SML round-up: Saints, Riverdale make Rainey Cup progress

A Raceview player attempts to find a way through a stubborn Clough Rangers defence. INBT 08-828H
A Raceview player attempts to find a way through a stubborn Clough Rangers defence. INBT 08-828H

The Rainey Cup took centre stage in a weather-affected weekend of firmus energy Saturday Morning League action.

All Saints Old Boys and Riverdale were among the sides to reach the next round of the league’s major knockout competition.

A Clough Rangers player is pushed off the ball by a Raceview opponent. INBT 08-825H

A Clough Rangers player is pushed off the ball by a Raceview opponent. INBT 08-825H

Meanwhile, Raceview improved their position in Division One with a win over Clough Rangers.

RAINEY CUP, ROUND TWO

Ruby’s Rovers 3, All Saints OB 5: Saints edged out Division Three high flyers Ruby’s Rovers in a topsy turvy cup tie at Sandy Bay.

Five minutes before the break Saints got the breakthrough when a great piece of skill from Ryan Gregg allowed him to slip in Aaron Wilkinson who unselfishly squared to Gordon Dillon to tap into the empty net. Ryan Wilkinson almost made it 2-0 right on half time but his dipping shot smashed off the post.

A Raceview player gets his pass away despite the close attentions of a Clough Rangers opponent. INBT 08-827H

A Raceview player gets his pass away despite the close attentions of a Clough Rangers opponent. INBT 08-827H

Ruby’s got a great opportunity to draw level just before the hour mark when Christopher Steele was fouled, but Brian Martin guessed right to dive and save Paul McCann’s spot kick.

Soon after Saints doubled their lead when Liam Cassley did well on the right and pulled the ball back for Ryan Gregg to place the ball in the corner of the net.

Ruby’s hit back a few minutes later when Christopher Steele pounced on a misplaced clearance to fire home and bring the deficit back to one.

Saints soon regained their two goal cushion when great persistence from Liam Cassley resulted in the ball falling to Aaron Wilkinson who fired into the empty net from close range.

Again Ruby’s hit back when Paul McCann played a great ball through for Christopher Steele who rounded Brian Martin to score and set up a tense final 17 minutes.

Saints went on the attack and with eight minutes to go made it 4-2 when Liam Cassley broke inside the box and pulled the ball across goal for Barry Hamill to score at the back post.

Four minutes later Ruby’s got a third goal back when a shot from Mark Hughes deflected over Brian Martin to again reduce the deficit to one.

Saints finally killed the game off on the stroke of half time when Ryan Gregg chipped the ball into Stephen Sexton who won the header and then reacted quickest to head home and send Saints into the next round.

FC Moylena 2, Riverdale 3: Riverdale put their poor league form aside and made it into the next round with a well deserved victory against Moylena.

Riverdale got their reward for positive play when they opened the scoring three minutes before the break. Michael Kernohan found the net with a brilliantly executed free kick from 30 yards to send the visitors in a goal up at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Riverdale doubled their lead when Ryan Wilkinson crossed into the box and the ball fell at the feet of Ryan Thomas and he poked the ball home from close range.

Riverdale were well on top now and they killed the tie off with 20 minutes to go when good work from Clarke Lennox down the right ended in him picking out Ryan Wilkinson with a great cross and he made no mistake as he headed home to make it 3-0.

Moylena threw men forward to get back into the game and came close through Caolan McKeown, before they got a goal back with eight minutes to go. Eoghan Gribben clipped the ball over the top for Keith McCrea who slotted the ball into the corner.

Three minutes later there was one goal in it when Dale Murdock crossed and the ball fell to Adrian Donnelly to score and set up a tight finish.

FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION ONE

Raceview 3, Clough Rangers 1: Clough started the better and their early ascendancy paid off on 14 minutes when a cross from Robbie Sutherland was only half cleared to Andrew Simms on the edge of the box and he found the net with a well struck volley.

There was little in the way of goal action until 3 minutes before the break when Raceview equalised. Paul Muir stepped up to a free kick 30 yards out on the right hand side of the box and he smashed the ball into the top corner of the net giving Colin Byers in the Clough goal no chance to level the game at the break.

With only 12 minutes to go Raceview got their noses in front. Paul McBurney swung over a corner from the left and Steven Craig rose above the Clough defence to power a header into the goal and make it 2-1.

Seven minutes later Raceview clinched the game when Stuart Gilmore flicked the ball into the path of Paul McBurney and he slipped in Colin Craig to poke the ball past Byers and seal the points.

OTHER RESULTS

firmus energy Division One: Harryville Homers 6, Ballykeel 0 (Tuesday).

Rainey Cup 2nd Round round two: Randalstown 4, Cullybackey Olympic 3 (AET); Atletico Antrim 1, Braid United 1 (Atletico Antrim won 5-4 on penalties).

FIXTURES

Wednesday, February 17 - firmus energy Division One (8.30pm): Riverdale v Harryville Homers (The Cliff, Larne).

Saturday, February 20 - Toals Co Antrim Shield 4th Round (1.30pm): Waveney Swifts v Ballyvea (Waveney 2).

Rainey Cup 2nd Round (10.15am): Steadfast v Ahoghill Thistle (Galgorm); Clough Rangers v Harryville Homers (Clough); Carniny Amateurs & Youth v Raceview (Showgrounds 7); Newpark Olympic v Ballykeel; Northend & District v Glenravel (Waveney 1).

firmus energy BSML Division One: All Saints OB v Riverdale (Showgrounds 5); Carniny Rangers v Abbeyview (Wakehurst 1).

firmus energy BSML Division Two: Cushendall v Cloughmills (Cargan); Holywell v Seven Towers (Forum); Michelin v Carnlough Swifts; Sporting Ballymoney v Ahoghill Rovers; Woodside v FC Penarol (Ballykeel).

CGRSC Sammy Moore Cup first round, first leg: Braid United v Wakehurst Star (Broughshane).

firmus energy BSML Division Three: Atletico Antrim v St Comgalls (Forum); Cullybackey Olympic v Southside Rangers (Tober Park).

TABLES

firmus energy Division One: All Saints OB, played 16, points 42; Carniny Rangers 14-39; Harryville Homers 14-39; Ahoghill Thistle 12-36; FC Moylena 20-32; Clough Rangers 16-31; Abbeyview 17-31; Raceview FC 19-30; Newpark Olympic 20-29; Ballykeel 20-25; Glenravel FC 17-19; Riverdale 19-17; Connor FC* 26-8; FC Antrim* 26-0.

* FC Antrim and Connor FC have withdrawn from the league and all teams yet to play them have been awarded a 3-0 victory.

firmus energy Division Two: Carnlough Swifts 15-41; Ahoghill Rovers 16-39; Seven Towers 17-37; Michelin 14-33; Sporting Ballymoney 15-23; Cushendall FC 17-23; FC Penarol 14-22; Randalstown 15-19; Cloughmills 15-18; Holywell 18-13; Waveney Swifts 15-9; Woodside 17-6; Galgorm Blues 15-4.

firmus energy Division Three: St Comgall’s 14-38; Ruby’s Rovers 17-33; Atletico Antrim 14-31; Carniny Amateurs & Youth 14-27; Southside Rangers 14-26; Braid United 15-24; Cullybackey Olympic 14-20; Templepatrick 18-13; Northend & District 16-11; Wakehurst Star 14-9; Steadfast 15-3.