SML round-up: Saints back on top as weather plays havoc with fixtures

Ahoghill Thistle's Ryan Sand is congratulated by team mate Paul Aiken (11) after scoring his team's third goal from the penalty spot during Saturday's win over Abbeyview in Ahoghill. INBT 14-177CS
Ahoghill Thistle's Ryan Sand is congratulated by team mate Paul Aiken (11) after scoring his team's third goal from the penalty spot during Saturday's win over Abbeyview in Ahoghill. INBT 14-177CS

The unseasonal weather wreaked havoc with the firmus energy Ballymena Saturday Morning League programme at the weekend.

Of the limited number of games that did manage to go ahead, All Saints Old Boys returned to the summit of Division One by beating Glenravel.

Ahoghill Thistle's Alan Moore in action against Abbeyview's  during Saturday's league game in Ahoghill. INBT 14-173C

Ahoghill Thistle's Alan Moore in action against Abbeyview's during Saturday's league game in Ahoghill. INBT 14-173C

Ahoghill Thistle also maintained their perfect record when they notched their 15th win from 15 league games by thrashing Abbeyview and they meet All Saints in a crunch clash this weekend.

FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION ONE

All Saints OB 5 Glenravel 1: Saints moved back to the summit of Division One with this victory in which they were made work all the way against battling Glenravel.

In the opening stages Saints were guilty of being wasteful in front of goal with both Joe Scullion and Philip Lynn failing to convert when left one on one with Johnny Reid in the Glenravel goal.

Abbeyview centre-half David Moore clears the ball during Saturday's league game against Ahoghill Thistle. INBT 14-174CS

Abbeyview centre-half David Moore clears the ball during Saturday's league game against Ahoghill Thistle. INBT 14-174CS

Saints’ pressure finally paid off 11 minutes before the break when Ryan Gregg played a reverse ball behind the Glenravel defence for Joe Scullion to race onto and poke the ball under Johnny Reid to give Saints the lead.

Soon after it was 2-0 when Johnny Reid parried out a Joe Scullion header and Peter McReynolds pounced to fire home.

Glenravel cut the deficit straight from the kick off when Conan Dunne went on a mazy run before laying off to Josh McKeown who smashed the ball home from 25 yards out to make the score 2-1 at the break.

Saints went in search of goals right from the off in the second half and regained their two goal advantage eight minutes in when Joe Scullion scored his second after Philip Lynn drilled the ball across the box.

Donald Crawford, of sponsors firmus energy, presents the Ballymena Saturday Morning League Player of the Month awards for March to Peter Gillespie, Division 2, Cloughmills FC, Ryan Carson, Division 1, Newpark Olympic and Brendan Quinn, Division  3, St. Comgalls FC. INBT 15-833H

Donald Crawford, of sponsors firmus energy, presents the Ballymena Saturday Morning League Player of the Month awards for March to Peter Gillespie, Division 2, Cloughmills FC, Ryan Carson, Division 1, Newpark Olympic and Brendan Quinn, Division 3, St. Comgalls FC. INBT 15-833H

This killed the game as a contest as Saints controlled the game from here on in, but again they were guilty of missing chances.

Saints control of the game led to two more goals late on.

The first coming when Brian Paul Donnelly making his debut flicked the ball to Gavin Burnside and he slipped in Gordon Dillon to fire home against his former club.

Then just before the end Gavin Burnside made it 5-1 when he followed up after Johnny Reid had denied Brian Paul Donnelly a debut goal as Saints ran out convincing winners.

Ahoghill Thistle 6, Abbeyview 0: Thistle made it 15 wins out of 15 with this convincing win against Abbeyview in a game they controlled from start to finish.

It took Thistle only three minutes to get the breakthrough.

Jason Stewart split the View defence for Paul Aiken to race onto and slot home from an acute angle.

Seven minutes later it was 2-0 when David Tenant brilliantly controlled an Alan Moore right wing cross before firing into the bottom corner.

Thistle were dominant now and they should have gone 3-0 in front but the usually clinical Matt Boyd drilled the ball wide from just outside the box with only the keeper to beat.

