There’s no change at the top as top teams all continue their good form

Action from West Bann Athletic's win over Dunaghy Old Boys. INCR44 TILES
Action from West Bann Athletic's win over Dunaghy Old Boys. INCR44 TILES

The top five in the Hutchinson Tiles Winter League all took victory on Saturday so it is a case of as you were at the top of the league.

Leaders Berthas FC took the points in their derby game against The Villagers, while second place Glebe Rangers Old Boys won by the odd goal in five at home to Balnamore.

West Bann Athletic were solid 2-0 winners against Dunaghy Old Boys as Ballymoney Olympic continued their excellent run of form taking the points in a tough encounter with league holders Portrush Old Boys.

Finn McCools scored a last minute winner in their game against Hazelbank to continue their excellent early season. In the remaining game of the weekend end, Millburn FC won a good battle against Ballyrashane FC.

The members of the league committee and all associated with the league would like to pass on their best wishes and condolences to Chairman David Cochrane, his son David Junior and the family circle following their recent close family bereavement.

The league is currently on the look out for new referee’s on a Saturday morning. If you have experience or indeed, have only just took up refereeing then contact Jimmy Alexander on 07814460756

The Villagers 0

Berthas FC 6

This is a local derby of sorts with both teams playing their home games at the same pitch, but this game lacked its usually intensity with bad weather conditions probably the reason.

It was Berthas who should have taken the lead on two occasions early on when Stewart hit the post when slipped in by Hanna and moments later Jason Best made a great stop to deny Andy Cochrane. They continued on the front foot and eventually took the lead when Parke diverted the ball into his own net following Hanna’s right wing cross.

They grabbed their second when Hanna beat Best from distance. Number three came after the half hour mark when McGarvey played in Biggart and he made no mistake in firing past Best.

They grabbed their fourth soon after when Stewart powered home a header at the near post following Hoey’s cross. The Villagers kept at it and Kane in the Berthas goal had to be aware to beat away Walton’s dangerous free kick.

Berthas grabbed their fifth just before the half time whistle when McGarvey’s cross found its way to the back of the net. The second half was a bit tighter as the weather got worse with Berthas missing a penalty before Stewart grabbed his second when put through by Campbell.

Berthas should have scored more but missed some good opportunities, but will be happy with a big win against their derby rivals who are a lot better than their performance on the day suggested. Man of the Match: Willie Stewart (Berthas FC)

Glebe Rangers Old Boys 3 Balnamore FC 2

Balnamore visited the Joey Dunlop Centre for this local derby and produced a battling display which pushed their opponents to the limit before succumbing to defeat by the odd goal in five.

With a strong wind making good football difficult it was the hosts who struck first when Jason Wilmont found the net with a well-placed free-kick. Wilmont was involved again as the Old Boys made it 2-0 when his shot rebounded off the post only for Doherty to slot home with Elder helpless.

The second half saw Balnamore pressing as they attempted to reduce the arrears and they got their reward when Lee Kelly fired past Allen from the spot after he had been upended inside the penalty area.

Man of the match Wilmont restored the two goal deficit with a neat finish in the 71st minute, but the impressive Hegarty pulled one back for the visitors three minutes later.

With their tails up the visitors threw everything forward and it a took a couple of timely interventions by Thompson to preserve his side’s lead and give the Old Boys the points. Man of the Match: Jason Wilmont (Glebe Rangers Old Boys)

West Bann Athletic 2 Dunaghy Old Boys 0

West Bann Athletic came out on top against Dunaghy Old Boys at Rugby Avenue 2-0 with goals from Nathan Black in the first half and Mark McLelland on the hour mark enough to earn Athletic all 3 points on offer. Man of the Match: Travis Doherty (WBA FC)

Portrush Old Boys 1

Ballymoney Oly Old Boys 2

It was the hosts who open the scoring early on with a corner from Portrush being punched into the net by the Olympic keeper.

Both teams had a few chances after that but it was Olympic who scored next when Shepherd intercepted a  Portrush throw back to the keeper to cooly finish into the net. The second half was a tight affair with both teams looking to hit a second.

Portrush were reduced to ten men on 55 minutes and Olympic changed their shape and started to push for a second. It came on 61 minutes after a good passing move was finished off by Shepherd at the back post to bag his brace.

Portrush pushed more men forward looking for the equaliser but Olympic held their shape.

They saw out the remainder of the game to record a good away win against the league champions.  Man of the Match: David Shirley (Ballymoney Olympic Old Boys)

Finn McCools 2

Hazelbank FC 1

On a blustery Saturday morning these two teams went head to head with Finns playing with a strong wind in their back during the first half.

This game didn’t have many clear cut chances but it was Finns who took the lead midway through the first half with Boyd crossing for Peter Mcafee who flicked the ball goal-wards for Scott Craig to tap into an empty net.

Shortly after this Hazelbank came at Finns and got their reward when the ball was played through the midfield and came out to the right wing for Stefan Boyd to come onto, he skilfully turned the Finns fullback P Moore inside out and hit a thunderous shot into the top corner which gave McKendry no chance.

One each at the break and into the second half with Hazelbank playing a high line with the wind at their back made Finns play deep. The back line of Finns held firm as pressure was put on by Hazelbank but no real clear cut chances were created by either team.

This game looked destined for a draw when right back, Taylor of Finns pushed forward and played a delightful ball to D Cochrane who calmly side footed home from three yards. With one minute left on the clock it finished 2-1 to Finns. Hazelbank deserved something from the game but it was Finns day. Man of the Match: Allan Taylor (Finn McCools)

Millburn FC 3

Ballyrashane FC 2

Ballyrashane started the match brightly as Millburn fell asleep and hesitation from McDowell gave the Ballyrashane striker the chance and he poked the ball in for 1-0.

Millburn started to play football with Cahoon skinning players down the left the ball went out for a corner and from that their big captain Tosh provided a fine assist tforMcDonald to finish well.

Millburn were on top now and McDonald tried his luck from distance. Into the second half and Millburn edged in front after a good free kick swung in by McDonald.

Cahoon produced a great header, which Newman did well to keep out, but the ball ricocheted off the defender and ended up in the back of the net.

Ballyrashane won a corner midway through the half resulting in a scramble in the box and a fine goal line clearance from Honeyford.

With 10 minutes to go Millburn finally got their third with a fine headed assist from McDonald, Cahoon controlled well before smashing the ball past Newman.

In the final minute Ballyrashane pulled another goal back as they converted from the penalty spot.

Man of the Match: Alan Cahoon (Millburn FC)