JUNIOR FOOTBALL: League off and running

The Hutchinson Tiles Winter League had a midweek start for the first time with 8 fixtures up for decision.

Last years big two, Mountview and Glebe Rangers started off with hard fought wins, while Berthas FC, Hillview, FC Macosquin, West Bann Athletic, Balnamore and The Villagers all picked up the 3 points on offer. Mountview, Glebe Rangers, Hillview, Berthas, Balnamore and FC Macosquin all picked up the points on Saturday to maintain their perfect start to the season.

The league will have two more midweek fixtures along with the usual Saturday games before the light fails.

The league would like to take the chance to pass on their best wishes to the family and close friends of Norman Ogilby. Norman and wife Norma of N&N Trophies provided the trophies for the Hutchinson Tiles League every season aswell as sponsoring the golden boot competition. They did a top class job every season and made life easy with the ordering and organisation of the trophies. He will be sadly missed by all concerned in the Hutchinson Tiles League.

Coleraine Olympic 3 Mountview FC 14

Coleraine Olympic entertained Mountview FC and the visitors got off to a good start when after three minutes Frazer converted after some good work down the right from Kerr and Henry. The first half turned out to be a personal triumph for Scott Frazer as he scored five times before the break. It was completely one way traffic as additional goals from Doherty (2) and an own goal made the half time score 8-0.

Ciaran Doherty continued his threat in front of goal from last season, and added two more in the second half. Olympic did show some resilience and deservedly scored twice through Jordan Greer, including a sublime strike from his own half. Further strikes for Mountview from Parsons, Lafferty pushed Mountview well ahead and they finished scoring 14 goals in total.

A comical own goal from Mountview ended proceedings as the final score line finished 14-3. So a strong scoring performance from Mountview again but some reward for a young Coleraine Olympic team who were up against a well experienced team on the day. Man of the Match: Gary Johnson (Mountview)

Glebe Rangers Old Boys 2 West Bann Athletic 1

The Old Boys entertained West Bann as both teams sought to maintain winning starts to the new season. With a number of key men missing Glebe player-boss Bellingham was down to the bare bones and the injured Davy-John McBride was forced to make up the numbers on the bench. The Bannsiders meanwhile had the luxury of a full squad as they attempted to build on their fine mid-week win at Finns.

Under a baking hot sun the Old Boys took the initiative from the beginning and after a break down the left, McCaw found McCurdy bursting through from midfield and he blasted home from the edge of the box. This signalled a period of control for the homesters with Adam Clarke, making his bow for the season, showing up well in attack. New recruit Aaron Beech also figured prominently as did Jason Wilmont, a steady partner at centre-back beside man of the match Bellingham.

Despite being on top, the Old Boys created few clear-cut chances and West Bann began to come into the game with a couple of dangerous breakaways as Fleming and Robinson showed their paces. However there was no further scoring and the half ended with the one goal between the sides. At the start of the second half West Bann came out with all guns blazing and they constantly had the Old Boys back four on the defensive. The Old Boys managed to hold out until Olphert latched onto a through ball and beat Allen with a deft finish.

West Bann also went close with a number of set-pieces as they maintained the upper hand. However the Old Boys created the best chance when Les Nicholl failed to beat Jones from close range. This near miss encouraged the Old Boys and they regained the lead Madison, who had battled bravely throughout, nodded down and deposed skipper Ivan Elder shot through a crowd of players into the West Bann net. Despite a nervy last few minutes the Old Boys held on to win a typically close game between these two teams. Man of the Match: Paul Jones (West Bann Athletic)

Hillview FC 3 Hazelbank FC 2

Games between these sides are always close affairs and this game proved no different. Both teams were moving the ball well in the first half. Despite this, the defences proved to be on top and chances in the final third of the pitch were few and far between. The home side’s best chance of the half fell to McCrellis. The ball was crossed to the back post and chested by Fraser to the path of the Hillview striker 10 yards out. He found himself with only the keeper to beat, but screwed his shot wide.

It was Hazelbank who scored first. Drake picked up the ball on the edge of the box and chipped the ball over the Hillview back line and into the top left corner of the goal. They looked to have extended there lead soon after. A cross from the right beat everyone and found Kilgore at the back post. His volley struck the inside of the left post and traveled the whole way across the goal and out of play at the other side. Hillview were closing down a lot quicker in the second half and deservedly equalised in the 60th minute.

The home side were pushing hard for another, but a quick break put Hazelbank back in the lead. McDowell’s excellent save denied the initial strike but the rebound fell to McIlreavy to tap in. Hillview refused to give up and pushed hard to get back on parity, however Crawford in the Hazelbank goal was not going to beaten easily.

With five minutes left on the clock, they eventually got back on even terms. Friel was brought down for what looked like a penalty, but the ball fell to Nevin at the edge of the box and he rifled the ball into the roof of the net giving Crawford no chance. With only a minute left on the clock, a cross from Close on the left found Nevin unmarked at the back post to head in and secure all three points. Man of the Match: Lee Nevin (Hillview)

Berthas FC 4 FC Windyhall 1

The home team were coming off the back of a hard fought midweek win against the Taverners and it showed in the first 20 minutes of play as they couldn’t get going at all against a hard working Windyhall side. Indeed it was the away team who took the lead with 15 minutes gone when Stirling’s through ball picked out Johnson and he fired over the head of Elder and into the net.

