It could well turn out to be a mixed season for relegation-threatened Dunmurry Rec, who battled their way through to the Clarence Cup quarter-finals with a win over Woodvale at the weekend, but so long as they keep winning, you won’t hear manager Colin Telford complain.
The Ashley Park men are perilously close to the Amateur League Premier Division trapdoor, with 10 points to make up on closest relegation candidates Islandmagee, and three games in hand.
With every passing week, and games running out, the odds on Dunmurry becoming the second team to join Dromara Village in relegation to next season’s Division 1A are shortening all the time, but Telford admits that their extended Clarence Cup run is having a positive effect on the club and could yet save their season.
The nature of the victory will have pleased the manager too, having come from a goal behind at half time to seal the result, thanks to second half strikes from ex-Glentoran and Dungannon Swifts man Michael Ward and Colin Arnott.
Telford said: “It’s all about momentum at this stage and winning is a good habit to get into. Obviously anything we do in the Clarence Cup is a bonus, but it is helping us build that momentum.
“There’s two sides to the coin – the longer we stay in the competition, the more it lets us have a look at what the other Premier Division teams are doing. That said, I’m sure the likes of Islandmagee don’t give a monkeys how we are doing in the Clarence Cup, and in fairness, I would rather they were still in the competition, and we had their ten points instead!”
But the big question has to be… can they turn their season around at this late stage?
Telford continued: “Well, honestly I would say it’s about 50-50, because all of our games have been 50-50 too. It’s not like we are getting beaten badly.
“The performances have been decent, but we have just been conceding too many goals and not scoring at the right time.
“We were beating Ards Rangers 2-1 and missed chances to make it 3-1 before half time, and they ended up winning 3-2; we were beating Nortel 1-0 with 20 minutes to go, and lost 2-1.
“I’m just sick of people saying to me, ‘you performed well, you were unlucky not to come away with something… it’s not about performances at this stage, it’s about results'... I would rather people were saying, ‘you were lucky to get the three points today'.”
At least three other clubs in particular will surely share Telford’s theory on winning momentum. Drumaness Mills, Derriaghy CC and Tullycarnet are all vying for title honours in their respective divisions, and celebrated 2-1, 1-0 and 5-4 victories over Rosemount Rec, Basement and Rathfern Rangers respectively.
Ards Rangers took a 2-1 win away from their fourth round encounter with Lisburn Rangers, Larne Tech OB scored a surprise 1-0 victory over holders Crumlin Star, and Nortel smashed five without reply against Crumlin United (see Match of the Day report).