After 118 years of league football in Northern Ireland, our national game was finally dragged into the 21st century yesterday as Glentoran and Bangor played out the very first competitive fixture on a Sunday.
Having been scheduled to play on Saturday, the game was rained off but the clubs quickly agreed to play the following day and with it created history.
Whether or not it becomes a regular feature in local football remains to be seen but there were a number of representatives of other clubs at the match and they will have kept a close eye on proceedings, especially seeing as the crowd was higher than what it would have been had the match been played on the Saturday as planned.
But after all the hype surrounding the occasion the product on the pitch was quite disappointing with Gary Hamilton’s terrific volley deciding the contest.
Neither side looked overly comfortable on the ball and, certainly in the first half, it needed someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
The Seasiders, playing just one man up front, seemed content to soak up any pressure that the Glens put them under, then try and make inroads on the break.
The Glens were lacking cohesion going forward and neither Hamilton nor Waterworth, playing in their first game together, were getting enough of the ball — though credit must be given to the Bangor defence who had done well to shackle the deadly duo.
But their concentration on keeping those two under wraps was allowing other players the space to attack and on 11 minutes the Glens should have really been in front through Dean Fitzgerald.
Hamilton's cross found the big Dubliner free at the far post but Fitzgerald's header was mis-directed and failed to even find the target from just four yards out.
Daryl Fordyce had the ball in the net on 26 minutes but his effort was ruled out for offside then shortly after, Bangor goalkeeper Andrew Plummer was forced into his first save of the day when he easily stopped Hamilton's shot.
On the stroke of half-time Glentoran should have been in front when Hamilton's cross was flicked on by Kyle Neill and Darren Boyce completely miscued his shot from eight yards out.
After a dreadful first half, the game could only get better and within 10 minutes of the restart we already had more incident than the entire opening period.
On 50 minutes Waterworth burst down the left, leaving Mark Gracey trailing in his wake and the defender could do nothing else but bring the Oval new boy down.
Referee Hugh Carville pointed to the spot and Daryl Fordyce stepped up only to see his kick saved brilliantly by Andrew Plummer in the Bangor goal.
Galvanised by that setback, Glentoran upped the pace and on 55 minutes went in front thanks to a masterclass in finishing from Hamilton.
Sean Ward lifted the ball over the top, catching out the visiting defence and upon taking a deft touch with his head, hitman Hamilton sent a superb volley over Plummer and into the top corner to seal the victory.
GLENTORAN: Morris, Nixon, Leeman, Ward, Hill, Boyce, Fordyce, Fitzgerald, Neill, Waterworth, Hamilton. Subs: Taylor (GK), Halliday, Simpson, Gardiner, Black.
BANGOR: Plummer, Cleary, Boyd, Anderson, McMenamin, Gracey, Hand, Irvine, McConnell, Lockhart, Melly. Subs: Fitzpatrick, Youle, R Tumelty, J Tumelty, Verner.
Referee: H Carville (Belfast)