Ballymena & Provincial League: Goal-den Gary keeps Corner in hunt for top four finish

Clough Rangers Athletic attempt to close down a Ballyclare Northend player's forward burst. INBT 18-834H
Clough Rangers Athletic attempt to close down a Ballyclare Northend player's forward burst. INBT 18-834H

Chimney Corner maintained their hopes of a top four finish in the Ballymena & Provincial Intermediate League last week.

Gary Watson scored all four goals as the Antrim men beat Desertmartin 4-1, as they aim for as high a finish as possible in the Michelin Athletic Club-sponsored championship.

Colin Byers protects the ball during the Clough Rangers Athletic FC. INBT 18-830H

Colin Byers protects the ball during the Clough Rangers Athletic FC. INBT 18-830H

A point from their final match would be enough to see the Allen Park side leap-frog Dunloy and record a solid fourth place finish in the table.

Elsewhere, it was a good weekend for the two Ballymena-based teams in the league’s Junior Division Two.

Wakehurst Strollers signed off in style in their final home game at the Showgrounds with a 7-1 drubbing of Ballynure Old Boys ‘B’.

In the same division, Clough Rangers Athletic pulled further away from the lower reaches of the table with a win over Ballyclare North End.

A Clough player wins a header. INBT 18-833H

A Clough player wins a header. INBT 18-833H

The two local sides meet head-on in a local ‘derby’ at the Cloughwater Road venue tonight (Tuesday) in what will be Strollers’ last fixture of the campaign, while Clough complete their schedule this Saturday with a trip to Mountainview.

In Junior Divsion Three, Antrim Rovers Swifts completed their debut season in the league with a 1-0 defeat at runners-up Castle Star.

CRAWFORD CUP

Final: Sport & Leisure Swifts Reserves 1, Newtowne 3 (aet).

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION

Desertmartin 1, Chimney Corner 4: The two teams had met a week earlier when Desertmartin win by the odd goal in five at Allan Park but this time round it was Corner who came out on top.

The first-half was a triumph for Gary Watson who helped himself to four goals scored on the 11th, 19th 29th and 36th minutes putting the Corner four goals in front at half-time.

Desertmartin pulled a goal back after Steven Kenning scored on the 66th minute but this was the only time they could breach the Corner defence.

Other results: Brantwood 2, Rathcoole FC 1; Brantwood 2, Magherafelt Sky Blues 0; Rathcoole FC 2, Desertmartin 5; Ballynure Old Boys 15, Sofia Farmer 0.

JUNIOR DIVISION ONE

Results: Sport & Leisure Swifts Reserves 1, Newington YC II 4; Desertmartin Swifts 0, Woodlands 6; Newington YC II 5, Cookstown RBL 1.

JUNIOR DIVISION TWO

Wakehurst Strollers 7, Ballynure Old Boys ‘B’ 0: The Strollers had the winning of this game after David Calderwood scored early on.

Six more goals followed this scored by David Calderwood (3) bringing his tally to four in the game.

George Fleck (2) and Steven Cunningham also scored.

Clough Rangers Athletic 2, Ballyclare North End 1: After a steady start by both teams Ross Steele scored on the 20th minute putting Clough in front.

Steele then scored a second goal on the 23rd minute and at half-time this scoreline remained.

North End got back into the game on the 66th minute after Robert Scott scored but from then on Clough defended their one goal advantage to collect all three points at the end.

Other results: Mountainview 2, Ballynure Old Boys ‘B’ 1; Larne Olympic 1, Cookstown Youth 4.

JUNIOR DIVISION THREE

Castle Star 3, Antrim Rovers Swifts 1: The Castle cemented their second place in the league table with this win and are now sure of finishing as runners-up to 3rd Ballyclare Old Boys.

Castle went in front after Warren Brown scored on the 3rd minute then doubled the lead with his second goal on the 32nd minute.

Half-time saw Castle two goals clear which became three after Lloyd Watters scored on the 57th minute.

The Swifts never gave up the chase pulling a goal back after Jordan McKelvey scored on the 70th minute but this was the only time they breached the Castle defence.

Carnlough Swifts 1, Red Star 0: The Swifts started off brightly taking the lead after Niall Hamill scored on the 10th minute and at half-time this goal still separated the teams. The second half saw both teams continue to play attacking football and though there were chances created no more goals were scored leaving the Swifts to collect all three points.

Other result: 3rd Ballyclare OB 5, 1st Carrickfergus OB 0.

FIXTURES

Matches involving locally-based sides this week are:

Tuesday, April 26 - Junior Division Two: Clough Rangers Athletic v Wakehurst Strollers.

Saturday, April 30 - Juior Division Two: Mountainview v Clough Rangers Athletic.