Harryville Homers claimed a fifth successive O’Kane Cup triumph with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Clough Rangers on Saturday.
Full-back Ryan Stewart’s free kick in the first period of extra time settled the County Antrim Post-sponsored final, played in front of a bumper crwd at Broughshane.
In the blustery conditions both sides struggled to settle in the early part of the game with chances at a premium at either end as the game was confined to a midfield battle.
The best chance of the half came to Clough with only a few minutes on the Clough when Jordan Leighton got clear but dragged his shot wide of the post as the half finished goalless.
The second half saw Homers more on the front foot and they came close to breaking the deadlock early in the half with David Nicholl dragging a shot just wide and the Paul McNeill going close as, like the first abandoned meeting of the sides, the game finished scorless after 90 minutes.
The first goal in extra time was always going to be crucial and three minutes into the first period Homers struck.
Jasin Magill was pulled down 25 yards from goal and a free kick was awarded. Ryan Stewart stepped up and curled the ball round the ball into the bottom corner just beyond the reach of Ally McIlroy to give his side the lead.
Clough looked to have got a goal in the second period when the ball looped towards the goal off a Homers defender by Ryan Martin magnificently tipped the ball away and in doing so ensured his side hung on to win the O’Kane Cup.
After the final whistle Jason Connolly of The Co Antrim Post handed the O’Kane Cup over to Harryville Homers Captain Gary Bonnes and injured player David McWhirter and the celebrations began.
Clough Rangers: Ally McIlroy, Jonathan McCloy, David Gage, Jonathan Rice, Steven Gage, Colin Byers, Kyle McRoberts (sub Aaron Foster), Richard Gregg (sub Adam Whitehurst) , Richard Dunlop, Jordan Leighton (sub David Houston) , Adrian McDonald.
Harryville Homers: Ryan Martin, Ricky Nicholl, Richard Forsythe (sub Jason Ritchie), Ian Russell, Ryan Stewart, Jason Logan, Gary Baird, Mark McKay (sub Jason McKay), David Nicholl, Paul McNeill, Gary Bonnes (sub Jasin Magill).
* Homers have thanking the BSML committee for endorsing the suggestion to allow the to collect a voluntary donation at the gate in aid of David McWhirter. A total of £362 was collected on the day.
FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION ONE
Carniny Rangers 1, Ahoghill Thistle 3: It took only six minutes for Thistle to get the breakthrough when Captain Jason Stewart hit a thunderbolt from 25 yards into the top corner of the net giving Colin McCaughern no chance.
Seven minutes later Thistle made it 2-0 when David Tennant released Matt Boyd who turned his marker before firing home from the edge of the box.
Carniny came out firing in the second half but Thistle were always dangerous on the break and on one of these breaks they struck a third goal.
Danny Brown slipped in Paul Aiken who showed great footwork to control and slot the ball home from just inside the box.
With five minutes to go Carniny gave themselves a lifeline when Dean Magill chipped the ball over Sean Ward after a through ball from Ryan Bamber, but it wasn’t enough to salvage anything from the game.
RAINEY CUP, ROUND THREE
All Saints OB 1, Ballykeel 0: The breakthrough came on 21 minutes when Gavin Burnside flicked the ball into the path of Philip Lynn he raced through and brilliantly picked out Ryan Wilkinson at the back post to head home and give his side the lead.
Midway through the second half Philip Lynn raced clear only to be pulled down by Ballykeel keeper Steven Watson.
Stephen Sexton stepped up to hit the spot kick but Watson dived to save and also reacted well to save the rebound from Ryan Wilkinson.
In the dying minutes Saints were awarded another spot kick when Gavin Burnside was fouled, but again Ballykeel keeper Watson did brilliantly to save the spot kick.
FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION TWO
Newpark Olympic 1, Seven Towers 0: This narrow victory coupled with their 3-2 victory over Ahoghill Rovers means that Newpark are now promoted to Division One and are one win away from clinching the Division Two title.
The breakthrough came 16 minutes into the second half when a corner kick from Newpark wasn’t cleared.
Mark Gowdy knocked the ball back into the box and the ball fell to Steven Brown to score from close range.
firmus energy Division One: FC Penarol 0, Harryville Homers 9; Ahoghill Thistle 10, Connor FC 1; FC Antrim 2, Raceview 3
firmus energy Division Two: Glenravel 4, Cullybackey Olympic 0; Lisnafillan Swifts 4, Ahoghill Rovers 4; Riverdale 4, Waveney Swifts 1; Newpark Olympic 3, Ahoghill Rovers 2; St Comgalls 1, Glenravel 6
firmus energy Division Three: Sporting Ballymoney 4, Atletico Antrim 0; Wakehurst Star 0, Steadfast 2
Rainey Cup, round three: Templepatrick 1, Riverdale 5; Cloughmills 4, Cushendall 1; Connor FC 3, Holywell 2
George McAuley Cup Quarter Final: Seven Towers 3, Lisnafillan Swifts 1
CGRSC Sammy Moore Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg: Randalstown 3, Rectory Rovers 1 (Randalstown win 7-3 on aggregate)
Tuesday, April 14 (6.45pm) - firmus energy Division One: Ahoghill Thistle v FC Penarol (Ahoghill); All Saints OB v Abbeyview (Showgrounds 5); Clough Rangers v Connor FC (Clough); Harryville Homers v FC Moylena (Wakehurst 2); Raceview v Michelin (Broughshane).
Wednesday, April 15 (6.45pm) - firmus energy Division Two: Ahoghill Rovers v Seven Towers (Ahoghill); Braid United v Riverdale (Broughshane); Cloughmills v Cullybackey Olympic; Galgorm Blues v Holywell (Galgorm); Lisnafillan Swifts v Glenravel; Newpark Olympic v Waveney Swifts.
firmus energy Division Three: Sporting Ballymoney v Randalstown; Rectory Rovers v Woodside (Waveney 1).
Thursday, April 16 (6.45pm) - firmus energy Division One: Ballykeel v Harryville Homers (Ballykeel).
Saturday, April 18 (10.15am) - Ace Cup semi-final: All Saints OB v Harryville Homers (Ahoghill).
Ace Cup Quarter Final: Clough Rangers v Ahoghill Thistle (Clough).
Rainey Cup 3rd Round: Raceview v Carniny Rangers (Broughshane).
George McAuley Cup Semi Final: Ahoghill Rovers v Glenravel (Wakehurst 1); Newpark Olympic v Seven Towers (Wakehurst 2).
firmus energy Division One: FC Antrim v Connor FC (Forum.
firmus energy Division Two: Cloughmills v Carnlough Swifts; Galgorm Blues v Riverdale (Galgorm); St Comgalls v Cullybackey Olympic.
firmus energy Division Three: Atletico Antrim v Randalstown (Forum); Sporting Ballymoney v Steadfast; Wakehurst Star v Rectory Rovers (Dunfane 1); Woodside v Templepatrick (Wakehurst 6).