Glebe Rangers kept up their pursuit of the Hutchinson Tiles Winter League title with a 2-0 victory over Balnamore while Mountview moved into third place with a rout of FC Macosquin.
Berthas FC were held to a draw by Finn McCools while Hazelbank’s upturn of form continued taking a good three points against Dunaghy Old Boys. The Villagers took the spoils against Ballyrashane while West Bann Athletic and FC Windyhall battled to a draw.
Last week in cup semi final action, Glebe Rangers Old Boys were taken all the way to penalties by Berthas FC before eventually winning through 10-9 in spot kicks. The other semi final between Finn McCools and Balnamore will take place on Saturday 27 April. The Cup final will take place on Saturday 11th May at The Rope Walk in Coleraine with an 11am KO. The Coleraine Social Club shield will take place on Friday 3rd May at Coleraine Showgrounds with a 7pm kick off.
With the league moving into midweek action as well, keep up to date with all the news at www.htwl.leaguerepublic.com
Glebe Rangers Old Boys 2 Balnamore FC 0
This local derby was played out at a sunny Megaw Park on Saturday morning. With Jimmy Coulter absent through injury, Paul Holmes resumed his right back role whilst for the visitors Halliday and Heggarty remained in central defence as Joe Connor continued his suspension. The Old Boys were on top from the first whistle and Alan McBride went close with a trademark free-kick which thundered against the post. The pressure was rewarded in the 26th minute when Les Nicholl flicked Paul Holmes driven ball past Elder to give the Glebe the lead.
Patterson had a goal crossed off for offside and also hit the post as Glebe continued to press, however they were unable to convert any of their efforts into goals. Balnamore, with Hogg and McDowell prominent, began to find their feet but Allen dealt capably with a couple of long range efforts from Kelly and Hannah as half-time arrived with the score 1-0 to the hosts.
Glebe made a strong start to the second half and Alan McBride was denied by a magnificent save from Elder before an inch-perfect through ball from DJ McBride found Patterson who calmly slotted past Elder. Glebe were awarded a penalty shortly after but man of the match Alan McBride was denied yet again by the inspired Elder. Nicholl just failed to and Balnamore pushed forward in an attempt to reduce the arrears but despite a series of corners they were unable to pierce the Old Boys rear-guard as the game ended 2-0 to the home side. Man of the Match: Alan McBride (Glebe Rangers Old Boys)
FC Macosquin 0 Mountview FC 9
Mountview raced into a four-goal lead at half time in this one with Mitchell grabbing the first and Ciaran Doherty grabbed a quick hat-trick to all but give his team the points going in at the break. Mountview continued the goalscoring in the second half with McAllister also getting a hat-trick, Scott Fraser was also on the score sheet before Doherty grabbed the final say with his fourth of the game with Mountview running out 9-0 victors. Man of the Match: Ciaran Doherty (Mountview FC)
Berthas FC 2 Finn McCools 2
The home team started this game brightest and took the lead not long in when Patterson’s long throw wasn’t cleared properly, the ball dropping to Drake on the edge of the area and he smashed the ball through the crowd and into the net. Berthas then went stale for a long period and it looked like last weeks gruelling Cup semi-final was getting the better of them with the fresher Finns teams the hungrier and sharper.
Indeed they equalised mid-way through the half when a long free kick into the box was headed home unmarked by Johny Parke. Elder in the Berthas goal then made a great save from a Chris McAfee pile driver. Finns looked the most likely to score and they did near the end of the half when Peter McAfee rose highest to head home a corner kick.
The start of the second half was similar with Finns on the front foot with Berthas very sloppy in their play. However they were solid enough at the back keeping the Finns attack at bay. Into the last 20 minutes and it was the home side who grabbed the ascendency and they drew level with Caldwell flicking on for Biggart to flick a lovely right footed strike into the back of the net. It was Berthas who looked the more likely to grab the points and should have right at the death when Patterson met McIlreavy,s free kick but headed over when well placed. Man of the Match: Ali Dobbin (Finn McCools)
Hazelbank FC 2 Dunaghy Old Boys 0
This was a hard fought encounter with some great football played by both teams. Dunaghy were dominant in the opening exchanges as the midfield of Patton, Blair, Dunlop and Neilly were moving the ball around well.
But it was Hazelbank who broke the deadlock on nine minutes as Crawford’s long free kick was flicked on by McIlreavy into McClarty’s path and he managed to slip it past the advancing Doherty. The striker should have scored a second soon after as Wilson picked him out in the box, but he screwed his shot wide.
The scond arrived just before the break as Wilson swung another cross in and this time McIlreavy slotted home. Dunaghy weren’t for lying down though as Dunlop twice went close, striking the post and having an effort cleared off the line. McClarty and McIlreavy went close at the other end before Hemphill almost scored the goal of the day as he almost caught Doherty out from distance after the keeper had pushed forward for a corner late on.
Warren Blair almost grabbed a consolation for Dunaghy but his lob came back off the bar and was cleared. Man of the Match: Gavin Kelly (Hazelbank)
West Bann Athletic 1 FC Windyhall 1
West Bann Athletic welcomed FC Windyhall to a gusty Rugby Avenue in a game both teams were looking to win all three points on offer. The game turned out to be a tight affair with both sets of player cancelling each other out all over the pitch with clear cut chances at a premium. Both teams had penalty claims in the second half but both were rightly waved away by the man in the middle.
Athletic took the lead in the 86 minute with a good move down there right side which saw Steven Doherty’s inch perfect cross met by Michael Olphert who made no mistake with his diving header giving the FC Windyhall keeper no chance. FC Windyhall threw caution to the wind in search of an equaliser in the last five minutes and were rewarded in the 91st minute when Stephen Donnell was slipped in, his shot was saved well by the West Bann Athletic number one however the loose ball fell to Donnell again who put a cross cum shot across the face of the Athletic goals which was met at the back post by fullback Krissy Thompson to leave it all square and honours even at full time. Man of the Match: Lyle Crawford (FC Windyhall)
Ballyrashane FC 0 The Villagers 3
This game started with both team’s hungry for a win and Ballyrashane came close with Alan McClarty firing just wide in the first couple off minutes. This woke the Villagers up with Friel and Shirlow combining on the left with Friel picking out Finny to flick his header into the path off Steele to volley past Kane.
Both team’s created chances with McClarty putting his shot past the post when he was left one on one with Best on 35 minutes before young Wilson found space in the Ballyrashane box to put the Villagers 2-0 ahead with a cheeky wee overhead kick which just crept over Kane.
The Villagers were well on top in the second half with Pollock, Hutchinson, Cutmore and Peden keeping it tight at the back and Finny and Wilson coming close up the other end. On 70 minutes Finny finished the game off when Wilson found the big striker in the box to side foot past Kane. Man of the Match: Rab Friel (The Villagers)