SML round-up: Handful of games beat big freeze

David Fusco of Firmus Energy, present the BMSL Division 1 player of the month award to Joe Thompson of Ballykeel FC who is receiving it on behalf of Jordan Kenny. Included are William Brown (Holywell FC, Division 2), Robert Wright (Rectory Rovers, Division 3) and Brian Montgomery (BSML Secretary). INBT50-264AC
David Fusco of Firmus Energy, present the BMSL Division 1 player of the month award to Joe Thompson of Ballykeel FC who is receiving it on behalf of Jordan Kenny. Included are William Brown (Holywell FC, Division 2), Robert Wright (Rectory Rovers, Division 3) and Brian Montgomery (BSML Secretary). INBT50-264AC

The freezing conditions at the weekend played havoc with the fixture schedule in the firmus energy Ballymena Saturday Morning League.

Just one match took place at a Ballymena venue with Woodside beating Templepatrick at Wakehurst

Thankfully, the conditions weren’t as extreme 10 miles up the road in Antrim, where a handful of games were able to go ahead.

Among the fixtures to bite the dust were Ahoghill Thistle and Waveney Swifts’ COunty Antrim Junior Shield ties.

Those games have now been rearranged for this Saturday and the two local sides will hope to join Newpark Olympic who had an excellent 4-1 win over Cumann Sport An Phobail.

Of the games that did go ahead, Carniny Rangers ensured they will finish 2014 on top of the Division One table after a 3-0 win over Moylena in Antrim.

In the same division, Ballykeel continued their progress under rookie boss Ricky Culbertson with a scoreless draw against Abbeyview lifting them to fifth in the table.

In Division Three, Randalstown opened up a six point gap between themselves and their nearest challengers at the summit of the table with a convincing 4-0 win over Atletico Antrim.

FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION ONE

FC Moylena 0, Carniny Rangers 3: Carniny controlled this game from the start as they looked to stretch their lead at the top of Division One.

Alan Telford was pulling the strings and two crosses from him presented Dean Dunlop with two good chances but he headed over on both occasions.

Moylena then forced a save from Ryan Curry as he tipped a Michael McKendry drive over.

Carniny opened the scoring on 32 minutes when an Alan Telford free kick caused havoc and Tyler Caulfield fired home from close range.

Five minutes before half time Carniny doubled their lead when a cross come shot from Ryan Balmer sneaked in to send his side in 2-0 up at the break.

Moylena almost got a goal back straight after half time but Stephen Nicholl dragged his shot wide.

Carniny regained control after this with Tyler Caulfield forcing a save from William Fluke with an acrobatic overhead kick, before Dean Dunlop went close.

The third goal came on 65 minutes when a cross from Ryan Balmer was poked home at the near post.

This goal killed the game as a contest as Carniny controlled the game without ever threatening William Fluke in the Moylena goal as the three goals were enough to secure Carniny claimed all three points and finished 2014 on top of Division One.

Abbeyview 0, Ballykeel 0: Both these sides were hoping to end 2014 with a win, but at a cold Antrim Forum neither side could find the net as the game finished in stalemate.

Ballykeel controlled the proceedings in the first half with Jordan Kenny a constant threat and he created the first real chance as he set up Michael McGroggan but he headed over.

Abbeyview were limited to very little chances as Ricky Culbertson marshalled his defence well to deal with the threat of Henry Nutter.

Late the half a series of free kicks from Dale Mitchell threatened the Abbeyview goal but headers from Ricky Culbertson and Jordan Kenny where saved by Keith Fearson as the half finished goal less.

Abbeyview almost took the lead straight after the break when a long range free kick by Scott Bruce was deflected wide with Ballykeel keeper Steven Watson looking beaten.

In the dying minutes Ballykeel almost snatched the win when a corner from Darren Cummings was met by the head of Chris Djorjani at the near post but his header thundered off the bar as the game finished in stalemate.

FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION THREE

Randalstown 4, Atletico Antrim 0: Randalstown continued their charge to the Division Three title with this convincing win over Atletico Antrim who battled hard but couldn’t stop the potent Randalstown attack.

The home side took the game to Antrim from the beginning with John Kitson and Jordan Craig going close in the opening exchanges.

The early pressure paid off for Randalstown on 25 minutes when Claudio Antunes raced down the right and his cross was slid home by Andy Highman.

Twelve minutes later it was 2-0 when great work from Claudio Antunes set up John Kitson who scored with a delicate back heel.

Randalstown could have added more goals but poor finishing from John Kitson prevented them adding to their lead.

Antrim tried hard to get back into the game in the second half but found Randalstown in stubborn mood as Stephen Dripps and Chris Mellon defended well.

Randalstown soon made it 3-0 when Kitson beat two defenders before firing home from just inside the box.

Andy Campbell was guilty of spurning chances for the home side before they made it 4-0. Ashley McCullough played in Andy Highman down the right and he unselfishly squared the ball back to Ashley McCullough to score.

Other result: Woodside 7, Templepatrick 4.

PLAYER OF MONTH

The November winners of the firmus energy BSML Player of the Month awards have been named.

Ballykeel’s Jordan Kenny won the first Division award, while two of the league’s evergreen performers - William Brown (Holywell) and Robert Wright (Rectory Rovers) won the awards in divisions two and three.

The awards were presented by firmus energy representative David Fusco.

STANDINGS

firmus energy Division One: Carniny Rangers, played 15, points 37; Ahoghill Thistle 9-27; Harryville Homers 9-27; All Saints OB 12-25; Ballykeel 13-19; FC Antrim 14-18; Abbeyview 16-18; Clough Rangers 9-17; Connor FC 9-11; Raceview FC 11-11; FC Moylena 16-11; Michelin 15-7; FC Penarol 15-6.

firmus energy Division Two: Newpark Olympic, played 13, points 33; Waveney Swifts 15-26; Lisnafillan Swifts 14-25; Riverdale 12-24; Galgorm Blues 16-24; Ahoghill Rovers 13-22; Holywell 13-22; Glenravel FC 10-19; Seven Towers 13-17; Cloughmills 15-16; Braid United 16-16; Carnlough Swifts 15-15; St Comgall’s 17-13; Cullybackey Olympic 14-12.

firmus energy Division Three: Randalstown, played 12, points 30; Cushendall FC 12-24; Rectory Rovers 14-24; Woodside 13-22; Wakehurst Star 14-21; Steadfast 14-16; Sporting Ballymoney 11-13; Atletico Antrim 12-8; Templepatrick 14-7.

FIXTURES

Saturday, December 20 - Toals County Antrim Junior Shield, round four (1.30pm): Ahoghill Thistle v Ford (Ahoghill); Waveney Swifts v Tullymore Swifts (Waveney 2).