Harryville Homers’ quest for a sixth consecutive County Antrim Post O’Kane Cup success remains intact after they reached yet another final.
David Nicholl’s goal midway through the first half settled a fiery contest at Broughshane.
In the heavy conditions Saints started the better with Gordon Dillon forcing a save from Homers keeper Ryan Martin early on with a shot from 20 yards out.
Saints then created two great chances the first when Aidan O’Kane played a quick free kick to Philip Lynn on the right and his dangerous cross was well cleared by Ian Russell, and then Peter McReynolds rose above the Homers defence to head a Gordon Dillon cross goal ward, but Ryan Martin was equal to it saving low in the corner.
Midway through the half the deadlock was broke. Ricky Nicholl floated a free kick from the right into Saints box which was met by the head of Alan Rainey, but his header was brilliantly kept out by Brian Martin only for David Nicholl to follow up and score from close range.
This goal knocked Saints as Homers started to get on top with Richard Reid going close to double their lead as he hit the side netting, but it was Saints who finished the half in the ascendency with Alan Telford forcing a save from Ryan Martin with a free kick from 25 yards out.
On 65 minutes the game burst into life when an altercation involving players from both sides ended up with both sides being reduced to 10 men.
Jasin Magill should have doubled Homers lead soon after this when he pounced on a poor clearance from Saints but he fired into the arms of Brian Martin.
Alan Telford fired over a free kick as Saints pushed for the equaliser, before Peter McReynolds headed wide from close range after a great cross from Alan Telford. Towards the end with Saints pushing hard for the equaliser Homers almost sealed the win on the break, with Ricky Nicholl almost finding the top corner with a free kick but Brian Martin tipped it over before Barry Hamill reacted well to clear a Jason Stevenson corner which looked like it was going straight in.
FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION ONE
Ahoghill Thistle 7, Riverdale 1: Thistle kept up their 100% start to the league campaign with this comprehensive win over Riverdale.
It was all one way traffic from the start and the breakthrough came soon after this when Daniel Brown rose highest to head home a George Courtney corner kick.
It was 2-0 soon after when Matt Boyd fired home a spot kick after Mervyn Crawford had been fouled. The goals kept coming as Paul Aiken volleyed home number three from a Daniel Brown cushioned header. Just before half time David Drummond made it 4-0 when he headed home a long ball from Ryan Curry.
Riverdale got a goal back just after the break when Clarke Lennox volleyed home a Fred Lamont cross, but Thistle soon got back on the goal trail with Matt Boyd headed home his second of the game from an Alan Moore cross.
Alan Moore then made it 6-1 as he fired in a long range drive. Matt Boyd almost completed his hat trick on two occasions with free kicks but the post denied him first and then a great save from Gregg Knowles kept out his second attempt.
Thistle completed the scoring when Daniel Brown controlled a corner kick from Alan Moore before brilliantly finding the net with an overhead kick to seal the win.
FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION TWO
FC Penarol 2, Ahoghill Rovers 3: A penalty kick from Phil Aiken in the final minute saw Rovers snatch all three points to keep up their promotion bid.
Penarol started brightly without creating any clear cut chances, until they took the lead on the half hour mark. Kenny Wright collected the ball on the edge of the box wriggled free and planted the ball in the corner of the net from the edge of the box.
The equaliser did come soon after this for Rovers. David Chesney and Ryan Cameron combined well down the left resulting in the latter crossing for Alan Jones to fire home.
Against the run of play Penarol regained the lead at the start of the second half. Rovers failed to deal with a ball into their box and the ball fell to Darren Fletcher 18 yards out and he fired into the corner of the net.
This shook Rovers into life and they got just rewards for their pressure on 70 minutes when Lee Megaw met a Ryan Cameron corner to head home and make it 2-2.
Just as the game looked to be finishing in a draw Rovers were awarded a penalty when substitute John McKeown was fouled in the box. Phil Aiken coolly slotted past John Cunningham from the spot to snatch the victory for Rovers and keep them in the promotion hunt.
FIRMUS ENERGY DIVISION THREE
Atletico Antrim 2, Braid United 0: Atletico remain top of division 3 after a strong performance over Braid which saw then run out 2-0 winners
The opener came on 25 minutes when Chris Wilgaus pick up the ball on the right before finding the feet of Adam Murdock wose elegant pass split the Braid defence and allowed Andy Campbell to run onto it and slip it past the oncoming keeper from 18 yards. Chris Wilgaus could have made it 2-0 within minutes after knocking the ball by the Braid centre half but with only the keeper to beat, put it narrowly past the post.
Atletico’s second came 10 minutes into the second half after they forced a corner. It was cleared to the edge of the box where centre half Gareth Cromie rifled home through a crowded box.
The BSML meeting is now on Tuesday 1st December at 8pm in the Des Allen Suite at the Showgrounds. All teams must be represented.
firmus energy Division One: FC Moylena 1, Clough Rangers 1; Glenravel 3, Raceview 4.
firmus energy Division Two: Cloughmills 8, Galgorm Blues 2; Sporting Ballymoney 1, Randalstown 0; Woodside 2, Waveney Swifts 7.
firmus energy Division Three: Ruby’s Rovers 6, Wakehurst Star 1; Steadfast 0, Carniny Amateurs & Youths 4; Southside Rangers 0, St Comgalls 3.
Saturday, November 28 - IFA Junior Cup, round three (1.30pm): Donaghamore v Harryville Homers; Ahoghill Thistle v Beann Mhadaghan (Ahoghill); Carniny Rangers v Shamrock (Wakehurst 1).
firmus energy Division One (10.15am): All Saints OB v FC Moylena (Showgrounds 5); Clough Rangers v Riverdale (Clough); Newpark Olympic v Glenravel; Abbeyview v Raceview (Forum).
firmus energy Division Two: Cloughmills v Ahoghill Rovers; Holywell v Cushendall (Forum); Michelin v Carnlough Swifts; Randalstown v Waveney Swifts; Sporting Ballymoney v FC Penarol; Woodside v Seven Towers (Wakehurst 2).
Clough Glasgow Rangers Supporters’ Club, first round, first leg: Braid United v Wakehurst Star (Broughshane); Ruby’s Rovers v Cullybackey Olympic; Carniny Amateurs & Youths v Atletico Antrim (Showgrounds 7).
firmus energy Division Three: Steadfast v Southside Rangers (Galgorm); Templepatrick v St Comgalls (Forum).