Harryville Homers ensured lightning didn’t strike twice as they retained their grip on the Coca Cola IFA Junior Cup in emphatic style on Saturday.
The cup holders proved too strong for neighbours Ahoghill Thistle - the only side to beat them this season - in the tie of the third round, winning 3-0 in front of a bumper crowd at the Cullybackey Road venue.
COCA COLA JUNIOR CUP
Ahoghill Thistle 0, Harryville Homers 3: Homers remain on course to retain their Junior CUp title after a professional performance at Ahoghill.
Holders Homers showed why they won the Junior Cup last year as they turned in a very professional performance to see off Thistle in this tie of the round.
Homers took only three minutes to open the scoring as Ricky Nicholl swung over a corner from the left and his ball was met by the head of brother David Nicholl whose header flew past Sean Ward.
Homers controlled the game and doubled their lead midway through the half. A tame free kick from Darren Campbell was parried out by Thistle keeper Sean Ward and David Nicholl was on hand to smash home his second goal.
The second half continued the way the first ended with little in the way of goal mouth action until Homers found the net for a third time just after the hour mark.
Darren Campbell drove at the Thistle defence from midfield and played the ball into the feet of Gary Bonnes whose touch beat his marker before firing into the bottom corner.
A subdued Thistle struggled to break down the Homers defence and their only real chance was a long range effort from David Drummond well tipped over by keeper Ryan Martin.
After the final whistle IFA Junior Council Member Brian Montgomery presented the Man of the Match Award to David Nicholl of Harryville Homers.
Lurgan Institute 0, Raceview 2: A goal in each half was enough to take Raceview past the challenge of their Mid Ulster League opponents.
Raceview made a bright opening and took the lead on 32 minutes when Ryan Logan raced down the right and back heeled the ball to Don McAllister whose cross was headed into the corner of the net by Reece Kernohan. Raceview had keeper Lee McGavock to thank for holding onto their lead before the break when he did well to turn a Lurgan strikers shot round the post.
Raceview weathered some second half Lurgan pressure and doubled their lead with 15 minutes left. Don McAlister raced down the right and slipped in Colin Craig who unselfishly laid the ball to substitute Craig Larkin to fire home.
FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION ONE
All Saints OB 3, FC Moylena 0: Saints took the lead after only four minutes in their first game in three weeks. Gavin Burnside and Philip Lynn combined with a short corner which resulted in Burnside smashing the ball home from the corner of the penalty box.
Saints’ dominance eventually paid off on 63 minutes when they got a second goal as Philip Lynn raced down the right and drove across the box for substitute Emmet Kerr to tap home at the back post.
Six minutes later it was 3-0 when Philip Lynn was again played in down the right and again he squared the ball across for Emmet Kerr to score his second from close range.
FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION TWO
Seven Towers 1, Newpark Olympic 0: The entire length of the division separated these sides at the start of play so it was a surprise when bottom side Towers overcame their table-topping opponents.
With Olympic having been reduced to 10 men, the decsisive moment in the game came on the hour mark when Mark McNally was fed the ball on the edge of the box and he put Ross Hunter through who cooly slotted the ball past Olympic keeper Ryan Carson.
Although Newpark pushed for an equaliser until the end it was Towers day and they held on for the three points which takes them off the foot of the table.
SAMMY MOORE CUP
Woodside 0, Wakehurst Star 3 (Wakehurst Star won 3-2 on aggregate): Woodside went into this quarter-final second leg game with a two goal advantage from the first leg, but Star staged a magnificent second leg comeback in which they hit three quick second half goals to seal a place in the semi final.
Four minutes into the second half Star got the opening goal.
Charles Allen and John Alexander combined to lay the ball off for substitute Steven Quigley who with his first touch fired into the bottom corner.
Three minutes later the tie was all square on aggregate as Charles Allen played the ball into Kieran O’Boyle and he played a one two with John Alexander before slotting the ball low past Robin Bankhead in the Woodside goal.
Star were rampant now and got themselves in front soon after when Kieran O’Boyle scored a carbon copy goal of his first to make it 3-0.
Star could have added more goals with Kieran O’Boyle seeing a penalty kick saved by Robin Bankhead as he was denied his hat trick.
Junior Cup, round three: Beragh Swifts 5, Clough Rangers 2.
firmus energy Division One: Carniny Rangers 3, Abbeyview 0; Connor FC 1, Ballykeel 2; Michelin 3, FC Antrim 1.
firmus energy Division Two: Braid United 0, Carnlough Swifts 2; Cullybackey Olympic 4, Ahoghill Rovers 4; Holywell 3, Galgorm Blues 1; Riverdale 0, Lisnafillan Swifts 4; Waveney Swifts 4, Cloughmills 2.
Sammy Moore Cup, quarter-final second leg: Cushendall 1, Randalstown 2 (Randalstown win 8-3 on aggregate); Atletico Antrim 4, Templepatrick 2
(Templepatrick win 5-4 on aggregate)
firmus energy Division Three: Steadfast 2, Rectory Rovers 2.
Saturday, December 6 (10.15am) - Co Antrim Post O’Kane Cup semi-finals: All Saints OB v Harryville Homers (Broughshane); Clough Rangers v Ahoghill Rovers (Showgrounds 4).
firmus energy Division One: Ahoghill Thistle v FC Moylena (Ahoghill); Connor FC v Raceview (Connor); FC Antrim v Carniny Rangers (Forum); FC Penarol v Abbeyview (Showgrounds 5); Michelin v Ballykeel.
firmus energy Division Two: Carnlough Swifts v Holywell; Galgorm Blues v Glenravel (Galgorm); Lisnafillan Swifts v St Comgalls; Newpark Olympic v Cullybackey Olympic; Riverdale v Braid United (Wakehurst 2); Waveney Swifts v Seven Towers (Waveney 2).
firmus energy Division Three: Atletico Antrim v Steadfast (Forum); Cushendall v Sporting Ballymoney; Randalstown v Wakehurst Star; Woodside v Rectory Rovers (Wakehurst 6).