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Championship round-ups, February 22

Championship One

Bangor 0 Institute 1

A goal after just 10 minutes was enough to secure three valuable points for title-chasing Institute and bring to an end Bangor’s run of 11 winning games on their new artificial surface. The home team ended the game with nine men after two red cards in the second half.

The first chance of the game fell for the home team on three minutes, but striker Stephen O'Neill drove his 14 yard shot past the foot of the right post.

The eager visitors took the game to Bangor, buzzing around the home penalty box — but it was a fatal moment of hesitation in the home defence which decided the game.

On the right edge of the area, keeper Darren Gibbons and centre half Colin Nixon both hesitated to clear a loose ball, allowing the alert Stephen O'Flynn to nip in and lob the ball into the left side of the goal.

 Home winger Grant Gardiner brought a good save from Institute keeper Michael Doherty on 19 minutes, while five minutes later home striker Ethan Boylan limped off the pitch. Seconds after, the lively Gardiner whipped in a cross from the left, but O'Neill just failed to get his head to the ball.

On 38 minutes, Doherty did well to save a 20 yard free kick from Gardiner on his line. The home team were dealt another blow on 40 minutes when attacker Jordan Forsythe was taken off injured.

Four minutes later, Stephen Parkhouse missed a golden chance to increase his team's lead when the striker blasted high over the bar from eight yards.

 Bangor began the second half brightly, but there was more frustration in the 54th minute when Gardiner's 23 yard free kick rebounded off the bar. Bangor were down to 10 men on 71 minutes when Stephen O'Neill was shown a red card for a challenge on Aaron Walsh.

Two home substitutes combined three minutes later as Andy Hall crossed low from the right for Tommy Lambe to run in on goal. Keeper Doherty was out bravely to grab the ball on the six yard line, but was injured making the save. Fortunately, he was able to resume after treatment.

 Bangor finished the match with nine men when, in the 85th minute, right back Tommy Wray was shown a yellow card twice within 90 seconds for fouls on midfielder Michael McCrudden.

Championship Two

Annagh United 0 Armagh City 3

There was a predictably busy opening in this league derby fixture in which the scoreline did not necessarily reflect efforts on the park.

After two minutes, Nesbitt fired just over the bar and Stretton’s effort was gathered five minutes later.

With 10 minutes gone, Armagh’s first effort came via a long range free kick going just wide of Wrights post. After only 12 minutes, Annagh’s effort to clear only found Lennon, whose strike found the top corner despite Wrights best efforts.

On the half hour mark, Gardiner and Nesbitt combined to see the shot go wide. Annagh dominated the closing stages of the half as Shea Campbell and Richie Allens saw chances saved.

The second half was lively, but with little chances of any note until the 70th minute when Shea Campbell hit the bar, only for Nesbitt to see his rebound saved.

Armagh went straight up from the throw out and Murray’s trundled effort somehow slipped under Wright to give his side the advantage.

Annagh pushed to get back into the game but a lapse in concentration in the last minute saw substitute McPartland seal the derby win for the Holm Park men.

Ballymoney United 3 Glebe Rangers 4

Ballymoney United displayed guts and determination in a hard-fought local derby, but lost 4-3 to Glebe Rangers.

Ballymoney started the game well and their early start paid off with a goal through Conleath McCaughan.

Ballymoney continued to battle, but a long ball upfield by Glebe goalkeeper Brian Kane was helped through by the wind and Ian Christie flicked the ball over oncoming keeper Brian Moore to equalise to make the scores level with 20 minutes played.

 Following a good spell of possession from Glebe, a ball played through resulted in goalkeeper Moore bringing down the striker and receiving a red card. Up stepped Gareth McConnaghie to be the stand-in goal keeper and save the penalty, only for Glebe to react quicker to the rebound and net to make it 2-1.

Soon after, Glebe were through again and netted to make the score 3-1 at half time.

A bright start to the second half for Ballymoney resulted in a goal through Gerald Gillan to make the score 3-2, only for Glebe to break and, following a superb save from McConnaghie in goal, Glebe made it 4-2.

With 20 minutes to go, Ballymoney earned a free kick through Eoin Gillan. Paul Keane slotted the ball into the top corner and spurred on the rest of the team.

The last 20 minutes ran down and the game finished 4-3 to Glebe. Up next for Ballymoney is an away trip to PSNI.

Queen’s University 3 Lurgan Celtic 2

Playing with the wind, Queen’s settled quickly and led after just six minutes.

James Lavery’s shot struck a Lurgan Celtic defender and the ball fell nicely for Mark Prenter to slot it under Lurgan keeper Ciaran Fox. Soon after it was 2-0, as Bertie Fulton’s clever back heel presented Prenter with a simple second goal.

Queen’s remained on top for the rest of the half and after 42 minutes, Daniel Culbert struck a fine cross from the right and top scorer Lavery headed it back beyond Fox to leave Queen’s three ahead at the break

In the second half, it was a much more even contest but there was little goalmouth action until, with 15 minutes to go, Lurgan hit a long ball up the middle.

The ball fell to Queen’s defender Stuart Harper, whose mishit back pass found Conor Forker and he fired it past Queen’s keeper Declan Brown.

This gave momentum to Lurgan Celtic and five minutes later, Raymond Fitzpatrick won the ball in the air and his flick found Michael Toland, who hit an exquisite volley over Brown’s head from 20 yards.

