Rovers clinch dramatic Junior Division One title

Antrim Rovers receive the Ballymena & Provincial Junior Division One title from league assistant secretary Jane McIlrath.
Antrim Rovers receive the Ballymena & Provincial Junior Division One title from league assistant secretary Jane McIlrath.

Antrim Rovers are the new champions of Junior Division One of the Ballymena & Provincial League after a dramatic finale to the campaign.

The Forum side beat nearest challengers Ballyclare Comrades Reserves 1-0 in their winner-takes-all showdown at the weekend.

Wakehurst Strollers also finished their campaign on a high note, beating Ballyclare North End 8-2 at the Showgrounds to secure a fourth-place finish in Junior Division Two.


Results: Brantwood 5, Magherafelt Sky Blues 0; Dunloy 1, Desertmartin 0.


Final: Ballynure Old Boys 3, Newtowne 2.


Ballyclare Comrades Reserves 0, Antrim Rovers 1: This game was a decider for the league Title with the Comrades going for a hat-trick of wins if they won while Antrim knew a draw was sufficient for them to take the title for the first time.

In the first-half a super save midway through the half from the Antrim Keeper Noel Rock denied Ballyclare from taking a goal lead into the second half.

The second half saw both teams do their best to get the ball on the ground then on the 75th minute an own goal conceded by Ballyclare saw the Rovers in front a lead they held until the final whistle.

At the end of the game the League Assistant Secretary Jane McIlrath presented the Runners-up Trophy to the Comrades Captain Christopher McIlwaine and Winners Trophy to Johnny Rogers and his father Keith.

Other results: Carnmoney FC 0, FC Whiteabbey 3; Desertmartin Swifts 1, Magherafelt Sky Blues Reserves 0.


Wakehurst Strollers 8, Ballyclare North End 2: Wakehurst took the lead after John Alexander scored then saw Gary Black equalise for North End.

As half-time was approaching John Alexander scored his second goal in the game then completed his hat-trick early in the second half.

Nathan Robinson scored to cut the deficit for North end then goals scored by Paul Gilchrist (2), Kyle Jackson, and John Alexander to bring his tally to four in the game and Peter Adams completed the scoring.

Other results: Newington YC II 6, Clough Rangers Athletic 0; Moyola Park Olympic 3, Ballynure Old Boys ‘B’ 1; Sport & Leisure Swifts Reserves 2, Remo FC 1.


Wednesday, April 22 - Junior Division Two: Clough Rangers Athletic v Brantwood Reserves.

Saturday, April 25 - Intermediate League: Chimney Corner v Desertmartin.

Junior Division Two: Sport & Leisure Swifts Reserves v Clough Rangers Athletic.