Belfast Telegraph Championship round-up, March 4
All the latest from Championship One and Two:
Bangor 1 Larne 1
On 29 minutes, Larne midfielder Eoin Gillan sent a 30-yard head-high drive a couple of feet past the right hand post, and with both sets of defenders looking on top of their tasks, it took a well-worked Larne free kick to break the deadlock on 41 minutes. Gerald Gillan was fouled 10 yards inside the Bangor half. He took the free kick himself to send the ball into the area, where Larne skipper Paul Maguire cleverly chested the ball down before swivelling to slam home from 10 yards. The visitors had the ball in the net again seven minutes after the restart as left-back Thomas Robinson fired home from Eoin Gillan's through-ball, but the referee gave offside. Bangor pushed up in search of the vital equaliser, and on the hour, a three-man move pierced the visitors' back-line as Ethan Boylan and Mark Cooling combined to supply Hall, who blasted home from 10 yards.
PSNI 3 Dundela 1
The two bottom teams were fighting for survival at Newforge, where Dundela had to win to avoid relegation. Kyle Agnew collected the ball and rounded Macauley Cairns in the Dundela goal to open the scoring with 17 minutes on the clock. Despite creating a number of chances, and Joe McWilliams causing havoc, the score remained at 1-0 at half time. Owen Moody scored a cracking goal from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 to the police, and nine minutes later, he put the match beyond Dundela, when this time, from the left wing, he also rounded Cairns to make it 3-0. The police were comfortably in control but in the 79th minute, David Gibson gave the Dundela faithful a possible lifeline when his header from the edge of the six-yard box sailed over the head of ex-Dundela keeper Stephen McKay.
Dergview 3 Lisburn Distillery 1
Dergview convincingly saw off Lisburn Distillery at Darragh Park, where Aaron Arkinson opened the scoring for the home side. Following an exchange of passes with Stephen Sheridan, he calmly slotted the ball into the net on 30 minutes. Adam Lecky doubled the lead in the 60th minute. Richard Lynch was up-ended in the box and Lecky confidently stepped up, placed the ball on the spot and struck home. In the 75th minute, the game was as good as over when Sheridan scored the insurance goal, following good play by Arkinson, to give his team a comfortable 3-0 lead. Jones grabbed a late consolation for Distillery, but it was too little too late for the Lisburn team.
H&W Welders 0 Armagh City 2
The Welders lost only their second league game of the season at home and Armagh ran out deserved winners. In a game that never reached any great heights, the visitors were a tidy side, whose positive play belied their league position. Armagh saw a decent effort from Stephen Murray after 26 minutes narrowly shave the post. A lot of the play was confined to the midfield and neither side looked capable of scoring. In the second half, the home side began to promise a little more aggression and a couple of their efforts from Rainey and McClellan went wide. Armagh continued to probe for openings and they succeeded after 60 minutes, when Hoey put them in front. Armagh by now sensed a victory and indeed were playing the better football, with the Welders looking jaded. Goal number two arrived with 12 minutes remaining when Donnelly sealed the three points.
Lurgan Celtic 3 Portstewart 0
Celtic put another three points on their league tally with a well-earned win over Portstewart. The home side went on the attack from the opening, and Middleton in the Potstewart goal made several good saves. The deadlock was broken by Raymond Fitzpatrick on 39 minutes, when he controlled the ball in the area and, despite the attentions of two defenders, rifled home. Three minutes later, Chris Lavery took on two defenders down the left and from an acute angle chipped the ball into the net to put Celtic two-up at half time. The second half saw a dominant Celtic wrap up the game after a good move down the right resulted in Ryan heading across for Fitzpatrick to score his 23rd league goal of the season. The win puts Celtic back on top, with three games in hand over second-placed Limavady United.
Queens University 3 Glebe Rangers 0
It was a dream start for Queen’s when, after just four minutes, Glebe left-back Jonathon Hume tackled Owain Beggs from behind inside the box and referee Andrews immediately pointed to the spot. Beggs stepped up and sent keeper Gregg Shannon the wrong way. Glebe had a good spell just before the break but were caught out when Queen’s broke quickly. Good passing on the right wing led to a good cross by Eoghan Byrne, from which Ciaran O’Hare’s header was palmed away by Shannon into the path of James Lavery, who scored from seven yards. In an entertaining second half, Glebe’s Maurice McDowell sent over a great cross from the left wing and Christopher Mawhinney’s header hit the top of the crossbar. With 20 minutes left, James Lavery played Sean Walsh in on the left wing and his low cross was perfect for Byrne to slot home at the back post.
Dollingstown 1 Annagh United 5
Annagh United made the short trip to Planters Park on Saturday and showed why they are pushing for a top-two finish. The visitors went 1-0 up in the first minute when a short back-pass from Marty Hughes was pounced upon by the brilliant Scott McCordick, who beautifully chipped the keeper. Five minutes later McCordick showed a gulf in class when he walked past three defenders and buried the ball into the bottom corner. In the second half, a calamitous 10-minute spell for The Dollybirds allowed Annagh to simply wrap up the game. First, McCordick completed a superb hat-trick when he fired home from the edge of the area. Leading goal-scorer Shea Campbell converted two out of three penalties awarded, before Dollingstown registered a late consolation goal on 77 minutes through their leading scorer Richard Thompson.
Tobermore United 1 Newington 1
The Belfast men put the home side under pressure right from the kick-off and it was no surprise that their hard work paid off when, with only eight minutes gone, Gary Rafferty got onto the end of a good cross from the left and gave Mathew McGraw no chance from close range. They almost doubled their lead 10 minutes later, but McGraw somehow got down to a fierce drive to make the save. Newington continued to press for a second, but their finishing let them down and Brown made them pay when on 25 minutes, and somewhat against the run of play, the big number nine was given too much room inside the box, and he made no mistake to level proceedings. The second period was pretty much the same as the first, with Newington playing the better football, but still unable to take any of the chances that fell their way. Tobermore continued to counter-attack, but again failed to make the most of the few chances they created.
Ballymoney United 3 Banbridge Town 3
Banbridge took the lead against the run of play on nine minutes, when Hayes scored a close-range header from an Evans cross. Ballymoney dominated the game but couldn’t break down the visitors' defence. Despite having had most of the play, the home team went in at half time 1-0 down. Banbridge started the second half in lively manner and made it 2-0 on 52 minutes. Ballymoney went back on the attack and pulled a goal back from the centre, through Bradley. Ballymoney were rewarded for their efforts on 76 minutes, when Stewart broke through and tucked his shot past Cruft in the visitors' goal. They continued to dominate the closing stages, and took the lead when Stewart found the back of the net following a series of corners in the 88th minute. It was not to be Ballymoney’s day, however, as Banbridge equalised with the last touch of the game.