Paul McNeill picked up where he left off as Harryville Homers overcame the first hurdle in the defence of their Coca-Cola IFA Junior Cup at the weekend.
McNeill, who was man of the match as Homers lifted the coveted trophy for the first time last season, scored both goals to take Robert DUddy’s side past the challenge of 3rd Bangor OB.
Homers will be joined in the next round by Clough Rangers and Raceview, who each recorded impressive wins.
IRISH JUNIOR CUP, ROUND ONE
3rd Bangor OB 1, Harryville Homers 2: Homers, still smarting from last week’s shock defeat in the Top Four semi-final, set about their opponents in their accustomed high tempo fashion but failed to capitalise on a host of clear cut chances.
Instead, it was the Seasiders who opened the scoring midway through the half when Neil Smyth nipped in to prod the ball past Alex McCosh in the Homers goal.
Paul McNeill then restored parity when he raced onto an Ian Russell through ball before drilling a low, left foot shot across the keeper and into the net just before the interval.
The visitors continued to create chances in the second only to be frustrated by the woodwork as both Jason Ritchie and Gary Bonnes watched their efforts bounce off the crossbar to safety.
With the game drifting towards extra time, Paul McNeill sprung the offside trap before unleashing another left foot shot past the hapless Bangor keeper to give his side the lead and send the large travelling contingent into raptures.
Clough Rangers 6, Broadway Swifts 1: Clough got their Junior Cup campaign off to the best possible start after five minutes. A neat interchange between David Huston and Adam Whitehurst down the right saw the resulting cross cleared to the penalty spot where Johnny McCloy calmly placed his shot towards goal only for a visting defender to turn the shot round the post with his hand.
The defender was given his marching orders and Ricky Dunlop dispatched the resulting penalty.
Clough took their foot of the gas after the sending off and were punished 20 minutes in when a Broadway striker wasn’t closed down and he was able to fire a drive into the bottom corner from outside the box.
The lead was restored late in the first half when a Broadway defender turned Adam Whitehursts cross into his own net.
Clough were much improved in the second half and went further ahead on the hour mark when Dean Magill rose highest to head home Jonny Clarkes corner.
Set pieces were causing Broadway all sorts of problems and Ricky Dunlop got his second with a bullet header from Richard Gregg’s corner for four.
Four became five when that man Ricky Dunlop got his hat trick. Dean Magill advanced down the left and crossed to the back post where Johnny McCloy cut back to penalty spot and Dunlop rifled home a first time volley.
Substitute Jordan Leighton completed the rout when he raced onto Johnny McCloys through ball and calmly slotted past the Broadway keeper to safely send Clough into the next round.
Ligoniel WMC 1, Raceview 4: After early Raceview pressure, they took the lead on 21 minutes when a good cross from Philip Scroggie was headed home at the back post by Reece Kernohan.
The home side deservedly drew level 10 minutes before the break as the sides went in level.
Raceview came out the second half and turned in a great display and regained the lead on 54 minutes when Timmy Cunningham crossed to the back post for Philip Scroggie to head home.
Colin Craig made it 3-1 five minutes later when he rose at the back post to head home an Ian Millar cross.
Raceview sealed the game with their fourth goal on 88 minutes. Andy Williamson broke down the right and crossed for Reece Kernohan to side foot the ball home for his second goal of the game.
FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION ONE
All Saints OB 1 ,Carniny Rangers 2: The game sprung to life on 14 minutes when Carniny took the lead. Leslie McCaughern won the ball in midfield and split the Saints defence for Richard Reid who beat the offside trap before coolly slotting past Brian Martin in the Saints goal.
Saints’ response was almost immediate as they drew level two minutes later when Peter McReynolds intercepted a Carniny throw raced clear and fired into the near corner giving keeper James Gracey no chance.
Carniny got themselves back in front and this goal proved to be the winner halfway through the second half. Fraser Young’s cross from a corner found Richard Reid whose header back across goal was flicked over his head and into the net by Darren Kidd to maintain Carniny’s 100 per cent start.
FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION THREE
Rectory Rovers 4, Wakehurst Star 3: After early pressure Rovers took the lead on 10 minutes when a long throw from Paul Donegan was flicked on by Damien McGarry for Gerard Sloan to fire home at the back post.
Star then came back into the game and two long range efforts from Matthew Logan saw them take the lead.
Just before half time Rovers made it 2-2 when Chris Frearson raced clear and slotted home after a through ball from Paul Donegan.
Star regained the lead soon after half time when Josh Crawford scored with a stylish finish inside the box.
Rovers got themselves level on the break when Chris Frearson flicked the ball home at the back post from an Alex Telford cross.
Rovers struck the winner, when Paul Donegan caught out the Star keeper when he curled a free kick round the wall and into the net from 22 yards out to win the game for his side and end Star’s 100 per cent record.
Irish Junior Cup 1st Round: Valley Rangers Res 3, FC Antrim 1; Randalstown 1, 43rd OB 3.
County Antrim Post O’Kane Cup 3rd Round: Sporting Ballymoney 2, Braid United 3; Glenravel 6, Waveney Swifts 1.
firmus energy Division One: Connor 4, Michelin 2; Abbeyview 3, FC Penarol 0; Ballykeel 1, Ahoghill Thistle 4.
firmus energy Division Two: Ahoghill Rovers 2, Cloughmills 0; Carnlough Swifts 1, Newpark Olympic 5; Riverdale 2, Galgorm Blues 5; St Comgalls 4, Lisnafillan Swifts 6
firmus energy Division Three: Templepatrick 0, Cushendall FC 1; Steadfast 5, Atletico Antrim 1.
Saturday, September 20 - Irish Junior Cup 1st Round (1.30pm): Shorts II v Connor FC; Annagh Celtic v Riverdale; Iveagh United II v Ahoghill Thistle.
Mortgage Solutions Top Four Semi-Final (10-15am): Clough Rangers v Carniny Rangers (Ahoghill).
Co Antrim Post O’Kane Cup 2nd Round: Steadfast v Harryville Homers (Galgorm).
Co Antrim Post O’Kane Cup 3rd Round: FC Antrim v Ahoghill Rovers (Forum); Seven Towers v FC Moylena (Showgrounds 4).
firmus energy Division One: Michelin v FC Penarol; Raceview v Abbeyview (Broughshane); All Saints OB v Ballykeel (Showgrounds 5).
firmus energy Division Two: Glenravel v Waveney Swifts (Dunfane); Holywell v Carnough Swifts (Forum); Newpark Olympic v Lisnafillan Swifts (Chimney Corner); St Comgalls v Galgorm Blues.
firmus energy Division Three: Atletico Antrim v Wakehurst Star (Forum); Templepatrick v Sporting Ballymoney (Forum); Randalstown v Cushendall; Rectory Rovers v Woodside (Waveney 1).