SML round-up: Darren hits hat-trick as Connor progress in Junior Cup

Connor FC and Ahoghill Thistle ensured there will be a five-strong firmus energy Ballymena Saturday Morning League presence in the next round of the country’s flagship junior tournament.

After victories last week for CLough Rangers, Raceview and holders Harryville Homers, they wee joined in the second round of the Coca-Cola IFA Junior Cup at the weekend by Connor and Thistle.

Carniny Rangers and Clough Rangers battle for possession during Saturday's Top Four semi-final at Ahoghill.

Carniny Rangers and Clough Rangers battle for possession during Saturday's Top Four semi-final at Ahoghill.

This week sees a clutch of teams from the local league in COunty Antrim Junior Shield action.


Shorts II 1, Connor FC 4: Connor travelled to east Belfast to face Shorts II and came away victorious thanks mainly to a hat trick from Darren Trainor.

It took Connor 15 minutes to settle in the game as they worked their way into the game and then on 25 minutes they opened the scoring.

Trevor McAleese played the ball down the right to Darren Trainor who played in Gavin Kernohan who unselfishly laid into the path of Jamie White to score from 18 yards out.

Connor were well on top and doubled their lead five minutes before the break when Gavin Kernohan swung over a corner kick from the left which was flicked on by Jamie White for Darren Trainor to head home at the back post.

Shorts came out with all guns blazing in the second half but were unable to break down a resolute Connor defence and it was the visitors who got the third goal. Trevor McAleese started the move when he played the ball down the right to Jamie White who fired the ball across goal for Trainor to volley home at the back post.

The home side pulled a goal back on 80 minutes when they punished a mix up in the Connor defence, but Connor had the final say with the best goal of the match. A three man move started by Ross Wilson who found Darren Trainor he picked out Jamie White who played the ball into the box for the in rushing Trainor to fire home and seal his hat trick.

Iveagh United II 0, Ahoghill Thistle 2: Thistle travelled to Twinbrook and despite a sluggish performance they managed to continue their good run of form to make it into the next round.

Inside the opening six minutes Thistle could have had three goals with Matt Boyd hitting the post and then the home keeper pulled off two great saves from Paul Aiken and Ryan Sands.

Ten minutes into the second half Thistle got the breakthrough when a corner kick from George Courtney was volleyed home from a tight angle at the back post by Daniel Boyd.

Thistle got the all important second goal 14 minutes from time when Ryan Sands played a one two with George Courtney before racing clear and slotting the ball low past the home keeper.

In the only other Cup game involving a BSML Team Riverdale were beaten 3-1 away to Armagh Celtic


Clough Rangers 1, Carniny Rangers 3: Two second half goals from Richard Reid sent Carniny into the Top Four Final were they will face Ahoghill Thistle.

Carniny attacked from the off and their pressure paid off after eight minutes when Darren Kidd made space on the right before sending over a deep cross for Jonathan Spence who cut inside his man and fired into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

Carniny should have doubled their lead when Frazer Young played in Darren Kidd but his shot rocketed off the bar.

Clough responded and on 20 minutes the game was all square. Alan Norton broke from defence laid the ball into the path of Richard Gregg who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from all of 25 yards out.

The second half started the way the first started with Carniny, now with the wind at their backs, going on the front foot. Ryan Balmer had an effort hit the post with Colin McCaughern well beaten after he combined well with Jonathan Spence.

Carniny then forced a series of corner kicks and from one of these they regained the lead on the hour mark. Frazer Young swung the ball over to the back post for Leslie McCaughern to head the ball back across goal for Richard Reid to head home and make it 2-1.

Then with 15 minutes to go Carniny opened up a two goal advantage when Frazer Young took a free kick on the half way line and his free kick found Richard Reid who headed into the corner of the net from 10 yards out.


Holders Harryville Homers set up a third round tie with rivals Carniny Rangers thanks to a 13-0 victory over Third Division Steadfast with Alan Rainey and Jasin Magill both hitting hat tricks and Darren Campbell scoring four.

In the third round ties, second division Ahoghill Rovers made it into the Quarter Finals as they shocked top flight FC Antrim.

In the other tie Steven O’Neill was the hero scoring the winning penalty as Seven Towers knocked out FC Moylena 7-6 on penalties after the game finished 2-2, in another shock result.

Quarter Final draw: All Saints OB/Cullybackey Olympic v Seven Towers; Clough Rangers/Holywell v Connor FC/Lisnafillan Swifts; Braid United v Ahoghill Rovers; Carniny Rangers/Harryville Homers v Glenravel.


All Saints OB 4, Ballykeel 0: After back-to-back league defeats, Saints took the lead on 26 minutes when Colin Laffan split the Ballykeel defence for Peter McReynolds to race clear and fire past Stephen Watson in the Keel goal.

Nine minutes later Saints made it 2-0 when a long ball from Brian Martin was flicked on by Peter McReynolds for Gavin Burnside who lobbed Stephen Watson to give his side a two goal cushion.

Three minutes into the second half Saints made it 3-0 when David Fusco played a ball inside the Ballykeel full back for Philip Lynn to race onto and smash the ball under Watson.

With two minutes to go Saints got the fourth goal when Aaron Keenan broke clear and found the corner of the net to round off a good team performance from Saints.


firmus energy Division One: Michelin 2, FC Penarol 1.

firmus energy Division Two: Glenravel 5, Waveney Swifts 3; Holywell 2, Carnough Swifts 1; Newpark Olympic 2, Lisnafillan Swifts 0; St Comgalls 0, Galgorm Blues 2.

firmus energy Division Three: Atletico Antrim 3, Wakehurst Star 0; Templepatrick 2, Sporting Ballymoney 3; Rectory Rovers 1, Woodside 2.


Saturday, September 27 - Toals Co Antrim Junior Shield Round 1a (1.30pm): Killough v Randalstown FC; Kashmir Bilbao v Sporting Ballymoney; Ahoghill Rovers v Kircubbin FC; Lisnafillan Swifts v Woodvale FC II; Greenwell Star v FC Moylena; Waveney Swifts v Downshire YM II (Waveney 2); Bangor Swifts II v Holywell; Clough Rangers v Brentwood FC (Clough); Templepatrick v Newpark Olympic (Forum); Donard Hospital II v St Comgalls FC; Carniny Rangers v Malachians II (Wakehurst 6); Cloughmills v Grove United II; Atletico Antrim v Shorts FC II (Forum); Dunmurry Rec II v Ballykeel.

firmus energy Division One (10.15am): Connor v FC Penarol; Harryville Homers v Abbeyview (Wakehurst 2); Michelin v Ahoghill Thistle; Raceview v FC Antrim (Broughshane).

firmus energy Division Two: Carnlough Swifts v Braid United; Cullybackey Olympic v Galgorm Blues (Tober Park); Glenravel v Seven Towers (Dunfane 1).

firmus energy Division Three: Woodside v Steadfast (Wakehurst 4); Cushendall v Wakehurst Star.