NIFL Championship round-up, August 15
All the latest from Championship One and Two:
Armagh City 3 Dergview 1
Armagh City got their home league campaign off to a winning start when they recorded a good win over an excellent Dergview side at Holm Park. The home side took a deserved lead in the 19th minute, when Eamon Kelly rose well in the box to powerfully head home from a corner. The visitors always looked a threat, and just over 10 minutes later, they drew level. The ball fell to Nathan Cashel on the edge if the area and he fired an unstoppable effort into the corner of the net past John Connolly in the home goal. With just over a quarter of an hour to go, the home side retook the lead when an excellent through-ball from Eamon Kelly found Mary Havern, and the striker found the back of the Dergview net from 12 yards. A couple of minutes later, the result was put beyond doubt when Dara Noonan stabbed the ball home from close range following a corner, capitalising on a fumble by visiting keeper Boggs.
Bangor 1 H&W Welders 2
Bangor were dealt a blow two minutes into the match when the visitors' left back William Armstrong sent over a looping cross for striker Michael McLellan to dive and send a six yard header into the left hand corner of the net. The Seasiders were back on level terms 12 minutes later with a spectacular eight yard blaster. Striker Ethan Boylan chested the ball down on the left side of the box and slipped the ball to new signing Stephen Curry, and the winger gave Welders keeper Michael Dougherty no chance as he found the top right hand corner of the goal. What proved to be the winning goal fell to Welders forward Neil Dougan on 24 minutes as he sent a rising shot from the right wing into the top left hand corner of the home goal. Bangor's last chance to salvage a point fell on 88 minutes when sub Paul McDowell was thwarted two yards out by Welders full back Paul Dickson as he shaped to fire Morrow's low cross into the net from four yards out.
Donegal Celtic 2 Ards 3
Ards began the game as they had the previous week, by overwhelming the home side. The first half was one of almost total domination for the visitors. After several lightning attacks down the left flank, Ards forced a corner which saw Denver Gage power a header into the top corner for the opener. Within another 15 minutes, the hardworking Jordan Baker was very alert to nip in behind the home defence and lob the keeper for the second. The second half began as the first ended, with the third goal coming when ONeill headed across goal for Gage to head in. Ryan Dunlop beat Ards keeper Brown to a cross to pull one back and when Anto McGonnell strode through to beat Brown to the ball and slot into the corner, Ards were facing a tricky last 15 minutes, but despite being forced onto the back foot and being hit with a series of crosses and long throws, they held out to secure another three points.
Institute 0 Annagh United 1
A youthful Institute line-up crashed to a second consecutive league defeat despite a promising performance at home to Annagh United on Saturday afternoon. Daryl McDermott misjudged a header allowing Chris McElroy through on goal. However, goalkeeper Michael Lynch rushed out and blocked the onrushing striker. A brilliant piece of link-up play by the home side saw Aaron Harkin lay off Garbhan Friel on the edge of the area. Friel launched a powerful strike at goal but was somehow denied when outstretched Ciaran Fox tipped the ball against the crossbar. Against the run of play and late into the game, Annagh managed to cause an upset when skipper Richard Allen latched onto the end of a free kick to convert a close range header past Lynch. Kevin Deery's men continued to pile on the pressure but faced a further set-back when substitute Barr received a second booking for dissent and was dismissed.
Loughgall 0 Lurgan Celtic 1
A 78th minute spot kick was the difference between the sides in a fairly even contest at Lakeview Park. Gary Henderson was adjudged to have fouled Celtic forward Aaron Haire with his sliding challenge and Chris Lavery, who was an exceptional threat throughout the game, fired home the winning penalty. In the opening 10 minutes, Henderson saw his 25-yard effort parried by Celtic goalkeeper Conor McCorry and Steven Ferguson narrowly shot wide from a similar distance. The visitors were denied by Ferguson’s goal-line clearance after Chris Lavery’s excellent wing play and cross was creeping inside the far post. Celtic went close just after the hour mark when Chris Lavery controlled the ball before firing an effort narrowly past the post from outside the penalty area. McCorry was called into action for the Lurgan side on 68 minutes to deny McMahon’s goal-bound effort after great forward play by Mullen.
