Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph Championship round-up, January 24

All the latest from Championship One and Two:

Championship Two

 

Moyola Park 1 Ballymoney United 0

Both sides were keen to grab all three points in this Mill Meadow clash, United were seeking their first league victory of the season and Moyola Park having had a cracking start to the league campaign sought to end a six game run without a victory. As it turned out, it was the home side which earned the points in what was a proverbial game of two halves.

Eugene Gallagher tested United's keeper Bryan Moore in the opening minute. Moyola Park took the game to the visitors in the early stages with transfer window signing Adam Gray looking impressive. An Aaron Wilkinson shot on 18 minutes was held by Moore and minutes later Gray provided the pass for Chris Dowie, whose effort was stopped by the impressive Moore. Ryan Stewart had a shot on target for the visitors on 25 minutes which was easily taken by Marty Farniok. Moyola Park, despite dominating possession, found the Ballymoney defence difficult to penetrate. Craig McAllister's free kick after 36 minutes was easily taken by Moore. Gray broke the deadlock two minutes before the half time interval with a cracking shot from just outside the penalty area which shook the visitors' net.

Ballymoney were much more forceful in the second half.  Wilkinson had an opportunity to double the home side's tally in the early minutes of the second half but Moore comfortably saved. Daniel Brown shot straight at Farniok as the visitors began to threaten the Moyola Park goal and Stewart's goal attempt went wide. Farniok ensured that Moyola Park took all three points at stake when cat-like he turned a rasping effort by Francis McKenna from all of 40 yards round his right hand upright. Although this was a somewhat topsy-turvy performance by Moyola Park, both the players and the management team will be glad to get back to winning ways.

 

Glebe Rangers 1 Tobermore United

Tobermore were the visitors to the Riada Stadium on Saturday and they emerged with the victory after defeating Glebe Rangers 3-1 to narrow the gap between the two sides to three points.  With Marks and Shaw absent, Adam McVicker and new signing Davy Paul started but it was not enough to prevent Glebe’s second home reverse in successive games.

Tobermore dominated the majority of the first half and could have been three up in the first 15 minutes with McIlveen saving smartly from Young then former Glebe man Trevor Parkhill’s effort from Magee’s cross struck a post.  Connor Dean's shot wide with the goal at his mercy before Parkhill opened the scoring in the 17 minute as he despatched a well-placed shot past McIlveen into the bottom corner. 

The visitors went close again when Winton volleyed Parkhill’s cross against the bar and Deans blasted the rebound over, however the second goal was not long delayed.  A clearance fell to Rory McReadie and the midfielder’s strike from 20 yards went through a crowd of players before nestling in the back of the net to make it 2-0. 

In a rare Glebe attack, Pater Spratt’s swerving effort in the 41 stminute was stopped by McGraw and half time arrived with Tobermore two goals to the good.

The second half started off in a similar theme to much of the first before two crosses from McDowell threatened the away goal. Unfortunately, there was no-one to take advantage of the first and Conor Kearns denied Nicholl from the second. Tempers flared on the hour after Winton’s high challenge on McIlveen.

Both teams were involved in the fracas which followed and when calm was restored to proceedings Winton received his marching orders whilst McIlveen was unable to continue. Centre-half Spratt was forced to don the gloves for the remaining half hour with Nicholl moving to centre-half and Mawhinney coming on up front. Glebe at last began to threaten and only a great save by McGraw foiled Peter Kennoway before the keeper distinguished himself again, this time from Nicholl’s effort.

However, the threatened comeback was dealt a fatal blow when another Parkhill cross was met by the unmarked Young who volleyed home from four yards out in the 74th minute.  Three behind Glebe seemed to throw off the shackles and McGraw was pressed into service to deny Nicholl once more and then touch Johnny Hume’s fierce drive over. 

Alan Sheppard had an effort chopped off for offside and McDowell struck a post before Glebe’s pressure finally told when McDowell pulled one back with a fine injury time effort.  It proved to be only a consolation for the home side although McGraw was called into action once more to deny Sheppard and ensure the final score was 3-1 to Tobermore. 

 

Intermediate Cup Round 4

 

Dungiven 0 Bangor 6                                                                                                                                                                        

Cup holders Bangor proved just too sharp for a hardworking home side.

Striker Ethan Boylan's eight-yard drive deflected and gave keeper Conor O'Kane no chance to save on seven minutes.

Bangor added a second on 33 minutes when forward Richard Gibson volleyed home from nine yards. Gibson grabbed another eight minutes later, firing home Andy Hall's cross from 15 yards. The visitors pushed forward after the break but had to wait until the 62nd minute for Boylan to notch his second, hitting low into the bottom right corner. Four minutes later, midfielder Dom Melly was on target to push sub Marc Browns' corner over the line. The Seasiders completed a comprehensive win on 89 minutes when sub Colin Nixon converted Andy Long's cross from four yards out.

