Rovers sink Towers in first round of O’Kane Cup during high-scoring half

Lynsey Hyndman of Mortgage Solutions presents a sponsored ball to Stewart McDonald of Ahoghill Thistle. INBT33-211AC
Lynsey Hyndman of Mortgage Solutions presents a sponsored ball to Stewart McDonald of Ahoghill Thistle. INBT33-211AC

This game started with Rovers dominating possession, but without creating too many clear-cut opportunities at goal.

Maurice Spence sent over some dangerous crosses but no Rovers forward could convert the chances.

The first real chance of the game came after 30 minutes when Ryan Cameron broke from midfield and his shot from the edge of the Seven Towers penalty box just flew past the post.

A few minutes later, Ryan Cameron again was the man breaking from midfield, but again his shot failed to hit the target. So at half-time the score remained 0-0.

Rovers began the second half the same way they had the first, dominating the ball. But for all the possession Rovers had, it was Seven Towers that scored first against the run of play after 10 minutes. Gary Taggart sent in a corner from the right, which fell to Matt McAnally whose original effort was saved by Andrew French but he did well to react and fire home the rebound. After this set-back,

Rovers didn’t panic and continued playing the same way and they were rewarded for their patience with 20 minutes to go.

David Chesney won a free-kick on the edge of the box. Ryan Cameron sent in a great delivery and Alan Jones rose above everyone else to head into the corner, giving the Seven Towers keeper no chance. Rovers tails were up and they got a second a few minutes later.

David Murray, who was a thorn in the side of the Seven Towers defence in the second half, sent in a low cross from the left, which Alan Jones met on the half-volley.

The Seven Towers keeper saved well but couldn’t hold the ball and David Chesney finished from close range. Rovers then wrapped up the game shortly afterwards with the goal of the game.

David Murray broke free down the left again and played a dangerous cross into the box which beat everyone. David Chesney recovered the ball and his cross into the box was met by David Murray on the volley into the roof of the net to seal the win.

Northend & District 0 Sporting Ballymoney 4

New boys Northend got a rude awakening to life in the BSML as they were convincingly beat by newly promoted Ballymoney who could have racked up more goals but for the performance of Northend keeper Aaron Wilson.

Ballymoney had chances early on through Shane Cruitchley and Cory Moore but both failed to find the net. On 20 minutes it was no surprise when they opened the scoring.

John McDowell swung over a corner kick and it was fired home by Charlie Blair giving Aaron Wilson no chance.

Seven minutes later Ballymoney made it 2-0 when Charlie Blair brilliantly curled a free kick into the top corner from 25 yards out.

The ever dangerous Shane Curitchely got himself on the score sheet five minutes before the break when he got on the end of a low cross from Gavin Christie to make it 3-0 before the break.

Northend struggled to get a grip of the game in the second half causing the Ballymoney defence little in the way of problems and it was no surprise when Ballymoney added to their score line.

Shane Cruitchely floated in a cross from the left which John McClenaghan headed down for Peter Brown to fire into the roof of the net.

Ballymoney dominated after this until the end but found Aaron Wilson in superb form as he saved on numerous occasions the best coming from Shane Cruitchely.

Northend were reduced to 10 men late on but this was immaterial as Ballymoney cruised into the second round.