Carniny are champions once again
CARNINY Rangers wrapped up a fourth successive clickNI.co.uk Ballymena Saturday Morning League title in sensational style last week.
Robert Young's men were in devastating form when they hammered Old Saints OBs 5-1 on Tuesday then travelled to Glenarm Rovers to hit them for seven winning 7-1 and then on Saturday they beat Randalstown Sky Blues 6-2 to ensure the league trophy remains in their grasp once again.
They have only dropped six points in their league campaign to date - drawing three matches – and are deserved champions.
GEORGE MCAULEY CUP FINAL
Connor FC 9, St Comgalls 2: Connor made up for the disappointment of losing out on the Division Two title on the last day with a comprehensive win over St Comgalls.
Connor broke the deadlock on 14 minutes when a Mervyn Crawford corner found Mark Marriott at the back post and he headed the ball down for Alan Norton to find the net with a back heel.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 when a Crawford cross was knocked down by Marriott to Darren Campbell who hammered the ball home from close range.
Connor had St Comgalls on the rack now and on 20 minutes they made it 3-0 when a cross from Rodney McKay deceived everyone and snuck in at the back post. It was 4-0 before half time when Jamie White slipped in Crawford to slot home.
There was no let up from Connor in the second half as they made it 5-0 straight after the break when Marriott reacted quickest to fire home after a Campbell shot was saved.
Marriott then made it 6-0 when he lobbed the ball over James McKeown in the Saints goal.
Jamie White got in on the act and made it 7-0 with 25 minutes to go when he was played in by Richard Hanna.
Credit to St Comgalls they didn't let their heads drop and hit two goals on 75 and 78 minutes both coming from David Ferguson who had given the Connor defence a hard time all game.
But Connor were going to have the final say and they hit two further goals late on through Crawford and White as they strolled to victory.
After the final whistle, Bertie McAuley, brother of the late George McAuley, handed the George McAuley Cup over to the winning Connor FC Captain Gary Sands and the celebrations began.
Connor FC: Dean Young, Rodney McKay, Warren McCosh, David Gregg, Alan Norton, Jamie White, Darren Campbell, Richard Hanna, Mervyn Crawford, Mark Marriott, Gary Sands. Subs: Ryan Hill, Jason Trainor, Glen Ross, Daryll Coyle.
St Comgalls: James McKeown, Lee Rea, Paul McAllister, Marc Stephens, Paul Smyth, Marc McClean, Colin Campbell, John McKeown, David Ferguson, Garry McCorry, Richard McKeown. Subs: Geoffrey Tilley, Philip McKendry, Aaron Martin, Andy Bird, Kevin McAuley.
Referee: Mr Stephen Gaston. Assistant Referees: Mr Gary Crawford and Mr Finlay Sloane.
PADDY DUNLOP CUP
Cullybackey Olympic 2, Wakehurst Athletic 1: Cullybackey Olympic were strongest in the first half when they went two up but had to fight for their life in the second half to stop a spirited Wakehurst Athletic fight back to win the Ballymena Shamrocks Celtic Supporters-sponsored Paddy Dunlop Cup and promotion into the second division.
It was all Cullybackey from the start with Aaron Wilkinson and Gary Glass causing the athletic defence all sorts of problems and this pressure paid off after 20 minutes when a shot at goals came off a Wakehurst defenders arm and the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty which Aaron Wilkinson coolly dispatched.
Cullybackey kept up the pressure and went two up when Chris Coulter sent in a speculative cross to the back post which deceived the Athletic defence and finished in the net.
The half time team talk appeared to put new life into Wakehurst as they pushed forward with Jason Mitchell and Michael Thompson now giving the Olympic defence problems.
Ten minutes into the second half this pair combined to create a goal for Athletic when Jason Mitchell worked his way free on the left before sending in a inch perfect cross to the back post where Michael Thompson popped up to fire home from close range.
The last 15 minutes saw Wakehurst well on top but Olympic held them out, surviving a real scare in the last minute when Thomas McCullough had the ball in the net for an equaliser but the assistant referee flagged for off side.
After the final whistle Mr Michael Gordon on behalf of Sponsors Ballymena Shamrocks Celtic Supporters Club handed over the Paddy Dunlop Cup to Cullybackey Olympic Team Captain Dean Brownlow who now can look forward to life in Division Two next season.
