Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph Championship round-up, August 23

All the latest from Championship One and Two:

Championship One

Dergview 2 Dundela 1

Ten-man Dergview recorded back-to-back wins after emerging victorious from a rip-roaring and at times feisty Championship One clash against Dundela at Darragh Park on Friday evening.

Early second half goals by Tom Carlin and Richard Lecky secured a second home victory on the trot, although the hosts had to see out the final 14 minutes without striker Darren Higginbotham, who was dismissed for two yellow cards in quick succession.

In the end, a battle-hardened Dergview held on for maximum points, while all the visitors had left to show for their efforts was a Kyle Owens' strike that breathed new life into their challenge shortly after the hosts had established their two-goal cushion.

Following a low-key first half in which visiting custodian Stephen McKay denied Lecky from the penalty spot, the Duns keeper went from hero to villain by allowing Carlin's left-sided cross in the first minute of the second half to sneak under his crossbar.

Within moments Dergview were two-up as Lecky, lurking with intent at the back post, headed home Aaron Arkinson's left-sided corner kick.

At this stage the action was fast and furious as Owens swept home from close range to resurrect the visitors' hopes.

That though was as good as it got for the city slickers as McKay denied Higginbotham who had charged through from the halfway line at the beginning of the final quarter.

The former Ballinamallard United striker picked up a yellow card for protesting in vain that he should have been awarded a penalty when sent sprawling by the Duns net-minder and received his marching orders moments later for a late tackle. 

Armagh City 1 PSNI 2

THE PSNI defeated Armagh City for the second time in two weeks with a 2-1  victory at Holm Park on Saturday.

Ironically, the PSNI recorded the same score-line when dumping the Eagles out of the League Cup at Newforge and the police side also inflicted City's first home reverse for 23 games as the teams swapped positions at the bottom of the league.

Everything started well for Armagh, who took the lead after five minutes when Ultan Lennon rose high in the box to head home an inch-perfect corner. And, moments later, he almost scored a carbon copy goal but, on this occasion, the ball flashed narrowly wide. But, after this initial burst from City, it was the PSNI who settled into the better rhythm and it was no surprise when they drew level on 27 minutes. City failed to clear a dangerous ball into the penalty area and Joe McWilliams pounced to slam home from close range. 

On the half-hour mark, the PSNI took a deserved lead when Ashton McDermott rose unopposed in the box to head home a corner from the right. At this stage the police outfit were well in control and thoroughly deserved their half-time lead. 

After the break, however, it was a different story and Armagh began to string a number of dangerous attacks together. Shea McGerrigan caused all sorts of problems with his darting runs down the left and he was unlucky to see a 20-yard angled shot strike an upright and bounce to safety.

He also sent in a series of dangerous crosses into the box during the half but Scott McCrory and Barry Moore were excellent at the heart of the PSNI defence and dealt very capably with everything which came their way. As City pressed for the equaliser they left themselves exposed at the back and John Dobbin, McDermott and McWilliams all had chances to make the home side pay even further. Despite this, Armagh continued to press and they were unlucky not to level on 90 minutes when sub Conor McNamee headed over from just two yard out.

Lisburn Distillery 1 Ards 3

There was little to choose between the sides, certainly in the first half at least, as the hosts took the lead on 11 minutes when some great work by the impressive Marty Jones saw the diminutive striker pick the ball up just inside the Ards penalty area before driving home a sweet shot, giving the visiting keeper McKibbin no chance.

The Whites' joy, however, was to be short-lived as only three minutes later, the sides were level again as former player Owain Beggs was on hand to nod home unmarked from a corner. After this, the first half became reasonably void as the sides cancelled one another out the only chances of note falling to Distillery’s Doyle whose effort was touched over by McKibbin and then Ards' Faulkner saw his effort go high and wide.

The second half started much the same with chances limited although the hosts did have a glorious chance to take the lead when Doyle was sent clear by a delightful Jones flick only for the forward to hit a harmless shot straight at McKibbin, the visiting keeper gathering comfortably.

Ards then took the lead on 67 minutes when Convery found space at the back post and was able to head down into the path of Beggs who found himself unmarked from 10 yards out and comfortably picked his spot before slotting home. Since leaving the Whites 2 season ago, Beggs has proved to be a constant thorn in the side of the Whites firstly last year for Dundela and now for his new club Ards.

