Down Area Winter Football League round-up, April 16
The Sittlington Cup semi-finals were played during the week on the 3G pitches at Londonderry Park, with Greenwell Star up against Comber Young Men and Division 1 leaders Agape up against Premier side Corrymeela.
Greenwell wanted to keep their hopes alive for a grand slam, and Agape wanted to set down a marker for next season. Greenwell, however, came up against a very determined Comber YM team, who were able to nullify the free scoring Greenwell attack and after extra time there was still no score. The dreaded penalties ensued, with Comber holding their nerve better to knock the fancied Greenwell outfit out and ruin their grand slam challenge. In the other semi, Agape showed that they are a team to take notice of, with a good display against their higher opposition. There was no score in the first half, but even when they went 1-0 down, they battled to get back on level terms. However, Corrymeela showed their credentials, as they scored a late winner to knock Agape out. Well done to all teams involved.
In the Premier Division, there was a rehearsal for the Jigsaw Financial Billy Allen Memorial Cup, as Greenwell entertained Newtown Forest, but Greenwell showed they had no hangover from their Sittlington Cup exit, as they thrashed Forest 7-0 to keep their title challenge alive. Last year's champions Brentwood firmed up third position with a comfortable 5-1 home win over 3rd Bangor, but result of the day must surely belong to basement club Comber Star, who secured their first league win of the season with a 3-2 away in over 8th OB.
In Division 1, Agape & Clonduff continue to lead the way as Agape beat Ards Rangers III 5-2 and Clonduff beat Abbey Villa III 2-0. Will the title be decided when the pair meet each other on 27 April? It's going to be a tight finish. Ballygowan remain in third place, despite a 1-1 draw with 43rd Dundonald, and Newtownards RBL continued their excellent start to life in the DAWFL with a 6-2 win over Queens Grads III.
In the Mervyn Bassett Reserve Team Cup, Greenwell Star II beat Oakfield Breda II 4-2 and Abbey Villa IV scraped past Queens Grads IV 1-0. In the Tommy Murphy Memorial Shield, Moat Park Rangers II coasted to a 9-0 win over Vision Athletic II, but there was a shock defeat for Greenwell Star II, as they suffered a hangover from the Mervyn Bassett Cup, being beaten 5-3 by Queen's Grads IV.