NIFL Championship round-up, February 20
All the latest from Championship One and Two:
Annagh United 1 Lisburn Distillery 2
A defensive mix-up for Annagh in the third minute gifted Doyle, who give Distillery the lead. Annagh were level on 13 minutes when McElroy showed great composure slotting home from 10 yards. Efforts for the visitors came via the lively Quinn and Rooney with Fox saving well. At the other end, McErlean pushed Adam White's goal-bound header over the bar on the half time whistle. In the second half, a great save by Fox from Roohi's strike kept the scores level. On 62 minutes McElroy’s was sent off and three minutes later Annagh were down to nine men when McCordick received a second yellow. Annagh played comfortably with a two-man deficit, but substitute Knipe grabbed the points for Distillery on 75 minutes, when he poked home from six yards out.
Ballyclare Comrades 3 Donegal Celtic 1
Anthony Philpott silenced the home fans at Dixon Park in the eighth minute when he pounced on a loose ball in the box and blasted the ball past Paddy Flood. In the 45th minute, Trussell got a deserved equaliser when he swivelled and fired past Sean McIlhone from close range. Brown put the Reds ahead in the first minute of the second half when he turned a deep cross from Michael McQuitty into the net, but moments later Comrades were reduced to 10 men when Sandy McDermott received a straight red. The home goal had a let-off when Philpott’s shot hit the bar and Paul Brown’s follow-up header was scooped off the line by a defender. It was 10-aside following Paul Brown’s dismissal on the hour mark and in the 65th minute, Trussell made sure of the points when he converted a penalty after Ciaran Carson brought down Gary Brown in the box. Trussell was unfortunate not to complete his hat-trick when his header hit the underside of the bar late on.
Bangor 2 Armagh City 0
Bangor got back to winning ways with two second half goals in a hard-fought game at the Bangor Fuels Arena. There was plenty of effort, but shots on target were few and far between in a scoreless first half. Armagh were out of luck when a 30-yard free kick by Philip Donnelly was inches past the angle of the near post and bar and Sean Mallon send a 16-yard rasper against the right post. The home side grabbed the vital first goal on 63 minutes as Paul McDowell ran onto a clever through ball on the left from Walsh. The veteran striker made no mistake as he dinked the ball over the advancing keeper's head from eight yards. Long made sure of the points six minutes later, with a great run through the Armagh defence, beating a couple of defenders on the way, before sending his shot low past the keeper from nine yards. Armagh pushed forward in the final quarter of the match, but could not find a way through a determined home rearguard.
Institute 2 H&W Welders 0
Stute had a good early chance when McGinty’s seventh minute cross from the right found midfielder Niall Grace at the back post. His header back across goal found Gareth Brown, but the striker headed over from close range. The woodwork came to the visitors’ rescue on 18 minutes when in bizarre fashion, the ball was bouncing around in the six yards box, right-back Darren Nixon saw his header come back off the crossbar and William Armstrong cleared. Institute deservedly took the lead on 53 minutes when some silky skills by Scoltock created the chance. The defender came out from the back, beat a few players before slotting the ball through to Jamie McIntyre. His cross on the slide found McGinty and from 12 yards he fired home his fourth goal in two games. The Waterside men secured the result on 84 minutes in somewhat fortunate circumstances when Roddy’s free-kick took a deflection off the Welders wall before bouncing into the net.
Larne 3 Dergview 2
Larne dominated the opening period of the game and it was a moment of magic that put them in front on 27 minutes. Out of nothing, Ciaran Murray unleashed a dipping volley, which flew into the top corner of the net. Dergview managed to claw their way back into the game when Chris Rodgers made a mistimed tackle inside the penalty area and Patterson levelled the score netting the retaken penalty after an infringement cancelled out his first successful attempt. The Inver Reds restored their lead on the hour mark when Kevin Bradley showed great desire to win the ball on the right flank and he delivered an inviting cross, which Paul Maguire met with a fine diving header. Two minutes later, the captain was at it again when he expertly fired his second goal of the day low into the corner, his 17th of the season. Dergview reduced the deficit right on the full time whistle when Ballard's 40-yard free kick deceived everyone and dropped into the far corner.
Banbridge Town 1 Newington 1
The visitors were certainly first out of the blocks and Chris McGrath did well to block a surging Sean McAuley run early on. Tuda Murphy saved a pile driver from Brannigan, but Newington then took the lead on 35 minutes when a Sean McAuley free on the right was met by the head of big defender Daniel Whyte who gave Murphy no chance from 10 yards. Banbridge started the second half with all guns blazing and on 53 minutes "Pixie" Moffatt collected a clearance out of the visiting defence and crossed into the box, where Mattie McCartan crashed a downward header past Smyth for the equaliser. Towards the end of the game, Newington were reduced to 10 men following Dempsey's dismissal.
Coagh United 1 Moyola Park 3
Half-chances fell to both sides in the first half, but both goalkeepers were rarely troubled. There were some feisty tackles from both sides, but neither side was able to gain control of the game and went in at the interval tied at 0-0. Moyola came out for the second half looking sharper and when the ball fell to Dowie in the box on 47 minutes, the striker slotted home to give Moyola the lead. Three minutes later, Taggart doubled the lead for Moyola when Harris sent a free kick into the box to be met by the head of Taggart, who sent the ball beyond Hassan in the Coagh United goals. Coagh United began to press and a terrific 25-yard volley from Canning produced a great save from Maybin, who diverted the ball behind for a Coagh United corner kick. The resulting corner was met by the head of Quigg and placed beyond the reach of Maybin. Moyola put the game to bed when Dowie got his second from Gray's low cross, calmly placing the ball into the net.
Dundela 1 Queen's University 1
Jonny Sergeant was the busier of the two keepers in the first period, and he made a smart stop when the Queen's attack managed to break through. Dundela broke the deadlock just before the hour mark, when Collins' free kick found its way to Sofley, who turned smartly in the box before firing under Declan Brown and into the bottom corner. Queen's nearly responded immediately, however Chris McIlwaine could only head wide from a corner. Sofley was causing the Queen's defence problems with his running in behind, and he was nearly rewarded for his efforts when he latched onto Colin Manley’s impressive through-ball but Brown was equal to his effort, tipping the ball around the post. The equaliser came in from a set piece, with Lee Lenaghan slicing the ball over a helpless Sergeant and into the top corner.
PSNI 3 Limavady United 0
This top-of-the-table clash started well for PSNI, when a penetrating Stuart Hutchinson run three minutes in, involving a couple of neat one-twos, resulted in him putting the ball past Paul Wells in the Limavady goal. The league leaders mounted numerous attacks on the police defence, but Lady Luck and some excellent defending kept them at bay. Indeed, despite controlling the majority of play in the first half, the closest Limavady came to breaking down the police defence was on 12 minutes, when a Paul Owens free kick curled round the police wall and clipped the top of the crossbar. Jamesy Kirk’s tactics were proved right when his double substitution made an instant impact. On 72 minutes, substitute Owen Moody was bearing down on goal, along the by-line, when Ryan Mullan appeared to bring him down, and the referee pointed to the spot and produced a straight red. New signing, and substitute, Shane Dolan made sure the police lead was doubled and it was no surprise when, on 83 minutes, Lukasz Adamczyk rounded the scoring off with his tremendous solo effort.
Belfast Telegraph Digital