The Whites worked hard to fight back but then officialdom struck as the ball was lumped into the Whites penalty area, defender Ciaran Burns challenged Cully only for the referee to decide the challenge warranted a penalty. The Distillery players were incensed with the decision and challenged the referee on it only for him to respond by issuing two straight red cards to Doyle and Keiran O’Connor for dissent.

Up stepped Cully to convert the spot kick and make it 3-1 to Ards and with Distillery now down to nine men the game was effectively over. The visitors were then reduced to ten men after Faulkner was sent off with only two minutes to play.


Championship Two

Dollingstown 4 Ballymoney United 0
Dollingstown welcomed Ballymoney to Planters Park in what was their third home match in a row. Ballymoney had a very youthful side with four players who started the game only 17 years old having come through there academy.

The game was fairly even in the first quarter with some good quality football being played by both teams although neither keeper was really tested.

However this all changed on the half hour when Ritchie Thompson took advantage of a good pass from Adam Walker to jink his way into the box before firing into the net for his first goal of the new season and two minutes later Neil Clydesdale almost doubled the lead when he shot narrowly over the top. Just before half time Thompson went another solo run having been put through by Jordan Gibson to send DFC in at the interval with a 2-0 advantage.
DFC opened the second half in a positive manner and should have doubled their lead in the first five minutes but Adam walker volleyed wide after a great run down the right by Thompson, who himself should have completed his hat-trick but fired wide of the far post. Then on the hour mark DFC finally put the game beyond doubt when Adam Walker fired home a superb goal from the edge of the box after a good run and through-ball from Jordan Gibson. On 70 minutes Colin Cunningham headed into the keepers arms from yet another excellent run and cross down the left by Ritchie Thompson.
This was the final impact for both Thompson and Hughes, who made way for Mc Elroy and Montgomery. Indeed Montgomery made almost an immediate impact into the game when he fired just wide. With five minutes to go, manager Gary Duke introduced Ashley Gregg for his first game in almost 16 months after a bad break to his ankle.

In the final minute, Neil Clydesdale hammered home goal number four for DFC after another great run and shot down the left by Adam Walker. 
This win gives DFC a solid start to senior football with six points out of a possible nine and with a further two new signings due o be completed next week.

Queen's University 3 Tobermore United 2

Queen’s came close to opening the scoring in the first minute when James Lavery broke clear on the right. His shot came off the heel of a defender and fell into the path of Aaron Keenan whose tame effort from 14 yards was blocked by Adam Wilson in the Tobermore goal.

Queen’s dominance at this stage was rewarded by the opening goal after 17 minutes when, from a left wing corner, Paul McDonald at the far post, headed the ball back across goal where Connor Mulholland scored with a powerful header. Soon it was 2-0. Mulholland sprinted clear on the right wing and his perfect low cross was side footed home by Sean Walsh, his first goal for Queen’s. The third goal followed soon after. Mulholland’s ambitious overhead kick found Lavery who swivelled and trickled the ball into the net from a few yards.

Early in the second half a right wing cross found Walsh in the clear at the far post but his header hit the underside of the cross bar and bounced away. What should have been a second half stroll for Queen’s turned into tough fight to hold onto the three points. Referee Burns awarded a penalty to Tobermore for a foul on James McGahan and Trevor Parkhill stepped up and sent Queen’s keeper, Declan Brown, the wrong way from the spot. Seven minutes later, Tobermore where back in the game when Parkhill scored the goal of the game with a great strike from the left corner of the box. Tobermore pressed hard for an equaliser but the best late chance came to Keenan who had a free hit from twelve yards but shot well over the top.

Glebe Rangers 4 Limavady United 1

The home side raced into a two-goal lead within the first quarter of the game, and despite a brief revival in the second half, United never threatened to overturn the lead. The visitors contributed hugely to their own downfall, with some poor defending, and an attack that took too long to get into the danger area. 

The Roesiders actually started brightly, and on 4 minutes McMullan ghosted into the box and connected with a deceptively slow through-ball but although he connected with the ball, he could only direct it straight to Kane. On 8 minutes, United were given due notice of what was to come, as the back three was penetrated with ease, with a ball through the heart of the defence for Wilkinson and only a well-timed block by Mullan denied him.

