SML round-up: Campbell hat-trick keeps Homers ahead of chasing pack

Wakehurst Star and Steadfast players in action under the watchful eye of referee Ian Shiels. INBT 42-819H
Wakehurst Star and Steadfast players in action under the watchful eye of referee Ian Shiels. INBT 42-819H

A Darren Campbell hat trick helped Harryville Homers overcome Newpark Olympic and keeps them at the top of firmus energy Division One.

The midfielder struck three times to take the champions past the dogged challenge of Newpark.

Steadfast clear their lines in Saturday's game against Wakehurst Star. INBT 42-822H

Steadfast clear their lines in Saturday's game against Wakehurst Star. INBT 42-822H

Homers took the game to Newpark early on but found the energetic side hard to break down as the Second Division Champions matched them early on with the only main danger coming from set pieces.

The opening goal came on the half hour mark and it came when Paul McNeill chased down a back pass from Newpark, intercepted the ball and squared for Darren Campbell to slot home.

Five minutes into the second half Homers breached the Newpark defence once again. A patient team move from the back released Marcus Spratt down the left and his cross was hammered into his own net by a Newpark defender.

This goal broke Newpark’s resolve as soon after Jasin Magill rose above their defence to head home a Mark McKay centre and make it 3-0.

Steadfast protect the ball from a hard pressing Wakehurst Star. INBT 42-823H

Steadfast protect the ball from a hard pressing Wakehurst Star. INBT 42-823H

The floodgates were now open as number four soon followed, this time it was from a Darren Campbell penalty kick after a goal bound Paul McNeill shot was handled. Darren Campbell completed his hat trick on 70 minutes when he headed home a corner kick from Mark McKay to make it 5-0 but to Newpark’s credit they defended well to prevent Homers from adding to their tally.

All Saints OB 5, Raceview 2: Saints twice come from behind in the first half to keep up their 100% start to the league campaign as they were made fight all the way for the three points.

Saints went on the front foot from the first whistle, but were finding the Raceview defence hard to break down with Mark Ritchie and Don McAllister keeping Peter McReynolds at bay.

Against the run of play Raceview took the lead when Saints failed to clear a corner kick and the ball broke to Paul McBurney and his shot squirmed under Brian Martin and into the net.

Straight from the kick off Saints went forward and a throw in from Barry Hamill slipped past everyone and found Ryan Wilkinson who smashed the ball left footed past Mark Reid in the Raceview goal.

Raceview were then awarded a penalty kick when David Cameron was bundled over in the box.

Veteran Ian Millar stepped up and slotted the spot kick beyond the reach of Brian Martin.

Five minutes before the break Saints hit back when Liam Cassley set up Ciaran McGarry and his shot was diverted into his own net by a Raceview defender to send the sides in level at the break.

Two minutes into the second half Saints got themselves in front when a dangerous cross into the box from Barry Hamill was headed past his own keeper by a Raceview defender.

On the hour mark Peter McReynolds broke clear and rounded the Raceview keeper only to be fouled in the process and a penalty kick was awarded. Peter McReynolds stepped up and sent Mark Reid the wrong way putting Saints 4-2 in front.

Raceview came back into the game after this with David Cameron always dangerous, but Saints defended well.

In the dying minutes Saints put the icing on the cake when they made it 5-2.

Philip Lynn dug out a great cross from the right and found Gavin Burnside to head home from 12 yards out and keep up Saints magnificent start.

FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION TWO

Ahoghill Rovers 3, Carnlough Swifts 3: This top of the table clash was a topsy turvy affair with both sides having the lead on occasions but in the end both sides had to settle for a point a piece.

Rovers controlled the game early on and went close when Alan Jones fired wide after goo work from David Chesney.

The early dominance from Rovers paid off on 25 minutes when Ryan Cameron split the Swifts defence for David Murray to race onto and brilliantly chip the Swifts keeper.

The game continued in the same vain with Rovers on top but they couldn’t add to their lead and two minutes before the break Swifts pegged them back when Hugh Pat McNeill swung in a corner from the left and it beat everyone finishing up in the top corner of the net.

Ten minutes into the second half Rovers regained the lead when good work from David Chesney set up David Murray and he crossed to the back post for Stuart McKinney to score from close range.

After this Rovers sat back and allowed Swifts to come into the game with Sean Ward going close on numerous occasions.

Rovers didn’t heed the warnings and Swifts drew level on 70 minutes when Andy Bird slipped in Sean Ward and he rifled the ball into the top corner of the net from 18 yards out.

Swifts were well on top now and they took the lead for the first time in the game with 14 minutes to go when Sean Ward brilliantly picked out Brendan McDermott and he fired low into the bottom corner of the net.

With the points looking to be heading back to Carnlough, Rovers struck when David Murray swung over a corner which the Swifts keeper didn’t deal with and the ball finished up in the net to level the game at 3-3.

OTHER RESULTS

firmus energy Division One: Ballykeel 2, Carniny Rangers 8; Connor FC 2, Abbeyview 2; FC Moylena 2, Riverdale 1.

firmus energy Division Two: Cloughmills 4, Sporting Ballymoney 0; Galgorm Blues 1, Cushendall 3; Holywell 2, Woodside 2; Randalstown 3, FC Penarol 4

firmus energy Division Three: Atletico Antrim 3, Cullybackey Olympic 2; Northend & District 2, Carniny Amateurs 5; Ruby’s Rovers 1, St Comgalls 3; Southside Rangers 2, Templepatrick 0; Wakehurst Star 8, Steadfast 1.

FIXTURES

Saturday, October 17 - Irish Junior Cup, round two: Armagh Rovers v Ahoghill Thistle; Woodvale v Harryville Homers; Clough Rangers v Hill Street (Clough); Southside Rangers v Cookstown Celtic (Wakehurst 1).

firmus energy Division One (10.15am): All Saints OB v Carniny Rangers (Showgrounds 5); FC Moylena v Abbeyview (Forum); Newpark Olympic v Connor FC (Chimney Corner); Raceview v Glenravel (Broughshane); Riverdale v Ballykeel (Wakehurst 2).

firmus energy Division Two: Ahoghill Rovers v Galgorm Blues (Ahoghill); Carnlough Swifts v Seven Towers; Cushendall v FC Penarol (Cargan); Cloughmills v Waveney Swifts; Randalstown v Michelin; Sporting Ballymoney v Woodside.

firmus energy Division Three: Carniny Amateurs v Ruby’s Rovers (Showgrounds 7); Cullybackey Olympic v Braid United (Tober Park); Steadfast v Atletico Antrim (Galgorm); Templepatrick v Wakehurst Star (Forum).