minute, Andrew Simpson scored the goal of the match when his 25-yard rocket fizzed into the roof of the net after Agnew had created the opening. Four minutes later, Trussell made it three when he ran on to a McIlveen pass and tucked the ball neatly under Geoghegan as he dashed off his line.

The impressive McIlveen completed the rout with an angled shot following Trussell's initial effort which had been blocked by the keeper, ending Comrades' losing sequence of five league defeats on the bounce.


Lisburn Distillery 1 Dergview 1

Lisburn Distillery’s latest fixture on the calendar saw Dergview make the long trip to New Grosvenor with the home side hoping to build on a recent run of four games unbeaten.

And indeed it was the Whites who got off to a flier on this occasion as only 2 minutes in, it was 1-0 to Distillery, as William Bingham's whipped in cross found the head of Sean Southam to head into the net.

A great start then for the Whites and manager Tommy Kincaid, however this lead didn't last long as after only 11 minutes, the towering  Richard Leckey found the net after an Aaron Arkinson cross.

Darren Nixon then prevented the boys from Castlederg going ahead when Nathan Cashel picked the ball and drove it towards goal only for the experienced defender to make a superb tackle at the death.

By this stage, Dergview were starting to take advantage of the elements as the strong wind battered around the ground. However, it was the home side who had the next big chance as Peter Sargent whipped in a threatening free kick which was somehow headed clear by Phillip Wallace.

Bingham then picked the ball up in his own half resulting in a superb counter attack that the visitors could not deal with the ball falling to Ryan Corrigan who sliced his shot wide.

Dergview then had a good chance as Whites ‘keeper Ryan McBride then made a wonder save to deny the visitors as Darren Higinbottom’s powerful effort was well held by the keeper with Lecky on hand to tap home any rebound.

The game then became a little feisty after this, and Dergview were reduced to ten men as Gareth Faulkner went in heavy on Stephen Doyle and received a second yellow card. For the second time in a few weeks at New Grosvenor the referee seemed unaware of this fact, only for the linesman to point out that the player had already received a yellow card.

More drama was to follow shortly afterwards when Dergview player manager Richard Clarke was sent to the stands for dissent.

Tommy Kincaid's words at the break must have taken effect on his players as they flew out of the blocks in the second period and were unlucky not to score when Doyle cut inside to fire wide of the upright.

Jimmy Mcilhagga then nearly did find the net, as his cross nearly swirled into the top corner, and as Distillery started to take control of midfield, Corrigan teed himself up but fired over the crossbar. This proved to be the young midfielder’s last action as he was replaced by Joe McDonnell, however, it was Dergview who had the next chance when a whipped in free-kick was well headed away by Nixon.

The visitors' keeper Jack Boggs then made a superb save to deny Southam, as he smashed his shot low and hard, only for a fine reaction save by the keeper.

Despite the Whites pressing hard against the 10 men for a winner, credit has to go to Dergview, who dug deep and refused to let them through, and indeed the visitors had a big chance to win the game when Richard Leckey’s run saw him beat the defence only for his shot to hit the side-netting.

After this, Ryan McBride came to the home side's rescue again, as a horrible mistake by Nixon saw Adam Lecky run through, only for the keeper to race out and make a superb block.


Championship Two


Moyola Park 2 Queen's University 1

Mervyn Pattison's Moyola Park bounced back from a disappointing 3-1 defeat in the final of the North West FA Senior Cup against NIFL Premiership side Institute at Drumahoe in midweek to register another three points in the Championship Two league table against Queen's University at Mill Meadow.

A minute's silence was observed before the kick off, in memory of the mother of one of Moyola Park's Vice Presidents, William Jordan.

In the opening exchanges, neither side threatened the opposition's defence until following a 12th minute free kick by Darren Walls, Eugene Gallagher headed wide of Declan Brown's goal.

Gallagher was on-hand minutes later to block a shot by Queen's striker Connor Mulholland. Just beyond the half hour mark, Mulholland laid on a pass for Stephen McDowell, but Marty Rea, replacement for the holidaying Marty Farniok, gathered the ball comfortably.

Gareth Stewart's pass to Chris Dowie on 34 minutes led to an excellent save by Brown, the ball rebounding to Dowie, whose subsequent effort on goal was blocked at the expense of a corner. Shortly afterwards, Queen's Daniel Culbert crossed for McDowell whose header was blocked by Craig McAllister.

With barely four minutes remaining before the half time interval, Jason Paul made an excellent run down the right wing before crossing the ball to his brother David, who beat Brown at the front post to give the home side a one-goal advantage.

Mark Prenter set up an opportunity for McDowell, who shot just wide in the early minutes of the second half. The visitors pressed hard for an equaliser, with Culbert, Mulholland and Michael Allison all failing to find the touch necessary to test Rea.

On the hour mark, Stewart and Walls were involved in a move which ended with David Paul shooting wide. Two minutes later, Sean Walsh fired wide of the Moyola goal and seconds afterwards, Allison played a ball to Prenter, whose shot was deflected for a corner kick.

On 70 minutes, substitute Curtis Hassan cleverly played the ball through to Dowie, who rounded Brown and finished to the net from an acute angle to score what proved to be the game's winning goal.

Minutes later, Dowie had an opportunity to extend the victory for Moyola, but having beaten the visitors' offside trap, he pushed the ball wide of Brown's left hand upright. In the fifth minute of time added on at the end of the game, Culbert scored a well-struck goal which proved to be no more than a consolation for Queen's.