Cullybackey Olympic: Jason Reid, Philip Glass, Chris Coulter, Derek Faulkner, Richard Rock, Jordon McCullough, Steven McNeilly, Dean Brownlow, Aaron Wilkinson, Gary Glass, Gareth Moody. Subs: David Mairs, Jamie Reid, Philip Anderson and Ryan Wilkinson.
Wakehurst Olympic: Andrew Steele, Trevor McDowell, Alan Craig, Antony Blair, Sammy McDowell, Thomas McCullough, Ally Robinson, Michael Thompson, Alan Shaw, Jason Mitchell, Chris Power. Subs: Adam Greene, Brian Robinson, Jamie Farenden, Steve Hyndman and Lee Mitchell.
Referee: Mr Gary Crawford. Assistant Referees: Mr Steven Turner and Lindsay McConnell.
LEIGHINMOHR HOUSE HOTEL CUP
The Division Two Play Off Final takes place this Wednesday, May 26, at Ahoghill with a 7pm KO and features Clough Rangers and Shore Wanderers.
Shore Wanderers finished fourth in Division Two, five points ahead of Clough, who only crept into the Play Offs with a great run in their last five matches so this Finalm is set up for a brilliant game.
Shore have missed Willy Brown in recent matches but he played in their Semi Final on Saturday when they beat Seven Towers 3-1 and he can be the diference as his creative mid field work makes Wanderers tick as he works well with strikers Sean hale and Kevin Downey. The Wanderers defence is superbly marshalled by Shane Ruddy who also is a very experienced defender and he is ably supported by another veteran defender Anto Quigg.
Clough Rangers made the Play Offs as they finished level with Michelin but had a better head to head with Michelin and must feel their name in already on the Cup with the great run they have made.
Their star man this season is Johnny Rice who has played in a number of positions and has been inspirational. Laird Law and Richard Gregg create the chances for Stephen Steele and Richard McNeill and are capable of penetrating most defences.
The remarkable thing about this team are the co-managers Wilfy Loughlin and James Gregg who have been about the BSML for longer than they can remember and what an achievement if they took Clough Rangers into Division One but Adrian Porter and Shore Wanderers may have something to say about that, Wednesday Night will provide the answer.
RAINEY CUP FINAL
The Alex Rainey sponsored Rainey Cup Final will take place on Saturday morning, May 29, at 10.15am at Michelin and at time of going to press the finalists are not known.
ACE CUP FINAL
The Ace Fixings sponsored Ace Cup Final will finish off the season on the last day of the season 31st May 7pm KO with finalist not know and the venue will be at Michelin or Chimney Corner's Ground depending who is in the final.
BSML Division One: All Saints OB 1, Carniny Rangers 5; Harryville Homers 2, Abbeyview 1; Carniny Rangers 6, Randalstown Sky Blues 2; Templepatrick 1, Glenarm Rovers 2; Glenarm Rovers 1, Carniny Rangers 7
BSML Division Two: Clough Rangers 6, Braid United 3; Riverdale 3, FC Inter Stars 5.
Rainey Cup quarter-finals: Carnlough Swifts 3, Holywell 1; FC Moylena 2, Harryville Homers 1; Connor FC 4, Abbeyview 6; North End 2, Ahoghill Rovers 3.
Ace Cup quarter-finals: Randalstown Sky Blues 2, North End 1; Ahoghill Rovers 1, Abbeyview 3.
Rainey Cup Quarter Finals
Leighinmohr House Hotel Cup, semi-finals: Seven Towers 1, Shore Wanderers 3; St Comgalls 0 Clough Rangers 2
Tuesday, May 25 (6.45pm) - Ace Cup semi-final: Abbeyview v Randalstown Sky Blues (Chimney Corner).
Wednesday, May 26 - Leighinmohr Cup Final (Division Two Play Offs): Shore Wanderers v Clough Rangers (Ahoghill).
Thursday, May 27 (7pm) - Rainey Cup semi-finals: Abbeyview v FC Moylena; Carnlough Swifts v Ahoghill Rovers (Waveney 2).
Saturday, May 29 (10.15am) - Rainey Cup final: Abbeyview/FC Moylena v Carnlough Swifts/Ahoghill Rovers (Michelin).
Monday, May 31 (7pm) - Ace Cup final: Randalstown Sky Blues/Abbeyview v Harryville Homers/FC Moylena (Michelin/Chimney Corner).