 

Dollingstown 2 Glentoran II 0

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

DFC welcomed Glentoran Reserves to Planters Park for the first time in round four of the Intermediate Cup and despite not having any matches during the last three weeks it was the more experienced DFC who ran out 2-0 winners and puts the club into the last 16 of this prestigious trophy for the first time. 
 

McKinstry was called into action on the quarter of an hour when he had to push a shot round the post and this was quickly followed on the counter-attack by both Fegan and Thompson but both times the Glentoran keeper stood up to the challenge. 
 

DFC enjoyed a purple patch for the next 15 minutes and from one of their many attacks down the left, they got the breakthrough when Colin Cunningham's cross was put into his own net by the Glentoran left-back. 
Credit to the young Glentoran team who kept plugging away but failed to convert from a free kick on the edge of the box but it took a goal-line clearance from Jake Redpath to keep DFC in front at the break. 
  
The second half was again fairly lively with DFC showing signs of fatigue following the long lay-off but they kept plugging away and increased their lead when veteran Brian Adair scooped the ball over the line following a typical strong run down the left by the energetic Ritchie Thompson.
  
Duke then introduced in quick succession all three subs namely Andy Hamilton, Adam Montgomery and Richard Donaghy for Martin Hughes, Michael Fegan and Colin Cunningham. 
 

PSNI 3 Wakehurst 2

Despite Wakehurst leading 2-0 at the break, thanks to goals from Ryan Gregg and Andrew Laughlin, it was the police who had 90% of possession.  An in-form Marc Mayrin and the woodwork, coupled with poor PSNI finishing led to the visitors going in at half time with what appeared to be a comfortable lead.

With the dominance of the police, it was anticipated they would take the second half by the scruff of the neck. While the police did maintain their pressure on Wakehurst, it must be said that Wakehurst, in the second half, were a much bigger threat. On more than one occasion, David Harrison in the police goals was called upon to keep the police in the tie.

A blow was landed within three minutes half way through the second half, which saw the police level the score following two corners from the boot of Mark Anderson. 

First up was Joe McWilliams on 65 minutes when he headed in from close range. Then on 68 minutes, Anderson's well-struck corner slipped through the hands of the reliable Mayrin and into the net to level.

In the second minute of extra time, McWilliams came to the police rescue when he again scored from an Anderson corner, drilling the ball into the back of the net from six yards. With their noses in front, the police put up a stout defence to ensure that they progressed to the fifth round of the Intermediate Cup. Wakehurst’s downfall was conceding three goals from three corners.  They can take some comfort from the fact that their two goals came from open play.

 

Malachians 1 Lisburn Distillery 3

Lisburn Distillery overcame a spirited performance by their hosts Malachians to win 3-1 and to progress into the fifth round of the Intermediate Cup.

On a tight, compact pitch, it was the Whites who settled the fastest in the game and they were unlucky not to take the lead on the ninth minute as a goal-bound effort from Robbie White was cleared off the goal-line. An early let-off then for the hosts, but it was to be short lived as with only 12 minutes on the clock a great through ball from Joe McDonnell sent Marty Jones clear and the diminutive striker made no mistake tucking the ball into the corner of the net.

Malachians fought back and drew level on 18 minutes when a free flowing attacking move was brought to an abrupt end by a foul in the Distillery penalty area and the referee wasted no time in pointing to the penalty spot. Up stepped the home team’s man-of-the-match Jerome McAtee and he calmly slotted the ball home to level the game.

After this, the teams seemed to have the measure of one another and chances were at a premium, so it was no surprise that the game got to half time with no further goalmouth action to report.

The Whites lifted their game in the early stages of the second half and indeed thought they had retaken the lead on 49 minutes when a sublime 25-yard free kick from Colm Kirgan saw the net ripple but as the visiting support were cheering a goal it turned out that it was the side-netting and not the back of the net which the ball had caught.

The Whites remained patient and their patience was eventually rewarded on 59 minutes, when a delightful flick-on from Jones fell into the path of Sean Southam to provide him with a glorious chance which the leading goalscorer wasn’t to miss. Keeping a calm head Southam placed the ball calmly past the advancing home goalkeeper to make it 2-1 and in doing so notching up his 13 goal of the season.

With time running out, Malachians opted to switch formation by going to three at the back in the hope of levelling the game but, as can so easily happen, the change of system went against them as the Whites notched a third goal. A decent through-ball over the back of the three-man defence forced the home keeper to rush out wide from his goal to clear his lines but in doing so the ball fell right to the feet of Robbie White who reacted quickly and wasted no time in driving the ball back towards the home goal from all of 30 yards out. The home keeper was stranded and had no chance of regaining the ground and Whites’ well placed shot bulged into the net.