Banbridge Town 0 Newington YC 3 

Newington dominated proceedings from the outset and almost went ahead after 6 minutes, when Kevin O'Neill met a right wing cross and went close from 12 yards. Conditions were very blustery, making football difficult, but it was the midfield of Newington (Burns, O'Neill and Bradley) which took control against the lighter and less experienced Banbridge men.

Town's first attack was not until the 11th minute, when Stephen Greene got his head to a long Michael Ferguson throw-in but was narrowly wide.

The home side should have taken the lead on 15 minutes, when Ryan Gourley beat the offside trap to race through for a one-on-one with keeper Dean Smyth, but it was the big Newington stalwart who won the contest with a fine save.

After this, it was Town who came under sustained pressure and it took good defensive work to block a Bradley free on the edge of the box after 20 minutes. Twice in succession, Martin Buchanan was called upon to clear dangerous crosses from Newington's McClean out of the danger area.

After 31 minutes, Banbridge had keeper James McConville to thank for keeping them on level terms with a brilliant full-length dive to push out a goal-bound effort from Cathal O'Kane. Three minutes later, Town did conjure up a good three man movement involving Ally Wilson, Mark Teggart and Ryan Gourley but Smyth dealt with the latter's finish easily.

Conor Downey curled a shot into Smyth's arms after 42 minutes while at the other end, McConville made another terrific save when he got his fingertips to a point-blank Sean Adams header to push it over on the half time whistle.

Three minutes into the second half, Smyth again denied Gourley when he beat him in a race to a defence-splitting pass, while seconds later, Nathan Baird rescued Town with a timely tackle on Bradley.

As both sides sought the opening goal, Ally Wilson did really well to fire a fierce volley across goal but none of his colleagues could get a touch on it. Ronan Brannigan tried his luck with a ground shot from 30 yards but McConville always had it covered.

However Town's rearguard were beginning to creak, and after 66 minutes, Newington went 1-0 ahead when Rafferty crashed a drive into the corner of the net after a comedy of errors in Town's defence.

It was uphill now for the home side, and Bradley almost increased his team's lead on 72 minutes with a neat chip, which McConville saved well.

Banbridge pushed up in search of an equaliser and it almost came a minute later, when Mark Teggart saw his drive cannon off keeper Smyth after a good move involving Glen Waddell and young sub Adam Dennison.

Indeed, Dennison's performance when he entered the fray for James Wilson was the only highlight on an otherwise dismal day for Town. The 17-year-old (son of ex-Glenavon star Davy and nephew of Robbie, ex-Wolves & N.Ireland) showed a maturity way beyond his years and surely has a big future in the game.

However, after 77 minutes, the home side found themselves 2-0 behind, when the impressive Conal Burns latched onto a rebound off the luckless Greene to fire into the roof of the net.

Three minutes later, and Town were the authors once again of their own downfall when Waddell contrived to foul inside the box and Conal Burns struck his penalty out of McConville's reach to make it a comfortable 3-0 victory for Newington YC. To their credit, Banbridge did attack until the end and almost pulled a goal back on 85 minutes when Smyth spilled an Ally Wilson header at the feet of Conor Downey, but recovered well to smother the Town man's effort.

The visiting keeper did well again just before the end to stop a Martin Buchanan header.


Dollingstown 6 Coagh United 1

DFC welcomed Coagh to Planters Park on Saturday, and after an initial period of dominance by the opposition, it was the home team who ran out easy winners in the end. 
Coagh surprised DFC with their speed out of the blocks and went in front on 14 minutes, when an excellent run down the right by the diminutive Alexis Cabral found his opposite winger Matthew Kempton free in the area and he calmly side-footed into the bottom corner. 
This seemed to galvanise DFC, and within a few minutes, a great run down the right by Andy King resulted in him firing a great shot against the upright. DFC then lost the services of Neil Clydesdale on 20 minutes, when he limped off with severe ankle ligaments to be replaced by Ashley Gregg, who is fighting his way back to fitness after 18 months out with a badly broken ankle. 
Gregg was literally only a minute on the pitch when he drew DFC level with a typical finish into the far bottom corner, after an excellent through ball from the lively Jamsie Wright. He then repeated the feat 8 minutes later from the right hand side of the area after the ball rebounded from an Andy King drive.

DFC thought they had a third goal during this period of dominance, but Andy King's effort was ruled out for offside. 
Gregg then went in search of his hat-trick but the keeper saved one effort and then he fired wide from a great through-ball from striking partner Ritchie Thompson. 
Despite playing into a strong wind in the second half, DFC retained their composure and within 7 minutes of the restart, they scored the crucial third goal, when leading scorer Ritchie Thompson headed in a swinging corner from Jamsie Wright. 
Then exactly on the hour mark, Gregg completed his first hat-trick since his serious injury, following another great through-ball from Thompson. 
Jamesie Wright then got the goal his efforts deserved when he scored direct from a corner on 68 minutes. Gregg had another couple of chances to further increase the lead and his own personally tally on his return, but he had to wait until the 84th minute, when he rounded the keeper for his fourth goal of the afternoon.
Credit to Coagh, who battled to the end, and scorer Matthew Kempton fired an unstoppable 40-yard shot that Kris Fletcher did well to push onto the bar. 

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