Only four fixtures were up for contest of Saturday past in the Hutchinson Tiles Winter League.
Glebe Rangers now only need two points in their remaining four games to win the title that their consistency all season has deserved. Hillview, their nearest challengers, could only manage a point at home to Brook Street, while Mountview moved into second spot with a good win at home to Balnamore while there was also wins for West Bann Athletic and Hazelbank.
The final of the Coleraine Social Club Knockout Shield will be played on Friday 3rd May at Coleraine Showgrounds with a 7pm kick off. The final of the Hutchinson Tiles Knockout Cup will be played at Andersons Park on Saturday 11th May with an 11am kick-off. The presentation of awards will be held on Saturday 11th May at Coleraine Social Club with a 2.30pm start time.
Mountview FC 3 Balnamore FC 1
Mountview entertained Balnamore at Rugby Avenue and started the game brightly with both sides playing some attractive football.
Mountview saw plenty of the ball but it was Balnamore who struck first after a defensive mistake forced the keeper into a save which rebounded to Watton who converted. Mountview continued to press but couldn’t penetrate a stubborn Balnamore defence.
Mountview equalised early in the second half when great work by Doherty down the left saw him stand a ball up to the back post which Calvin headed into the back of the net. Mountview then took the lead in the 77th minute when Irwin won the ball in defence and split the Balnamore rearguard with an excellently weighted ball for Doherty to run onto and slip past the advancing keeper.
Balnamore pressed for the equaliser but Mountview secured all the points when Doherty cleverly put McAllister through who lobbed the keeper to complete the scoring. Man of the Match: Paul Irwin (Mountview)
FC Windyhall 2 Hazelbank FC 3
Cairan Wilson opened the scoring for Hazelbank on 11 minutes. The forward linked up well with Brian Alcorn, collecting a great through ball and beating the advancing Newman in the home goals with a clever finish. Hazelbank were well on top and should have doubled their lead on 20 minutes. A great counter attack from a Windyhall corner saw Alcorn play a long cross field pass into the path of striker Jonny mcilreavey. Strike partner Ciaran Wilson was on hand for support too as it looked like a certain goal, but Johnny completely lost his footing and the chance went begging.
This gave the home team some hope with Donnell getting more involved in the game now. A few long range efforts kept Crawford in the visitors goal on his toes.
Hazelbank picked up their second right on half time as McIlreavy made up for his earlier miss as he powered home a great header from Wilson’s corner.
And it looked like the visitors had the game all wrapped up just minutes after the restart as Dave McClean latched on to Marty McCrory’s sublime pass before lobbing Newman and firing into the empty goal.
Windyhall weren’t for lying down though and they pulled themselves back into contention soon after as Rab Sweeney fired in a rocket from 25 yards which beat Crawford’s full length dive.
The hosts were on the front foot now and pressed and harassed Hazelbank. a combination of errors at the back saw Donnell score via a deflection off Penny as he tried to block the effort on the line, Hazelbank had a number of good chances to put the game to bed late on but they didn’t take them, however they stood firm at the other end to take all three points.
Man of the Match: Stephen Donnell (FC Windyhall)
FC Macosquin 1 West Bann Athletic 3
West Bann Athletic ran out 3-1 winners against FC Macosquin and in the process moved above them in the league table.
Second half goals from Athletic’s Martin Robinson, who opened the scoring when played in well by Mark McLelland, and two from Michael Olphert were enough to take all three points with Ian Mclelland replying late on for FC Macosquin from the spot after veteran Jackie McAfee was upended in the Athletic penalty area.
Macosquin’s only other chance of note saw Stephen ‘Dude’ McCambridge’s shot come off the inside of the post to safety while Athletic’s Michael Olphert had the ball in the net a further two times however both were unluckily chalked off for offside.
Man of the Match: Michael Olphert (WBA FC)