United went straight up the park, and Brown had a snap shot on the edge of the box, but Kane produced a fine save low to his right. Glebe went for the direct route again in the 11th minute, Wilkinson muscling through between the centre halves to force McGraw to block his volley with a fine save.

On 15 minutes Glebe hit the front, with a goal that originated from the same direct ball that had been stretching United. This time the Roesiders had the opportunity to clear their lines but they dithered, allowing Henry to gather the ball in the six yard box and turn before shooting low past the stranded McGraw.

United were nearly on equal terms immediately, as the ball fell to Friel standing on the edge of the box, and he swung a leg at it, volleying just wide of the post. But in the 19th minute, Glebe doubled their advantage, breaking down the right at speed, and firing a low cross across the goal mouth for Wilkinson to slam the ball into the net from ten yards.

United already looked to have a mountain to climb, especially if Glebe had taken the chance that fell to them only two minutes later, as Wilkinson rampaging down the left whipped in another fine cross that only just missed another attacker.

United reorganised their defence after their disastrous start, and were unfortunate not to reduce the arrears on 41 minutes Morrison was lurking at the far post when a cross ball fell to him but his shot was charged down. Friel then put McCallion through on the left but he dragged his effort wide of the post.

At the start of the second half, United's O'Hara had a powerful close range header cleared off the line. However, only four minutes later, Wilkinson added Glebe's third goal. Again, the visitors' defence was split wide open by a long ball from wide, and no-one reacted in time to stop him. It could have been four five minutes later, but Jackie Morrison put his effort wide when unmarked. At this point, United were staring into the abyss, but showed character to gain the upper hand for the first time in the match. In the 58th minute Brown sped down the wing and into the box, cutting the ball back for McCallion who shot high through a crowd of players into the top corner.

With ten minutes left, any chance of a comeback was snuffed out when Kennoway's rasping drive beat McGraw.

Newington 2 Portstewart 1

On a day of major change for Newington, the inclusion of Rafferty and Niblock up front and new faces on the bench, manager Eamonn McCarthy was sending out a message of his intent.

On a sunny day with little wind, Seaview was perfect for good football and the early exchanges were pretty even. After several probing runs, it was Portstewart who drew first blood with Doherty slotting home from close range. This galvanised the Newington midfield, who where getting more into the game and on the stroke of half time, after a period of intense pressure, Rafferty equalised. 

Newington started the second half with a more positive approach which led to a series of free kicks which were ably dispatched by Bradley. Several near misses ensued and only a resolute Portstewart prevented Newington taking a deserved lead. The visitors looked to have gained a point, but Newington scored the winner from a Bradley corner with two minutes to go. Portstewart failed to clear their lines and after a scramble on their box, Sean Adams tapped home from close range.                                                                                                    

Moyola Park 1 Sport and Leisure Swifts 1

Moyola Park had Sport and Leisure Swifts as visitors for the second time this season for this league fixture. On the first occasion, in the Wasp Solutions League Cup, the home side came out victorious on penalty kicks to earn a second round home tie against Glentoran. The two sides came into this league fixture with full points from the two games played with Moyola Park edging the west Belfast visitors into second place in the table on goal difference.

The home side looked to be on the way to securing all three points until late in the second half when Neil Corr equalised from the penalty spot after Moyola's central defender Steven Kelly was deemed guilty of tugging his opponent's shirt.

Moyola started off on the attack and dominated exchanges for most of the opening half. Chris Dowie found the back of the Swifts' net early in the half but was ruled offside.

Steven Kenning did give Moyola the lead shortly afterwards when he was put in the clear by a Robbie Lucas pass which caught the visitors' defence napping and keeper Damien Nugent could do nothing to prevent the goal. Moyola looked the more likely team to score throughout the rest of the half but Dowie, Kenning and Eugene Gallagher all missed goal scoring opportunities. At the other end, Marty Farniok was never really tested.

Swifts boss Pat McAllister introduced all three substitutes during the half and it was one of them, Corr, who slotted the ball past Farniok from the penalty spot to earn the visitors a point. The outcome of this game and the results of the others left the two clubs still in first and second position in the table with Mervyn Pattison's men still ahead on goal difference.

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