The tie between Ahoghill Thistle and All Saints saw two top First Division teams fight it out in the first round and it took a Ryan Wilkinson strike in extra time to decide the game.
The opening stages of the game was a great midfield battle with Daniel Boyd and Ryan Sands having a great battle with Donald Crawford and Ciaran Lemon.
The opening goal came on 19 minutes when a drive from Donald Crawford was fumbled into the net by Thistle keeper Stewart McDonald. wThistle came more into the game after this and were denied an equaliser when Brian Martin saved at the feet of David Tenant. The equaliser came soon after this when Matt Boyd turned on the edge of the box and drove the ball into the bottom corner. Matt Boyd almost gave his side the lead just before half time but his shot was tipped over by Brian Martin as the half finished level.
Six minutes into the second half Saints regained the lead, when a short corner eventually swung in by Ciaran Lemon and Steven McAvoy bundled the ball home at the back post. Emmet Kerr and Gavin Burnside both had half chances to add to Saints lead but good defending by Thistle snuffed them out. As the half wore on Thistle got back into the game and with 17 minutes to go they drew level again when a cross from David Drummond found David Tennant unmarked he headed across goal for George Courtney who cushioned the ball into Ryan Sands to head home. Thistle pushed for a winner but couldn’t get in front with Matt Boyd going close but the game finished level and went into extra time.
Thistle had a great opportunity to take the lead early in extra time but Matt Boyd headed wide when well placed.
Four minutes into the second period of extra time Saints took the lead for the third time. Brian Watt threw the ball to Philip Lynn whose flick found Ryan Wilkinson who volleyed the ball over Stewart McDonald to make it 3-2. After this Thistle threw everything at Saints but to no avail as Saints held strong to set up a second round tie with Riverdale.
Harryville Homers 2 Raceview 1
Holders Homers kicked off their defence of the O’Kane Cup with this victory over a spirited Raceview side who made them work the whole way for their victory.
The first half of this game was confined mainly to a midfield battle with both sides struggling to get a grip on the game. Homers started to get control of the game as the half wore on and David McWhirter was denied a goal on his debut on two occasions when Raceview keeper Lee McGavock saved from him to keep the score level at the break.
The second half was a more open game with Homers taking the game to Raceview and created loads of chances with David McWhirter, Alan Rainey and Paul McNeill all guilty of missing when well placed. At the other end Homers had keeper Ryan Martin to thank for keeping the game scoreless as he did well to save from Andrew Duncan. Homers then introduced captain Gary Bonnes with 20 minutes to go and he went close before he broke the deadlock on 85 minutes. Ryan Stewart swung over an inch perfect cross to the back post where Gary Bonnes was unmarked and headed home from eight yards out. Two minutes later Raceview equalised when Andrew Duncan cut in from the left and his deflected shot beat Ryan Martin in the Homers goal. Just as the game looked to be going into extra time Homers struck the winner. A corner kick was only half cleared to Ryan Stewart whose cross come shot floated over everyone and into the top corner of the net to send Homers into the next round were they face an away tie against Steadfast.
Co Antrim Post O’Kane Cup 2nd Round
Holywell 3 Michelin 1
Two goals from Paul McCallin helped Division Two Holywell dump Michelin out of the O’Kane Cup.
Holywell got off to a perfect start when they took the lead after only three minutes. Neil Stevenson split the Michelin defence for Paul McCallin who rounded the Michelin keeper and fired into the empty net. The home side were in control of the game now and on the half hour mark they made their dominance count when Paul McCallin this time played in strike partner Neil Stevenson who coolly fired home. Michelin applied a bit of pressure late on in the first half but both Michael McGroggan and Craig Larkin spurned good chances when well placed.
Michelin got off to a flyer in the second half when they got a goal back 10 minutes in. Michael McGroggan broke down the left and squared the ball for Paul O’Neill who scored with a deft touch under Seamus Melly in the Holywell goal. Paul O’Neill almost made it 2-2 minutes later but his effort crashed off the bar. Holywell soon regained control of the game and hit the woodwork on two occasions the first coming when William Brown crashed a shot off the post and then Nathan Irvine fired an effort against the bar with the goal at his mercy. Paul McCallin was then guilty of missing chances for Holywell but he made up for these missed chances with nine minutes to go when he got on the end of a Nathan Irvine ball to score and make it 3-1. Michelin to their credit applied some pressure late on but never threatened Seamus Melly in the Holywell goal as they hung on for a great victory to put them in the hat for the third round.
firmus energy BSML
Raceview 1 All Saints OB 3
Saints picked up their first win of the season thanks to this hard fought victory over newly promoted Raceview who showed they will more than hold their own in Division One.
Raceview should have taken the lead after only three minutes in this game when a cross from Jamie Craig found Rab Ritchie at the back post but he fired over. Saints got on top after this and took the lead on nine minutes when a shot from Gavin Burnside was parried and Donald Crawford was on hand to fire home from close range. After this Saints controlled the game with front two Gavin Burnside and Stephen Sexton causing problems and these two played a part in Saints second goal on 25 minutes. Gavin Burnside laid the ball off to Stephen Sexton whose shot was saved but fell to Brian Watt who hammered the ball home from 18 yards out. Raceview got a goal back 12 minutes before the break when an Ian Millar corner kick caused havoc and Matthew Redmond was on hand to score and make the score 2-1 at half time.
Saints got the perfect start to the second half when they made it 3-1 three minutes into the half. Barry Hamill drove down the left and pulled the ball back for Gavin Burnside whose shot was saved by Lee McGavock but fell to Stephen Sexton who followed up to score. It was one way traffic after this as Saints controlled the game after this but failed to add to their score as Raceview keeper Lee McGavock saved from Gavin Burnside. Anything Raceview threw at Saints the Saints defence in which Andy Bird and Steven McAvoy excelled dealt with. Towards the end of the game Saints looked dangerous on the break but poor decision making in the final third let them down as they failed to get more goals, but had down enough to win all three points.
firmus energy BSML
Glenravel 2 Riverdale 1
Glenravel made it two wins out of two in Division Two thanks to a second half comeback which seen them take all three points against Riverdale.
Both teams cancelled each other out in the opening exchanges with defences on top, Robert Crawford starring for Riverdale and Rory Kinney marshalling his defence well for Glenravel. The opening goal of the game came on 25 minutes when Riverdale were awarded a penalty. Sloppy play by Glenravel led to Robert Crawford being fouled in the box and a spot kick was awarded. Colin Moore made no mistake to fire past Johnny Reid for his fourth goal in two games. Glenravel should have got back into the game before the break but both Cormac Gordon and Deccy Higgins wasted chances as Glenravel went in 1-0 down at the break.
Colin Moore almost made it 2-0 for Riverdale shortly after the break when he hit a free kick narrowly over the bar from 25 yards out. Glenravel then made a few changes in personnel and system after this and they took control of the game with substitute Gordon Dillon prominent and this paid off on the hour mark when they drew level.
Darren Burgoyne and Rory Kinney combined to set Cormac Gordon free down the right and he pulled the ball back for Diarmuid McNally who curled the ball into the top corner from 18 yards out.
Ten minutes later Glenravel took the lead when Deccy Higgins found the net with a cross come shot which deceived everyone. Riverdale threw everything at but Glenravel defended well with Rory Kinney doing well to curtail the threat of Colin Moore who on the one time he got in behind was denied by Johnny Reid in the Glenravel goal.
In the dying minutes the ever dangerous Colin Moore smashed a free kick against the bar and with this chance went Riverdale’s chance of getting anything from the game as Glenravel hung on to claim all three point.