GLEBE Rangers Old Boys and Hillview, who have 100% starts to the season, sit proudly at the top of the Hutchinson Tiles League along with West Bann Athletic, who have played a game more.
Glebe Rangers had no game on Saturday while Hillview and West Bann both picked up high scoring 6-2 wins. Balnamore continued their good start to the season with victory over The Villagers as did FC Macosquin in picking up the points at home to Ballyrashane. Hazelbank did a demolition job on Coleraine Olympic while Finn McCools picked up their first points of the season with a fine away victory at The Taverners.
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Hillview FC 6 Dunaghy Old Boys 2
Both sides have started the new season well, so this game was always going to an interesting gauge on both teams’ aspirations in the league this year.
Hillview struck first, scoring in the first 10 minutes. A hand ball in the box and Hutton stepped up to convert from the resulting penalty. Archibald doubled the home side’s lead with a low drive into the bottom corner soon after.
Dunaghy pulled on back just before half time with a 25-yard screamer from Blair that flew like a bullet into the top corner of the goal and gave McDowell absolutely no chance. Nevin gave the home side a two goal cushion again early in the second half. His scuffed shot bounced off the post and in.
Hillview failed to clear the ball and McNabb found himself with just the keeper to beat soon after. He placed the ball into the side of the net passed McDowell to make it 3-2. Two goals in five minutes took the game beyond Dunaghy. The first came from Archibald. His rasping drive from the right hand edge of the box across the keeper ended up in the top left corner of the goal.
Soon after the restart Hutchinson picked up Hillview’s fifth. Picking up the ball on the left just outside the box, he turned and drilled his shot into the roof of the net giving the keeper no chance.
The last twenty minutes were dominated by the home team and they were now getting chances at will. The game was sealed with 10 minutes to go. Rab Sweeney ball split the Dunaghy defence and found Nevin.
The Hillview midfielder had time enough time to look up and pick exactly where he wanted to place the ball and was never going to miss. Man of the match: Lee Nevin (Hillview)
FC Macosquin 8 Ballyrashane FC 2
FC struck first with a great header from McGahon after a wicked delivery from Cambell. Ballyrashane pulled the score level almost immediately with a fine solo effort from David Freeman. This spurned FC into life and the rest of the match was one way traffic with another two goals from McGahon, four from Biggart and a fine lob from Downs.
Ballyrashane did grab another late consolation goal again from Freeman but by this stage the one sided contest was well over. Man of the Match: Lee Biggart (FC Macosquin)
Balnamore FC 2 The Villagers 0
Beetle Blair’s Balnamore side continued their excellent start to the season with a well deserved win over a strong industrious Villagers team who were still smarting after a mid week defeat.
It was pretty even for the first twenty minutes, but as the half progressed the home side gradual-ly turned up the pressure. Most of the chances came Balnamore’s way all be it most from distance. The breakthrough came on the half hour mark, Andy Hegarty was sent through a neat ball after good play by the Kelly boys, Josie and Lee, to leave him one on one with Best in the Villagers goal, Hegarty kept a cool head to slot the ball into the net and give the Fulton Park men the early advantage.
Balnamore settled kept their shape well and played as a unit as they comfortably seen out the half. After the break Villagers came more into the game, Wilson seeing his headed effort just slip over the bar from a corner and McFarlane’s drive was dealt with easily by the home side’s keeper James Elder.
Goal number two came for Balnamore on the hour, this time from a throw in it was that man Hegarty again who pounced on the ball and watched as his shot found the top corner to double the lead. Villagers were awarded a dubious penalty soon after, but as the “more” men protested with the decision they found themselves down to ten men.
However Elder made an excellent stop to deny McFarlane from the spot. Balnamore dug deep to keep the visitors under control and played solidly to the end to notch another win. Man of the Match: Andy Hegarty (Balnamore)
West Bann Athletic 6 Brook Street 2
West Bann Athletic welcomed Brook Street to Rugby Avenue looking to keep there good start to the season going. Athletic were rampant in the first period with Martin Pancott, Martin Robinson and Michael Olphert in particular proving hard to handle for the away team.
Athletic were 3-0 up after 15 minutes through two goals from Michael Olphert and a towering header from Martin Pancott. Brook Street got themselves back into the game when West Bann Athletic switched off allowing James Tosh to nip in and score to make it 3-1.
Athletic made it 4-1 almost immediately when Olphert scored his hat trick goal direct from a corner. Chris Loughrey made it 5-1 to Athletic finishing well just inside the 18 yard box.
Brook Street’s Robert Bradley scored coolly from the penalty spot to make it 5-2 at the break.
The second half started with Brook Street on the front foot however they were unable to breach a solid Athletic backline. Brook Street did have the ball in the back of the net through Robert Bradley when his sweetly struck in-direct free kick found the top corner watched all the way by the West Bann Athletic number one Paul Jones, however a goal kick was all that was awarded.
Athletic completed the scoring through man of the match Martin Pancott capping off a fine individual and all round team performance to leave West Bann Athletic top of the league for at least one week. Man of the Match: Martin Pancott (West Bann Athletic)
Hazelbank 9 Coleraine Olympic 2
Nigel Sheppard opened the scoring on seven minutes, before going on to grab his first hat-trick in his new white boots, drilling in from distance from Wilson’s lay off.
Nigel doubled the lead 10 minutes later an easier effort again after good build up play from Smith and McClean. Brian Alcorn made it three on 30 minutes, a good finish after starting the move off from left back after Sheppard played him in.
Coleraine Olympic’s David Cox extended Hazelbank’s lead. Darren Harte forced the save from Doherty with powerful shot, Cox tried to clear but only managed to help it over the line.
Just before the break Johnny McIlreavey made it 5-0 as he raced clear before slotting home.
A few changes at the break had Hazelbank disstrupted for a 15 minute spell, although harry kilgore extended the lead on 59 minutes it was after a good spell off Olympic pressure.
On 63 minutes their pressure got its reward as Greer converted from the penalty spot after a clumsy tackle from Drake. With this boost Olympic pulled back another, Robinson out jumping Cameron to head home.
Hazelbank began to pile on the pressure, Wilson driving forward for Nigel Sheppard to complete his hat-trick with fine finish from the edge of the box.
Nigel turned provider laying the ball on for Drake to score after a good passage of play from the back before Harry Kilgore completed the scoring with a tap in at the back post. Man of the Match: Nigel Sheppard (Hazelbank)
The Taverners 1 Finn McCools 4
Both teams started this match with some good passing football being played. Finns struck first when Parke took his goal well. Taverners replied to even the game before half time. Second half Finns started to take control when Johny Watton scored twice and veteran defender Billy Thompson got on the score sheet making it four. Man of the Match: Johny Watton (Finn McCools)
Saturday 8 September
Ballyrashane v Mountview FC Rugby Avenue 4
Brook Street v Balnamore FC Crescent 3
Coleraine Olympic v Hillview FC Rugby Avenue 2
Dunaghy Old Boy’s v Bertha’s FC Dunaghy
Finn McCool’s v Windyhall FC Bushmills
Glebe Rangers Old Boys v Taverners FC Riada 2
Macosquin Village v Hazelbank Rugby Avenue 3
Villagers FC v FC Macosquin Castlerock