Berthas, who were enjoying the vast majority of possession, were finding it hard to make the breakthrough with Tennant and Ferguson excellent at the back for Windyhall. They finally got the equaliser when Hanna picked the ball up on the left, cut inside before shooting into the bottom corner of the net via a slight deflection. Berthas then had more chances to take the lead but poor finishing and some fine saves from Peace in the away goal kept the score line level at half time.

The second half was more the same with Berthas dominating possession but failing to create. It looked like it might take something special to take the lead and up stepped Andy MacAulay with a goal that will be hard to beat this season. Pearce cleared his lines at the edge of his area, the ball found MacAulay about 20 yards inside his own half, he took one touch to control before drilling the ball from all of 70 yards back over the head of Peace and into the net, a strike even David Beckham would have been proud of!

This gave Berthas the freedom to enjoy their football and they started opening up Windyhall at will but again poor finishing cost them. Indeed, things could have been levelled up when Stirling found himself clear at an angle but Elder pulled off a decent save to deny the midfielder. Berthas finally got their third when McLaughlin slipped in Edgar and the wee man lobbed the keeper from the edge of the box.

The game took a sour note when Windyhall’s McAllister, only on the pitch about 10 minutes was sent off for violent conduct in a game that was otherwise incident free before that. Berthas then grabbed number four when Laverty found MacAulay who picked out Caldwell at the back post and the big man lashed home on the half volley. Berthas had more chances but again failed to capitalise on their possession but took the three points in the end. Man of the Match: Andy MacAulay (Berthas FC)

Finn McCools 1 Balnamore FC 3

Balnamore overcame a stubborn Finns side to record a solid away win on sat. Both sides started strong with any goal ward activity kept to long range efforts. The visitors used the ball better and created more but the Bushmills men worked hard and scuppered things for the away team. However, Balnamore’s constant pressure paid off half way through the first half, Sean Hogg latched onto a precision pass form midfield, ran at goal with the ball and slotted beyond Henderson to score.

Balnamore with the advantage and strong in midfield pressed on and came close on goal, seeing a couple of efforts whizz narrowly wide. Finns had more of an urgency second half but their attacks were thwarted by a solid Balnamore defence. The visitors second goal came on the hour mark, Buick slotted the ball to Heggarty who pulled back for David McDowell and the young forward made no mistake for goal number two.

Sean Hogg got his name on the score sheet again with an excellent strike for Balnamore’s third after good work from Kelly. Finns threw caution to the wind, made a few changes and were rewarded for their hard work as Steven Parke pulled a goal back late on. All in all a good entertaining game served by both teams. Man of the Match: David McDowell (Balnamore)

Dunaghy Old Boys 3 The Taverners 1

This was a hard fought derby with a lot of good football from both sides. Chances were created but it wasn’t until the half hour mark that Dunaghy took the lead when Robinson latched on to a goal kick rounding the keeper to slot coolly into the empty net. Taverners reacted positively and got level on 37 minutes when Dobbin tucked away a quick free kick low into the bottom corner.

The second half was end to end and it was the old boys who took the lead again when Moore scored on 65 minutes with a good header from the resulting corner. Dunaghy sealed the game on 80mins when Nathan Blair’s powerful strike ripped in2 the top corner. Dunaghy seen out the last ten minutes comfortably to earn a good three points. Man of the Match: Paul Robinson (Dunaghy Old Boys)

Ballyrashane FC 2 Brook Street 1

Both teams were itching for the three points after losing their first games of the season and both teams took time to settle in but Ballyrashane came close on a number of occasions early on but failed to find the net. Ballyrashane got the first of the game on in the 16th minute when Mark McClenaghan was hauled down in the box, and David Freeman stepped up to slot the ball past McAllister to make it 1-0 Ballyrashane.

Brook Street battled hard and got the equalizer on the 22nd minute when James Tosh beat the Ballyrashane defence to slot it home to make it 1-1. Both teams battled it out creating more chances but failing to capitalise. The second half saw Brook Street push hard but Ballyrashanes defence proving to strong.

Ballyrashane missed more chances of scoring leaving the lads confused. But on the hour mark Ballyrashane eventually got their second when Marcus Parke went one on one with McAllister and beating him to make the score 2-1 Ballyrashane. Credit must go to Brook Street as they didn’t give up but time was not on their side as the referee blew up for full time.

A well deserved three points for Ballyrashane. Man of the Match: Marcus Parke (Ballyrashane)

Fixtures Wednesday 22 August 6.45pm

Balnamore FC v Glebe Rangers Old Boys Fulton Park

Bertha’s FC v Hazelbank Castlerock

Brook Street v Villagers FC Crescent 3

FC Macosquin v Finn McCool’s Rugby Avenue 2

Mountview FC v Macosquin Village Rugby Avenue 3

Taverners FC v Coleraine Olympic Riada 2

West Bann Athletic v Ballyrashane Rugby Avenue 1

Windyhall FC v Dunaghy Old Boy’s Rugby Avenue 4