Dollingstown 3 Coagh United 1
Dollingstown got off to the perfect start on three minutes when Ritchie Thompson’s pace saw him break through onto a long ball and calmly lob the keeper. Thompson thought he had doubled the lead but the linesman’s flag ruled it out for offside. Gillespie threatened for Coagh but his header was wide from a free kick, and the visitors missed the chance to equalise on 53 minutes, when McParland got down superbly to turn Tomelty's spot kick round the post. On 57 minutes, Glen Hand punished the Coagh keeper when he dropped the ball from a cross and he had a simply tap-in to double the lead. The impressive Tomelty received a second yellow which killed the game off and on 85 minutes, Hand fired in goal number three after an initial good save by the keeper. Gillespie pulled a goal back in the final minute but this was a welcome home win for the Dollybirds.
Limavady United 2 Banbridge Town 2
Banbridge went ahead just after the half hour with a fine goal. Downey wrong-footed Lee Harkin and made straight for the byline. His fine cross fell to Kingsbury waiting just outside the box and the experienced forward was allowed time and space to pick his spot. Within three minutes of the second half, the Roesiders were level. Persistence from Conor Harkin produced a cross into the danger area and Friel tapped in from close range via a deflection off the shin of a diving defender and trickled into the far corner. United now had their best spell of the match. On 56 minutes, Lee Harkin roamed forward before unleashing a fizzing low shot which Croft parried around the post. But the comeback was complete on the hour as Friel again found space in the six-yard box to tap in Harkin's cross from the right. On 76 minutes, United's defence stood off and failed to prevent a cross into the box where Conor Downey controlled, turned and fired low into the far corner.
PSNI 4 Sport & Leisure Swifts 2
PSNI controlled the first half and had a number of opportunities to get on the score-sheet but in the 24th minute, a solo run from midfielder Mark Anderson saw him beat a number of defenders, take the ball to the byline, where from an almost impossible acute angle, he smashed the ball into the back of the net. On 51 minutes, a long clearance by David Harrison in the police goal found Lukasz Adamczyk, whose massive experience saw him control the ball and slip the ball under the body of the advancing Michael Magill. A Swifts corner on 59 minutes led to a goal mouth scramble and Kevin Lynch poked the ball into the police net. The two-goal lead was re-established when on 64 minutes, Kyle Agnew fired home from close range following another goalmouth scramble, but Sport & Leisure again closed the margin when on 69 minutes, Michael McMullan scored from yet another goal mouth scramble. Joe McWilliams settled matters in the 72nd minute, when following neat work in the S&L box, he found himself one-on-one with Kyle Agnew to claim the PSNI's fourth.
Tobermore United 1 Portstewart 0
Portstewart were the visitors at Fortwilliam Park last Saturday for Tobermore’s first home game of the season. The first half was a fairly even affair but Portstewart always seemed that bit sharper and home keeper Mathew McGraw had to be at his best on a number of occasions to deal with goal-bound efforts. The pattern was very much the same in the second period, and as the half wore on, it seemed likely that whoever got the first goal would win the game. Tobermore brought on Ryan Marks and Ceolan Doherty and almost immediately the home side began to threaten the visitors' goals. Marks, making his return to Tobermore after a couple of seasons away, brought the best out of Joel Madison, who somehow got his fingertips to a 25 yard pile-driver to tip the ball over the bar. Tobermore, for the first time in the game, looked the more likely to score and with barely two minutes left on the clock, some poor defending gave Ryan Devine a half chance, and the lively midfielder didn’t miss with a neat finish from the edge of the box.
Belfast Telegraph Digital