After this, a couple of half chances fell the way of the visitors but they weren’t able to convert them so the Whites went on to win the tie 3-1 and thus making the fifth round of this season’s competition which, although still to be drawn, will take place on Saturday February 14.

 

Banbridge Town 1 Derriaghy CC 0

                                                                                                                                                                                              

Prior to kick-off a one minutes silence was observed in honour of former Banbridge Town striker Mark Chambers, who sadly passed away at the relatively young age of 60 after a long illness. In the game itself Town extracted a 1-0 win against a tough and stubborn Derriaghy side managed by former Loughgall goalkeeper supreme Marc Robinson who showed in the game that he still has few peers as regards his prowess between the posts. Banbridge Town have now qualified for the last 16 in this season's competition and while they will be pleased to progress they know that a big improvement is required if they are to go further. This was far from one of their best performances and while it is said "it takes a good team to win while playing badly," Town Boss Ryan Watson will expect a lot more from his charges in the coming weeks.

This was a poor game, but the bottom line is that Town got the result and their name is in the hat for round five. It was six minutes before a chance was created when Ally Wilson slipped the ball through to Adam Dennison on the edge of the box but the rising star's effort was easily held by Robinson.

However four minutes later it was a piece of individual brilliance from Ally Wilson when he turned inside a helpless defender to hammer into the corner of the net that brought a rousing cheer from the home support as they saw Town take a 1 - 0 lead. Ryan Evans (starting his first game of the season) was instrumental in the build up to the goal.

Banbridge looked confident at this stage and likely to add to that early goal but Derriaghy had other ideas and Scott saw an effort go the wrong side of Stephen Croft's goal in a sharp counter attack after 15 minutes. Player/Manager Robinson got down to hold a fiercely driven Ally Wilson free minutes later and his defence did well to prevent a Conor Downey shot after he had been put through by Adam Dennison who pounced on a loose pass close to goal.

Downey was very unlucky with a sweetly taken free that thundered off the inside of the post with Robinson stranded. It was all Town at this stage but Derriaghy weathered the storm for Guy and the dangerous Jordan Baker (ex. Portadown) to pepper the Town's goal with shots. They were unfortunate after 32 minutes to see a great McKinstry header come back off the underside of Town's crossbar before being scrambled clear and on 40 minutes Baker lobbed over after a fine run.

Conor Downey had a great opportunity on 56 minutes to increase Town's lead but delayed when through and allowed the visitor's defence to get back and block the chance. He almost made amends minutes later with a good header from Ally Wilson's cross but was inches over.

Banbridge were dealt a real blow after 69 minutes when Martin Buchanan was sent off (two yellows) after what appeared to be an innocuous challenge on a raiding forward in the penalty area. However, Jordan Baker saw his spot-kick rebound off the bar much to Town's relief.

Ryan Watson then introduced Michael Ferguson to shore up his defence and the lively Ryan Gourley came on for a tiring Ryan Evans. Banbridge, despite being reduced to 10 men remained solid and indeed might have scored on 80 minutes when Gourley raced clear down the right but lost control with the goal at his mercy.

Derriaghy were reduced to 10 men on 85 minutes when Stronge saw red after talking himself into the book for a second time. New signing John Murphy came on and showed his physical presence with some timely clearances as Town held on to record the victory that takes them into the last 16.

 

Dergview 3 Larne 0

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Larne       0

Dergview produced their best performance of the season to cruise into the fifth round in the Intermediate Cup at the expense of in-form Larne at Darragh Park.

Goals by the Lecky brothers, Richard and Adam, and Aaron Arkinson earned the Castlederg side a richly deserved victory.

Richard Lecky tapped the home side ahead on 48 minutes before younger brother Adam rammed home a penalty to double the advantage on the hour mark after Darren Higginbotham had been bundled over by Micheal Smith.

Ten minutes later Arkinson coolly netted a third to end the visiting challenge. The best Larne offered was a snap shot by Gerard Reynolds that was superbly saved by Jack Boggs and a close range volley by James McCabe that flew inches over. The visitor’s miserable afternoon was complete when Stuart McMullan received his marching orders from referee Damien Maguire.

 

Ballyclare Comrades 3 Queen's University 1

The home side started the game strongly, forcing Queen's to defend for long periods. Despite this, the visitors restricted Comrades to only a few half chances, until the 30th minute, when the opening goal was scored. 

A long ball from Andrew Doyle found marauding full back Kyle Buckley surging to the by-line. He then dug out a ball into the middle of the box, where Andrew Simpson was there to hit a crisp half-volley from 11 yards just inside the post.

