Strollers stay in hunt for Welshman Cup

Wakehurst Strollers' John Alexander is beaten to a high ball against Whitehead. INBT 51-922H
Wakehurst Strollers' John Alexander is beaten to a high ball against Whitehead. INBT 51-922H

Wakehurst Strollers will have plenty to look forward to when the Ballymena & Prtovincial League resumes in the new year.

Not only are Andy Erwin’s side well in the hunt for promotion to Junior Division One, they also ensured they will have interest in the Linda Welshman Memorial Cup as well.

Jadyn McLaughlin scored the only goal to take the Ballymena side into the fourth round of the competition at the expense of Whitehead Rangers in Saturday’s tie on the SHowgrounds 3G.

Saturday brought an end to the first part of the season with no games scheduled for Saturdays, December 20 and 27. Competition will re-commence on Saturday, January 3, 2015.

The officials of the league wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and prosperous new year.

There will certainly be cause for optimism for the four Ballymena and Antrim-based teams within the league’s set-up.

In the intermediate division, Chimney Corner have recovered from a slow start, having dropped down from IFA Championship Two, and they currently sit in a healthy mid-table position in their first season at this level.

Corner will hope to continue their steady progress and ensure some stability for the club after a turbulent few years of struggling near the foot of the Championship.

Their neighbours Antrim Rovers have enjoyed a tremendous first half of the season, winning nine of their 10 league games so far to sit top of the table in Junior Division One. They currently enjoy a five point lead over nearest challengers Ballyclare Comrades Reserves.

As already mentioned, Wakehurst Strollers are well placed in Junior Division Two, two points behind leaders Krag Albion, but with three more games played.

Wakehurst have taken advantage of the fact that they play their home games on the Showgrounds 3G, which is less susceptible to postponements, and they are well up to date with their fixtures. They have also played an important role in preparing players for the step up to Wakehurst’s senior team in Championship Two, as well as enabling some of the first team’s injured players to regain match fitness.

In the same division, neighbours CLough Rangers Athletic will look to find more consistency in 2015.

Results from last week’s games in the various competitions were:

INTERMEDIATE LEAGUE

Results: Brantwood 7, Ballysillan Swifts 0; Rathcoole FC 3, Magherafelt Sky Blues 3.

McREYNOLDS CUP

Round one result: Desertmartin 6, Castle Star 1.

IFA INTERMEDIATE CUP

Round three result: Bangor 6, Newtowne 1.

JUNIOR DIVISION ONE

Result: Woodlands 6, Carnmoney FC 1.

JUNIOR DIVISION TWO

Rseults: Sport & Leisure Swifts Reserves 3, Brantwood Reserves 2; Newington YC II 8, Moyola Park Olympic 0.

JUNIOR DIVISION THREE

Results: Mountainview 2, Red Star 0; Remo Fc Reserves 3, 1st Carrickfergus OB 5.

CANADA TROPHY

Round one results: FC Whiteabbey 3, Ballyclare COmrades Reserves 3; Mallusk AThletic Reserves 1, Ballysillan Swifts Reserves 1.

LINDA WELSHMAN MEMORIAL CUP

Wakehurst Strollers 1, Whitehead Rangers 0: On the slick 3g surface at Ballymena Showground’s both team played good open football but at half-time the only thing lacking was goals with none being scored.

The second half saw both teams start off well again then on the 62nd minute Jadyn McLaughlin scored what proved to be the only goal in a very tight game taking the Strollers into the next round.

Referee Mr. David Trainor

COUNTY ANTRIM JUNIOR SHIELD

Fourth round result: Queens Grads 1, Krag Albion 0.