In an exciting finish, Celtic pressed hard for an equaliser and the ever-dangerous Fitzpatrick had one final chance but his header drifted wide of the far post.

Portstewart 1 Banbridge Town 0

A powerful strike from a free kick by Ports captain James Peden was enough to claim the points for the seasiders in an evenly contested match.

Both sides hit the woodwork in the first half before Turner for Portstewart and McParland for Banbridge went close.

Play ebbed and flowed and as the game was reaching a conclusion, both teams pushed for a goal to decide the outcome. With five minutes to go, Peden stepped up to strike the free kick, which Cairnduff got a hand to but could not prevent the ball going in just inside the post.

Chimney Corner 3 Wakehurst 0

Chimney Corner repeated their 3-0 Intermediate Cup result against neighbours Wakehurst and claimed three well merited league points.

Corner dominated long periods of the first half and took the lead in the ninth minute when neither Stevenson nor Laughlin could deal with the aerial threat of Jamie Willigan, who climbed higher than both Wakehurst defenders to head past Marc Maybin.

Two minutes later, Willigan was on the mark again, this time steering in a cross from the right with the Wakehurst defence looking on.

There was little in the way of attacking play from the visitors and Stephen Harbinson in the home goal was a virtual spectator until the 45th minute when he had to get down smartly to turn Jason Paul’s effort away for a corner kick.

Ten minutes earlier, Corner were unlucky not to get a third when Mark McCullagh saw his shot rebound off the upright.

The visitors improved slightly in the second period without ever causing the home keeper any serious problems and right on the hour mark, Wakehurst pressed the self-destruct button when McBride’s lunging tackle on McCullagh resulted in a spot kick.

Brendan Dorrian made no mistake, blasting the ball high into the roof of the net, giving Maybin no chance and sealing a home win.

Wakehurst’s sole effort of the second half came in the 89th minute, Ryan Gregg’s well hit free-kick beating the wall but not dipping enough to bring a save from Harbinson.

Moyola Park 1 PSNI 0

Moyola entertained league leaders PSNI at the Mill Meadow on Saturday, looking to build on last week’s 1-0 win against Newington. The home side started the game without Stewart and Waddell in defence and Walsh on the bench.

With only two minutes on the clock, Knox hit a shot wide for the visitors and a minute later at the other end, Dowie had an effort blocked and then fired the rebound wide.

With 11 minutes gone, great work from McAllister and Dowie resulted in Dowie being fouled on the edge of the box and McConnell fired the free kick just over for the home side.

In the 25th minute, McDermott was booked for the PSNI following a high challenge on Farniok. Five minutes later, Anderson had a shot punched clear by Farniok and a minute after, Farniok was again called into action when he tipped over a long range effort from McDermott.

In the 35th minute, the PSNI should have opened the scoring when McDermott found himself unmarked in the box only to head the ball over the bar. A minute later, Dowie and McConnell combined well with the latter finding his shot saved by Wilson.

The home side opened the scoring in the 37th minute when a cross by Walls on the right found the unmarked Dowie at the back post and he headed in his 18th goal of the season.

The home side made a change at half time with the returning McCabe replacing the injured Kelly and the visitors had the first effort on goal in the 46th minute with Knox seeing his shot saved by Farniok.

In the 66th minute, a cross by Berry found the unmarked Leitch and he failed to hit the target with a header. Four minutes later, McAllister pulled the ball back to Paul, who fired a great effort just over the bar.

The home side continued to push for a second goal and a minute later McAllister fired his shot wide. The home side made their second change in the 74th minute with Walsh replacing fellow substitute McCabe.

With the game into the last 15 minutes, Anderson saw his shot saved by Farniok and McWilliams fired his shot wide of the goal.

With eight minutes remaining, the home side should have doubled their lead and sealed the points when Dowie pounced on a mistake in the PSNI defence and was through one on one against Wilson.

However, the visiting keeper stood tall and Dowie fired his shot straight at him. The home side made their final change in the 86th minute with Kenning replacing Paul and he along with his team-mates battled hard to hold and claim a 1-0 victory.

Coca Cola Intermediate Cup (Round 5)

Tobermore United 6 Ardglass 1

Ardglass got off to a slow start in this Intermediate Cup game and Tobermore almost punished some slack defending with only a couple of minutes on the clock.

The visitors weathered the early storm and played some good football, but were caught out on 25 minutes when Steven Lyons headed home at the back post to put Tobermore ahead.

This seemed to lift the visitors and they created a few good chances but were unable to take any of them.

Adam Graham, with his first goal in four years, put Tobermore two up just before the break when he fired home from the edge of the penalty box.

Goal number three arrived just after half time, when Gary Donaldson pounced on a loose ball inside the penalty area and Gareth McLaughlin added the fourth on the hour mark with a well struck shot from just outside the box.

It was by no means all one way traffic and Ardglass got their reward with 12 minutes left when Stephen Deeson punished some poor marking and smashed the ball past the helpless Paul Wells.

Any thoughts Ardglass had of a late comeback were quickly dispersed when James McGahan bravely outjumped the onrushing keeper to head home number five.

Three minutes later, McLaughlin got his second and Tobermore’s sixth to round off a good afternoon’s work and set up an interesting home quarter-final clash against Knockbreda on Saturday March 8.

Belfast Telegraph