The students began to threaten a bit more towards the end of the first half and continued this at the start of the second. Four minutes in they were back on level terms, when good pressing from Stephen McDowell led to a defensive error, and Mark Prenter benefitted, sending a looping shot into the net from 16 yards.

Comrades reacted to losing the lead by throwing men forward. However it was the decision of player manager Eddie Hill to introduce himself to the action which proved the catalyst for the home side to regain the lead. 

In the 67th minute, he jinked into the box and fell under a challenge. The referee awarded a penalty and Simon McGowan made no mistake from the spot. 

Four minutes later, Comrades had a two goal cushion and completed the scoring, when Kyle Buckley flashed a perfectly placed near-post header into the net from four yards from a corner.

 

Comber Rec 2 Sport & Leisure Swifts 3

Despite going in front after only two minutes when Gary Largey pounced on keeper Gerard McVeigh's punched clearance to fire the ball into the bottom corner, Leisure were pushed all the way in an excellent Intermediate Cup tie at Park Way.

The visitors had a great chance to double their lead when Declan Moore picked out Aaron Thompson with a perfect cross, but the big striker's header went wide with the goal gaping.

A penalty on 18minutes allowed Comber to level the score when Moore upended Conor Glenholmes just inside the box and Jess gave keeper Damien Nugent no chance from the spot.

Minutes later, Comber almost went in front when Liam Judge shot from twenty yards but Nugent pushed his effort onto the crossbar. Leisure made two substitutions at the break with debuts for Rhys Clelland and Ciaran Gargan as they replaced Gerard McAlea and McGrogan.

Comber started brightly and after a number of corners, they took the lead when Pierce Tully was robbed as he tried to bring the ball out of defence, Darren McNamee finishing coolly.

Then, only a fine stop by Nugent prevented the home side extending their lead as he smothered another McNamee shot at the foot of the post. With half an hour left, the visitors replaced Thompson with Darren Gallagher and the big man levelled the scores from the penalty spot after Kevin Lynch was taken down in the box. McVeigh did well to get a hand to Gallagher's strike, but he had no chance with the follow-up.

With just 10 minutes remaining, Clelland, who impressed on his first outing, put Gallagher clear and he shot from the edge of the box. McVeigh again made a valiant effort and, though he got his left hand to the ball, his touch wasn't strong enough to keep it out. Marty Cunningham had to leave the field after twisting his ankle and, having used their three substitutes, Leisure saw the game out with 10 men, but they had done just enough.

Armagh City 6 Fivemiletown United 0

Armagh City blasted their way into the fifth round of the Intermediate Cup on Saturday, as they cast aside the challenge of visitors Fivemiletown United.

The Holm Park outfit opened their account in the second minute, when a cross from the right was bundled into the opposition net by Northern Ireland youth international Andrew Hoey.

They doubled their tally on 21 minutes when another January signing, ex-Warrenpoint Town favourite Marty Havern, turned on the edge of the box and fired into the roof of the net past outstretched United keeper Chris Dynes.

Just one minute later, Hoey notched his second score after he rounded Dynes and shot home following an inch-perfect through ball from Phillip Donnelly.

City were dominating all aspects of the match, and they were unlucky not to extend their advantage before the break, but the visiting stopper saved his team when denying Donnelly, Stephen Murray and Havern in quick succession.

Armagh again controlled matters in the second half and they made sure of taking the spoils when Ultan Lennon got the final headed touch to an in-swinging Dale Montgomery corner on 64 minutes.

Hoey rounded off a superb hat-trick on 75 minutes from the penalty spot and sub Gary Boyle squeezed home a sixth at the near post to make sure last season's beaten cup finalists are back in the hat for the fifth round.

H&W Welders 5 Strabane Athletic 0

Welders eased into the last 16 of the Intermediate Cup with a comfortable 5-0 victory against Strabane Athletic at Tillysburn.

From the start, it was the home team in control and first to show was Ryan Deans after seven minutes with a header just by the post.

With the home side dictating the play, it came as no surprise when goals began to arrive. Chris Middleton got the first after 12 minutes. His first effort was blocked by O’Rielly in the visitor’s goals but he finished with his second attempt.

Mark Magennis notched number two in the 27th minute finishing off from good work by Gareth Beattie. William Armstrong made it 3-0 five minutes later with a far range effort completely beating O’Rielly. 

Mark Armstrong made it four in the 34th minute, finishing off a great move from William Armstrong and Magennis and got his second and his team's fifth in the 75th minute.

WIth the result more or less secure, the Welders were content to keep the ball in the second period. Strabane were awarded a penalty in the latter stages of the game but Jock Breslin hit it wide of the post.

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