Belfast Telegraph

Top two cancel each other out as chasing pack narrow the gap

 

By Stuart McKinley

Dundela and Loughgall stretched their unbeaten starts to five games, but the Championship's joint leaders are now just a single point ahead of the chasing pack after battling out a goalless draw.

With the top two sharing the spoils, it allowed the teams immediately below to close the gap.

Both Ards and Portadown took advantage of the Lakeview Park stalemate to move within touching distance at the top. Ards, however, left it late to notch their first win in three games.

With just five minutes to go, Michael McLellan fired home a superb 25-yard free kick to secure a 1-0 win over a Knockbreda side who looked on course to record their first point since the opening day of the campaign.

The Ports won back-to-back games for the first time this season when they beat Harland & Wolff Welders 2-0 at Shamrock Park. Lee Bonis made it two goals in as many appearances before Greg Hall made it 2-0.

Queen's University are tucked just behind those two in fifth place with a third win in four games.

Ben Mulgrew and Philip Traynor scored four minutes apart to put them 2-0 up at half-time and Dergview could only net a consolation midway through the second half from Garth Falconer.

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Ballinamallard United jumped above Ballyclare Comrades and into the top half after dishing out a 5-0 hammering at Ferney Park.

There was little sign of what was to come when the Mallards led 1-0 at half time through Sean McAvoy.

Shortly after Ryan Campbell doubled the lead, the Mallards were facing 10 men when Curtis Woods was sent off.

With the numerical advantage, Harry McConkey's men upped the ante and made it three when Campbell netted his second on 70 minutes and then piled on the agony when Josh McIlwaine made it 4-0 before Campbell completed his hat-trick.

PSNI got their first points of the season with a 2-1 win away to Newry City, with Nathan Best and Jack McAllister scoring either side of the break ahead of Adam Foley's reply.

RESULTS: Ballinamallard Utd 5 Ballyclare Com 0; Knockbreda 0 Ards 1; Loughgall 0 Dundela 0; Newry City 1 PSNI 2; Portadown 2 H&W Welders 0; Queen's University 2 Dergview 1.

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