The third goal did come on the half hour mark though and it came for Ryan Sands who beat the offside trap to get on the end of a Ryan Curry through ball before making no mistake in hitting the net.

The game was killed as a contest just before the break when Thistle made it 4-0. Ryan Sands was upended in the box and a penalty was awarded. The same player stepped up and made no mistake in sending his side in with a comfortable lead at the break.

Abbeyview came out with attacking intent in the second half, but they still struggled to threaten the Thistle goal with Stephen Watson a virtual spectator.

Thistle made it 5-0 just after the hour mark when David Campbell smashed in a volley from 12 yards out after he was picked out by an Alan Moore corner from the right.

The home side rung the changes after this and took their foot of the gas, but still managed to add a sixth goal with 10 minutes to go. David Drummond clipped a free kick into the box and it was met by a bullet header from Gavin Gilmore as Thistle ran out convincing winners.

Newpark Olympic 3, Ballykeel 2: Newpark have acquitted themselves well in their first season in Division One, and this win against Ballykeel cements their place in the top flight.

The home side started well and went close through Ryan Carson and Jamie Nutter, before they were hit with a sucker punch from Ballykeel when Darren Cummings punished a defensive mix up.

Newpark’s response was almost immediate as Ryan Carson kept up his recent run of good form when he lobbed the ball over the Ballykeel keeper from all of 30 yards out.

Just before the break Newpark got their noses in front when Ryan Carson doubled his tally for the game.

Newpark went in search of more goals in the second with Ryan Carson going close to completing his hat trick while William Davidson also went close.

The home side did make it 3-1 with 10 minutes to go when Rodney Crawford found Ryan Carson with a long ball and his shot was parried to William Davidson to slot home the rebound.

Ballykeel cut the deficit to one just before the end when Barry McDowell playing as a make shift centre forward got on the end of a long ball to poke the ball home, but it was in vain as Newpark held on for the win.

OTHER RESULTS

Rainey Cup 2nd Round: Cloughmills 5, Galgorm Blues 0

CGRSC Sammy Moore Cup 2nd Round 1st Leg

Southside Rangers 1, Rubys Rovers 2

FIXTURES

Tuesday, April 5 (6.30pm) - firmus energy BSML Division One: Clough Rangers v All Saints OB (Clough); Ahoghill Thistle v Glenravel (Ahoghill).

Wednesday, April 6 (6.30pm) - firmus energy BSML Division Two: Michelin v FC Penarol; Galgorm Blues v Ahoghill Rovers (Galgorm); Waveney Swifts v Cloughmills (Waveney 2).

CGRSC Sammy Moore Cup 1st Round 2nd Leg: Wakehurst Star v Braid United (Showgrounds 4).

firmus energy BSML Division Three: Carniny Amateurs & Youth v Cullybackey Olympic (Showgrounds 7).

Thursday, April 7 - Toals Co Antrim Junior Shield semi-final (7.45pm): Harryville Homers v Lower Shankill (Spafield Playing Fields Holywood (3G).

Saturday, April 9 (10.15pm) - Rainey Cup 3rd Round: Carnlough Swifts v Southside Rangers; Cloughmills v Ahoghill Rovers; Glenravel v Newpark Olympic (Cargan); Raceview v Wakehurst Star (Broughshane).

firmus energy Division One: Abbeyview v Riverdale (Forum); Ahoghill Thistle v All Saints OB (Ahoghill); Carniny Rangers v Clough Rangers (Wakehurst 1).

George McAuley Cup 1st Round: Galgorm Blues v Seven Towers (Galgorm); Sporting Ballymoney v Woodside; FC Penarol v Cushendall (Connor).

firmus energy BSML Division Two: Michelin v Waveney Swifts.

CGRSC Sammy Moore Cup 2nd Round 1st Leg: St Comgalls v Braid United/Wakehurst Star.

firmus energy BSML Division Three: Atletico Antrim v Carniny Amateurs & Youths (Forum); Templepatrick v Cullybackey Olympic (Forum).