NIFL Championship round-up, April 9
All the latest from Championship One and Two:
Armagh City 0 Larne 1
Larne leapfrogged Armagh City into third place in Championship One, as they claimed a 1-0 win at Holm Park on Saturday, in a closely contested match. Chances were few and far between in the opening period. Billy Brennan made a fine save for the visitors at his near post from an excellent Eoin Toal header, while at the other end, Andrew Hoey cleared a Maguire header off his line from another corner. The deadlock was broken on the half-hour mark, when Paul Maguire met Anto McGonnell's corner from the right-hand side and his header eventually found its way into the net despite keeper Morgan getting a touch, and the best efforts of Hoey on the line. The home side came back strongly and won a series of corners of their own, but failed to trouble the visitors' goal. In the second half, City enjoyed the majority of possession but found it difficult to break down a well-organised and resolute visiting defence and indeed failed to make any real goal-scoring chances.
Knockbreda 2 Lisburn Distillery 2
The visitors got a real boost in the opening minute of this game when, following a fine run and cross by Chapman, Grainger headed the ball into the net for the first goal. Breda responded on three minutes, when McMaster got to the by-line and crossed for Hughes to equalise. On 19 minutes Breda went ahead with a fine goal from Wilson, who shot high into the opposite top corner of the goal from the edge of the box. The visitors, to their credit, kept going and deservedly equalised on 61 minutes, when O'Connor got behind the home defence and coolly finished. The Whites could have taken all three points, but for a couple of good saves by home keeper McKay, although Breda almost snatched a winner deep in added time when, following a corner, a shot went just past the post.
Sport & Leisure Swifts 0 PSNI 0
The game was played at Inver Park with both teams in the hunt for a top-two finish and hopeful promotion. The first half saw Sport & Leisure come out fighting, determined to make up lost ground, and despite just edging the first half, neither goalkeeper had a save to make. The second half saw a much-improved police performance as the men from West Belfast started to fade. Again, despite the police’s complete domination of the second half, they were unable to find the elusive goal. Even when Sport & Leisure's James McGrogan received his second yellow card in the 69th minute, the police couldn’t take advantage. Sport & Leisure then parked the bus, playing for the draw. The small band of supporters thought the deadlock was broken in the 72nd minute when Stuart Hutchinson was brought down by Michael Magill in the penalty area, but Ryan Berry’s penalty strike was well saved by Magill, and the ball fell to Berry who failed to convert twice, the second attempt from the goalmouth scramble. Near the end, Lukasz Adamczyk won the ball and it fell to Berry, who had the goal at his mercy for the win, but he blasted wide.
Belfast Telegraph Digital