SML round-up: Homers remain on course for Junior Cup ‘hat-trick’

John Costello (left) of Carniny Amateurs and Grant Edwards of Atletico Antrim slide in to tackle during Saturday's cup game at Ballymena Showgrounds. INBT 04-201CS
John Costello (left) of Carniny Amateurs and Grant Edwards of Atletico Antrim slide in to tackle during Saturday's cup game at Ballymena Showgrounds. INBT 04-201CS

Harryville Homers took another big step towards a third successive IFA Junior Cup title in convincing style at the weekend.

Robert Duddy’s side ran out convincing 6-1 winners over DUnmurry Rec II in their fourth round tie as they bid to retain the trophy again.

Atletico Antrim's Andy Mulholland is congratulated by a team mate after scoring his team's second goal in their 2-1 cup win over Carniny Amateurs at Ballymena Showgrounds. INBT 04-199CS

Atletico Antrim's Andy Mulholland is congratulated by a team mate after scoring his team's second goal in their 2-1 cup win over Carniny Amateurs at Ballymena Showgrounds. INBT 04-199CS

IFA JUNIOR CUP

DUnmurry Rec II 1, Harryville Homers 6: The holders hit the ground running with a goal in the first five minutes when Alan Rainey’s flick header from a Gary Baird cross found the net.

The hosts drew level midway through the half from a corner despite Homers keeper Ryan Martin’s valiant efforts to keep it out. As half time loomed Homers regained the lead when Alan Rainey once again headed home another Gary Baird pinpoint centre.

The Harryville team stretched their lead further when Mark McKay’s powerful right footer from the edge of the box gave the Dunmurry keeper no chance with David McWhirter claiming the assist.

Nathan Irvine of Atletico Antrim jumps in to tackle Carniny Amateurs' Ricky Hanna during Saturday's cup tie at Ballymena Showgrounds. INBT 04-195CS

Nathan Irvine of Atletico Antrim jumps in to tackle Carniny Amateurs' Ricky Hanna during Saturday's cup tie at Ballymena Showgrounds. INBT 04-195CS

The visitors moved into overdrive and added two more quick fire goals just before the hour mark. Firstly, Darren Campbell followed up his own shot to score his 20th goal of the season from close range after the goalkeeper parried, then Alan Rainey calmly stroked home from the spot after Paul McNeill was upended in the box to complete his hat trick.

With time running out, substitute Paul McNeill also scored his twentieth goal of the season when he quickly shifted the ball onto his left foot before rocketing his shot past the hapless keeper to complete the scoring and set up a Fifth round tie at home to Finaghy.

FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION ONE

Newpark Olympic 0, All Saints OB 2: After some early Newpark pressure, Saints came close when Alan Telford crashed a free kick off the post from 30 yards.

Action from Saturday's cup game between Carniny Amateurs and Atletico Antrim at the Showgrounds. INBT 04-198CS

Action from Saturday's cup game between Carniny Amateurs and Atletico Antrim at the Showgrounds. INBT 04-198CS

The breakthrough came for Saints on 32 minutes when Joe Scullion laid the ball off to Barry Hamill on the left and his cross found Ryan Gregg and he calmly placed the ball in the corner of the net from 12 yards.

With five minutes to go Newpark almost snatched a point but Ryan Carson dragged his shot just wide. On the 89 minutes Saints sealed all three points when Ryan Gregg drove the ball across the box from left and found Philip Lynn who took a touch before picking his spot to seal the win.

Carniny Rangers 3, Ballykeel 0: After a two week break Carniny showed no signs of rustiness with a first minute opening goal as Darren Kidd capitalised on a poor clearance and raced clear to send the ball calmly past Kyle Rowe for his 13th goal of the season.

On 22 minutes Alan Fullerton scored a spectacular second goal for Carniny with a bicycle kick finish from eight yards out after he connected with Tyler Caulfield’s pin point cross. There was no let up in the Carniny onslaught when Dean Wright added a third when he scored from close in after Kyle Rowe spilled Frazer Young’s shot on 28 minutes.

FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION TWO

Randalstown 1, Seven Towers 4: A nine-week layoff didn’t seem to have much effect on Towers as they took the game to the home side early on and they got their rewards on 15 minutes. Ryan McCartney cut in from the left and fired in a shot which was parried out to Ross Hunter to fire home the rebound.

Five minutes later Hunter doubled his tally when he raced onto a Ryan Brady through ball to make it 2-0.

Towers were well on top now and scored a third goal with a great team move. Paul Donegan stepped out from the back and played the ball to Steven McAvoy who found Ross Hunter out right and he drove the ball across the box for Matt McAnally to score.

On the half hour mark Towers capped a brilliant first half performance when Ryan McCartney crossed from the left for Matt McAnally who beat his marker before firing into the bottom corner of the net.

Towers started to tire in the second half as the nine week break started to take its toll on a heavy pitch and this allowed Randalstown to get more into the game and they got a goal back 10 minutes from time when Kenny French scored.

FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION THREE

Templepatrick 1, Southside Rangers 2: The deadlock was eventually broken on 42 minutes when Dean Graham latching onto a perfect through ball from Martin Young before slotting the ball past the advancing keeper.

As happens so many times in football a team is most vulnerable just after scoring.

Southside switched off and literally only a minute later the home side were level with virtually their first attack when a cross from the left was finished by John Carmichael to send the sides in level at the break.

Second half started very much as the first ended with the home side content to sit behind the ball and ask the question to the visitors if they could break

On 75 minutes Templepatrick were reduced to 10 men when a player was dismissed for his second yellow card of the game.

This would be the opportunity to stretch the home side in the search for the elusive winning goal.

Up stepped debut boy Martin Young on 83 minutes.

From a central position he unleashed a left footed thunderbolt from 25 yards out that sailed into the top corner of the Templepatrick net as the home keeper could only watch.

The home side attempted to salvage something from the game but the domination of the visitors continued as they saw out the remaining minutes to secure the win and the crucial three points to cement their playoff position.

OTHER RESULTS

firmus energy Division One: Clough Rangers 8, Riverdale 1; Glenravel 1, Ahoghill Thistle 2; Raceview 5, Abbeyview 2.

firmus energy Division Two: Ahoghill Rovers 6, Cushendall 2; Carnlough Swifts 4, Woodside 0; Sporting Ballymoney 1, Holywell 2; FC Penarol 5, Cloughmills 1.

CGRSC Sammy Moore Cup, first round, second leg: Ruby’s Rovers 5, Cullybackey Olympic 1 (Ruby’s Rovers win 10-3 on aggregate).

FIXTURES

Saturday, January 30 - Toals County Antrim Shield round four (1.30pm): Harryville Homers v St Lukes (Wakehurst 2).

firmus energy Division One (10.15am): All Saints OB v Abbeyview (Showgrounds 5); Ballykeel v Riverdale (Ballykeel); Carniny Rangers v Raceview (Wakehurst 1); FC Moylena v Ahoghill Thistle (Forum); Glenravel v Clough Rangers (Cargan).

firmus energy Division Two: Ahoghill Rovers v Woodside (Ahoghill); Cloughmills v Randalstown; Michelin v FC Penarol; Seven Towers v Cushendall (Showgrounds 4); Sporting Ballymoney v Carnlough Swifts; Waveney Swifts v Galgorm Blues (Waveney 2).

CGRSC Sammy Moore Cup, first round, second leg: Braid United v Wakehurst Star (Broughshane); Atletico Antrim v Carniny Amateurs & Youth (Forum).

firmus energy Division Three: Northend & District v Cullybackey Olympic (Waveney 1); St Comgalls v Southside Rangers; Steadfast v Templepatrick (Galgorm).