Cloughwater are big movers in Churches League title race

An open jack provides an inviting target during the St Patrick's v Clough match. INBT 51-813H
An open jack provides an inviting target during the St Patrick's v Clough match. INBT 51-813H

Cloughwater were the big movers as the Ballymena & District Churches League championship race neared its halfway point.

Three victories in recent weeks ahve lifted Cloughwater from the lower reaches of the table into title contention.

The top of the table has a familiar look to it as the holiday break approaches.

Perennial contenders First Ahoghill have a four point lead, followed by the team who dethroned them as champions last season, Buckna.

Killymurris Glarryford, after a couple of lean years, by their own high standards, are two-and-a-half points further back - on the same number of points as First Broughshane - although both those teams have played more matches than the teams above them.

The competition is equally as fierce at the opposite end of the table with a number of club’s vying to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon position.

Among them are Clough ‘B’ who traditionally find themselves among the backmarkers but even the fact that they are averaging more than one point in each of their games so far illustrates just how competitive the league is, with teams at the bottom capable of taking points off the ‘big guns’.

Grange are a surprise name in the lower reaches of the table but they secured three points from their visit to another struggling team, CUningham ‘A’, while they will also take heart from taking a point-and-a-half from their home game against Buckna.

There is plenty to play for in the second half of the campaign, not only in terms of league positions, but a number of teams will also be looking to give new impetus to their season with an extended run in the league’s knockout competition, the Nelson Cup.

RESULTS

Latest results are:

Cloughwater 5, Clough B 0: G Kirk 8, S Anderson 7; R Anderson 17, L Cubitt 0; D Turtle 8, A McCosh 4; W Adams 19, J Wasson 2.

Cloughwater 4, Connor 1: G Kirk 9, L White 17; R Anderson 13, J Elliott 6; S McCarthy 12, T Hill 9; W Adams 12, D Elliott 9.

Cuningham A 2, Grange 3: L McIlroy 7, H McCullough 6; G Logan 3, B Millar 15; S McKee 15, B Kerr 5; D Stewart 8, R Duffin 14.

Cloughwater 3, High Kirk 2: G Kirk 4, D Robinson 7; R Anderson 12, I Hamilton 10; D Turtle 10, H Clements 6; W Adams 8, M Boyd 10.

Clough A 1, Harryville 4: A McCrea 7, J Patterson 14; W Stewart 7, B McBride 12; D Wasson 12, B McLaughlin 7; A Alexander 8, R Law 11.

Grange 1.5, Buckna,3.5: B Millar 9, S Alexander 7; G Millar 6, S Hamill 10; H McCullough 7, A Hamill 19; R Duffin 10, A McCullough 10.

Cloughwater 4, Cullybackey Methodist B 1: G Kirk 7, J Marshall 7; G McCarthy 8, R McLean 8; S McCarthy 23, N Laverty 5; W Adams 9, P Christie 7.

High Kirk 4, Cuningham A 1: D Robinson 16, L McIlroy 5; T McPeake 16, G Logan 8; M Clements 11, D Stewart 10; M Boyd 9, S McKee 10.

Clough B 2.5, Craigs 2.5: J Wasson 9, W Herbison 6; S Anderson 6, P Boyd 6; A McCosh 7, R Kirkpatrick 17; C Orr 10, H Kelly 7.

First Broughshane 2, Killymurris Glarryford 3: D Calderwood 9, I McMaster 8; A Davidson 2, S Dunlop 11; A Hunter 14, D Dunlop 8; J Gaston 8, J McWhirter 14.

St Patrick’s Ballymena 3, Clough ‘A’ 2: D McNeill 8, W Stewart 10; A Agnew 7, A McCrea 5; T Agnew 7, A Alexander 9; D McCullough 11, D Wasson 6.

Killymurris Glarryford 3, Ballymena Methodist 2: J McWhirter 5, M Arbuthnut 12; I McMaster 12, R Dickson 4; S Dunlop 18, J Simms 4; D Dunlop 7, A Bacon 12.

Second Broughshane B 1, Second Broughshane A 4: C Currie 6, M Montgomery 8; J Kernohan 4, C Turtle 12; W Barr 6, Ivan Montgomery 13; N Graham 11, Ian Montgomery 10.

Harryville 4, Clough B 1: B McBride 9, S Anderson 6; A Lowry 5, R Frew 10; J Patterson 14, J Wasson 4; B McLaughlin 13, C Orr 7.

STANDINGS

First Ahoghill, played 9, points 39; Buckna 9-35; First Broughshane 11-32.5; Killymurris Glarryford 11-32.5; Cloughwater 9-32; Harryville 12-30; Cullybackey Methodist A 9-28; Second Broughshane A 11-27; Cuningham Memorial B 8-25.5; St Patrick’s Ballymena 9-24; High Kirk 9-24; Killymurris Carnlea 8-21; Clough A 10-20; Glenwherry 7-19.5; Craigs 9-18.5; Connor 8-17.5; Ballymena Methodist 10-17.5; Cullybackey Methodist B 8-16; Grange 9-15; Second Broughshane B 10-13.5; Cuningham Memorial A 10-12.5; Clough B 8-9.5.