Atletico win final trophy of Saturday Morning League season

Atletico Antrim celebrate their Montgomery Cup success after beating Southside Rangers in the final.
Atletico Antrim celebrate their Montgomery Cup success after beating Southside Rangers in the final.

Atletico Antrim claimed the final piece of silverware as the firmus energy Ballymena Saturday Morning League drew to a close this week.

The Antrim side beat Southside Rangers 2-1 to clinch the inaugural Montgomery Cup, played for by third division teams.

Both these sides had already gained promotion this season but were hoping to finish the season with a Final win and this showed in a nervy opening as neither side settled well into the game.

Defences were on top in the first half with Mark Crawford guiding his young defence for Southside and at the other end Gareth Cromie kept Southside to long range efforts.

The opening goal came three minutes from the break when Atletico struck the opener. Neil Stevenson swung over a corner from the left and Captain David Thompson rose highest to head his side into a half time lead.

Southside took the game to Atletico in the second half and got their just rewards on the hour mark when they drew level.

Sam McNiece drove down the right and pulled a ball back across goal for the in rushing Martin Young who placed the ball in the bottom corner of the net giving Darren Harbison no chance.

After this goal the game opened up as a contest with chances at both ends. Corey McDowell and Ryan Corrigan went close for Southside while at the other end Southside keeper Steven Turner reacted well twice to save from Roy Robinson at the back post.

These missed chances for both sides made it look like extra time was beckoning until eight minutes from time Atletico struck the winner. Simon Brown was bundled over by a Southside defender 30 yards from goal, and the ever dangerous Roy Robinson stepped up and bent a free kick round the wall and into the top corner of the net.

Southside pushed hard for an equaliser and came close in the dying minute when Ryan Stewart was unable to get on the end of a box across the box from Corey Godfrey as their chance to force extra time slipped away and with it their chances of winning the Montgmery Cup.

After the final whistle sponsor Brian Montgomery handed the Montgomery Cup over to the winning Atletico Antrim Captain David Thompson as the celebrations began and the curtain was brought down on another BSML season.

Southside Rangers: Steven Turner, Robert Wright, Mark Crawford, Martin Young, William Allen, Dylan Graham, Richard Wilson, Corey Godfrey, Daniel Hogg, Sam McNiece, Corey McDowell. Subs: Ryan Stewart, Dean Graham, Ryan Corrigan, Ross Swann and Gareth Williams.

Atletico Antrim: Darren Harbinson, Deane Montgomery, Aaron Mitchell, Gareth Cromie, Liam McPhillips, Neil Stevenson, Andy Mulholland, Roy Robinson, David Thompson, Andy Campbell, Chris Wilgaus. Subs: Simon Brown, Nathan Irvine, Micky Moran, Dan Donnelly and Chris Irvine.