SML round-up: Homers remain on course to defend Junior Cup

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Harryville Homers’ defence of the Irish Junior Cup remains very much on course after they reached the semi-finals once again at the weekend.

Robert Duddy’s men showed they are in no mood to relinquish their crown easily with an impressive 3-0 win away to Ardoyne WMC. i terribale conditions at Mallusk.

Officials and spectators watch the action in Saturday's Rainey Cup tie between Ahoghill Rovers and Randalstown. INBT 10-961H

Officials and spectators watch the action in Saturday's Rainey Cup tie between Ahoghill Rovers and Randalstown. INBT 10-961H

IRISH JUNIOR CUP

Ardoyne WMC 0, Harryville Homers 3: Alan Rainey was the main danger for Homers in the opening stages with his pace causing the home side all sorts of problems down the right, and two tackles on him resulted in the home side being reduced to 10 men midway through the half for two yellow cards.

The pressure continued from Homers and they got the breakthrough when a cross from Alan Rainey was knocked back into the box by Paul McNeill and the ball was eventually poked home by David Nicholl to send Homers in with a narrow lead at the break.

The second half saw Homers play with the wind at their backs but a resolute Ardoyne defence gave them little chances and it was actually the ten men of Ardoyne who came closest to scoring when their lone front man Anto Crawford hit the post.

The Diamond Bar manager Gareth Wilkinson presents a new match ball to Ahoghill Rovers FC official Steven Kernohan. INBT 10-960H

The Diamond Bar manager Gareth Wilkinson presents a new match ball to Ahoghill Rovers FC official Steven Kernohan. INBT 10-960H

Homers then brought on Captain and leading goalscorer Gary Bonnes and it was he who was the provider of the clinching goal six minutes from time. Gary Baird floated in a free kick and Gary Bonnes headed the ball across the box for Darren Campbell to score from close range.

Two minutes from the end Alan Rainey sealed the victory when he raced onto a Gary Bonnes through ball to slot the ball home ensure Homers’ place in the Semi Finals for the third year in succession.

RAINEY CUP, ROUND TWO

Ahoghill Rovers 2, Randalstown 6: Division Three Champions elect Randalstown made it into the third round of the Rainey Cup with this convincing defeat of Division Two Rovers.

Ahoghill Rovers push forward during their Rainey Cup tie against Randalstown. INBT 10-966H

Ahoghill Rovers push forward during their Rainey Cup tie against Randalstown. INBT 10-966H

Rovers took the lead on 11 minutes when Marc Young scored from the penalty spot after he had been upended by the Randalstown keeper.

The home side were on top but were soon pegged back when Darren Quigley drew Randalstown level after a corner from Andy Campbell.

Just before half time John Kitson found the net to send Randalstown in with a goal lead at the break.

Randalstown hit Rovers with three goals in a 10 minute spell after half time, the first coming from Andy Campbell as he raced onto a Darren Quigley through ball.

Ian Murray got the second and made it 4-1 when he scored from close range after an Andy Campbell corner. Campbell got his second goal of the game and made it 5-1 on the hour mark when he was set up by Richard Ewart.

Rovers got a goal back soon after to make it 5-2 when Lee Garret raced clear to score, but Randalstown sealed their place in the last 16 late on when John Kitson scored a brilliant individual goal.

FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION ONE

Clough Rangers 1, Carniny Rangers 1: Both these sides will be hoping to secure a Top Four spot once again this season, but on a wet and windy day the sides could not be separated at Clough as they fought out a 1-1 draw.

Carniny suffered a blow on the stroke of half-time when goalkeeper James Gracey was sent off following an alleged off the ball incident.

Colin McCaughern replaced him for the second half making his Carniny debut against his old club.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the visitors took the game to Clough in the second half and when the tireless Shane Donnelly was fouled 20 yards from goal, Alan Telford stepped up with a sweet strike to put Carniny ahead in the 64th minute.

It was backs to the wall for the tiring Carniny players and with two minutes left on the clock, David Gage, who had been pushed forward from defence into attack, popped up at the back post to put his shot back past Colin McCaughern into the bottom corner of the net to give his team a share of the spoils.

Ballykeel 4, All Saints OB 1: A Michael McGroggan hat trick helped Ballykeel to victory in a highly charged game in which both sides finished with 10 men and further dents Saints’ Top Four aspirations.

Saints got off to the perfect start when they took the lead on 12 minutes when Ryan Wilkinson brilliantly curled a free kick into the bottom corner after he had been fouled.

Two minutes later Ballykeel drew level when Jordan Kenny got to the by line and pulled the ball back for Justin Rowe who controlled and placed the ball in the corner of the net.

Ballykeel edged in front on 32 minutes. Darren Cummings clipped a free kick into the box from wide left and it caused havoc in the Saints box with Michael McGroggan bundling the ball home from close range.

Saints were dealt a major blow on the stroke of half time when they had a man ordered off for a second booking as the half finished with Ballykeel leading 2-1.

Ballykeel hit Saints with a sucker punch four minutes into the second half when a long ball from Ricky Culbertson wasn’t dealt with by the Saints defence and McGroggan pounced to knock the ball past Brian Martin.

Ballykeel killed the game off with 18 minutes to go when Jordan Kenny slipped in McGroggan and he fired home to complete his hat trick before Ballykeel, too, finished the game with ten men when they had a man sent off for a second yellow card but they seen the game out to claim all three points.

OTHER RESULTS

George McAuley Cup round two: Glenravel 3, Riverdale 1.

firmus energy Division One: FC Penarol 3, FC Antrim 4; Michelin 3, Abbeyview 5; Raceview 3, FC Moylena 1.

firmus energy Division Two: Carnlough Swifts 2, Holywell 1; Cullybackey Olympic 0, Newpark Olympic 8; Galgorm Blues 3, Waveney Swifts 1; Lisnafillan Swifts 6, Cloughmills 0; St Comgalls 0, Seven Towers 3.

firmus energy Division Three: Atletico Antrim 0, Sporting Ballymoney 4; Templepatrick 2, Rectory Rovers 2; Woodside 1, Cushendall 0

FIXTURES

Saturday, March 7 - Toals County Antrim Junior Shield, round six (1.30pm): Ahoghill Thistle v Ballyvea FC

Rainey Cup, round two (10.15am): Harryville Homers v FC Antrim (Wakehurst 2); Steadfast v Woodside (Galgorm); Waveney Swifts v Riverdale (Showgrounds 5).

firmus energy Division One: Connor v All Saints OB (Connor); Raceview v Clough Rangers (Broughshane).

firmus energy Division Two: Carnlough Swifts v Ahoghill Rovers; Cloughmills v Braid United; Holywell v Newpark Olympic (Forum); Seven Towers v Glenravel (Showgrounds 4).

firmus energy Division Three: Templepatrick v Cushendall (Forum).