6 °CMon, 10

Ballymena Saturday Morning League

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

Zala Sports Cup Semi Final

All Saints OB ..............................5

Abbeyview................................ 3

ALL Saints Old Boys came from behind twice to make it into the final following this eight goal thriller.

Abbeyview took the lead against the run of play on six minutes when a ball into the Saints box from Ian Brownlee caused a mix up and a Saints player put the ball into his own net.

Saints who had been on the ascendancy before the goal went in search of the equaliser immediately and it came on 18 minutes when Liam Cassley slipped in Ryan Wilkinson and he no mistake firing into the corner of the net.

Nine minutes later Abbeyview regained the lead when Alan Cochrane volleyed home from 18 yards out after his free kick had came back off the wall.

The game flowed from end to end in real cup tie fashion after this goal.

But Saints started to get the upper hand and 10 minutes before the break they got level for a second time when Liam Cassley held the ball in well before rolling to Alan Telford who whipped the ball home from 18 yards out.

Saints were to go in at the break in front as they took the lead for the first time with a magnificently worked goal. Alan Telford played the ball into Ryan Wilkinson who showed great feet to beat his man and laid back to Telford who with a brilliant flick found Wilkinson again and he fired past the View keeper to send his side in 3-2 up at the break.

The goal before the break settled Saints as they controlled the game after the break with Liam Cassley and Ryan Wilkinson causing the View defence all sorts of problems without getting the goal.

Twenty five minutes from time Saints opened up a two goal lead when Alan Telford found Liam Cassley in the box and he unselfishly laid to ball to Philip Lynn to drill home making it 4-2.

View hit back six minutes later when Alan Cochrane converted from the spot after Ian Brownlee had been fouled to set up a tense closing stage.

Saints defended brilliantly after this though with Chris Wilkinson and Niall Swann immense to keep View out. In the closing minutes Saints killed the tie and sealed passage to the final when a shot from Philip Lynn was turned home by Liam Cassley to complete the scoring and set up a final tie with holders Ahoghill Thistle on Boxing Day.

firmus energy BSML Division One

Ahoghill Thistle.......................... 1

Southside Rangers ....................3

Southside Rangers travelled to Ahoghill looking to extend their impressive recent form but knew that the task ahead would be a difficult one.

In the opening exchanges it was the home side that looked the most likely to open the scoring.

Kyle Rowe in the Rangers goal was called into action but capably dealt with any threat from the home side.

The home side as expected dominated early possession but were unable to break the resistance of the Rangers backline with Bradley Cairns and Lee McCallion outstanding for the visitors. 

Thistle went close with an effort from distance which rattled the woodwork while at the other end Corey McDowell was played in on goal by a sublime pass from Lorenzo Dawkins only to watch his effort go narrowly wide.

 While under intense pressure it was the visitors who eventually did break the deadlock on the 38th minute. 

In a counter attack the ball broke to Lorenzo Dawkins just inside the Thistle penalty area and he hammered home the opening goal giving SeanWard in the Thistle net no chance. 0-1.

In less than 2 minutes the score was level again when an Alan Moore effort took a wicked deflection and looped over the head of the helpless Kyle Rowe making the game all square again at 1-1 on 40 minutes.

But there was still time for more drama before the half time interval when Corey McDowell fired the visitors ahead again on 42 minutes.

He reacted quickest to a loose ball inside the box to make it 1-2 going into the second half.

The home side knew they had a game on their hands and continued to press forward looking for the vital equalising goal. 

Southside Rangers stuck to the task and continued to frustrate the home side with some text book defending and showing just why they are unbeaten in their last 5 games. 

Dean Graham in the heart of the Rangers midfield alongside Jake Carson and Ryan Cameron worked tirelessly for the cause in breaking up the attacks of the home side. 

Dylan Graham Rangers Captain coming back from injury was introduced with 20 minutes remaining along with the 16 year old Thomas McAuley to give the visitors the final push to secure the vital 3 points.

Within minutes of the changes again the home side threatened but were denied by two outstanding saves from Kyle Rowe in the Rangers goal.

 At the other end Lorenzo Dawkins was played straight through on goal by a pass from Jake Carson only to be pulled back by Gavin Kernohan for Thistle who was dismissed from the field of play leaving the home side to play the final 10 minutes with only 10 men.

The extra man allowed Rangers to exploit the space and deep into injury time on the 95th minute it was that man Lorenzo Dawkins who raced through on goal before launching an audacious lob over the advancing home keeper to seal the 1-3 win and send the travelling supporters into ecstasy.

Another crucial win for Southside as they continue their impressive run of form.

Michelin ....................................2

Harryville Homers .....................5

Homers off the back of two defeats in a row came out like a wounded animal and raced into a four goal lead inside 25 minutes.

The first goal came on six minutes when Paul McNeill drilled home from close range.

Ten minutes later they doubled their lead when McNeill fired into the top corner after good link up play from Robbie Sutherland.

McNeill completed his hat trick when he slotted home linking up once again by Robbie Sutherland.

Sutherland got on the scoresheet himself when he made it 4-0 on 25 minutes converting an Andrew Simms cross.

Michelin got a goal back six minutes later when Jordan Lemon drilled home a low shot and they then came close to making it 4-2 when Mark Murchan rattled the cross bar.

McNeill went close to adding more goals for Homers but the half finished with Homers holding a 4-1 lead.

Two minutes into the second half Michelin got themselves right back in the game when Jordan Lemon volleyed home his second after a great chest lay off from David Leetch to cut the deficit to two.

This hope was short lived though as the Homers front two combined to make it 5-2 soon after with Robbie Sutherland firing home a McNeill cross.

There was chances galore at both ends after this as both sides could have added more goals but the early four goal blitz was enough to get Homers back to winning ways.

Carniny Rangers .......................0

Clough Rangers ........................2

Clough came out on top in this game at Wakehurst on Saturday morning though the fact that only two goals were scored was testament to some excellent saves from both Colin McCaughern in goal for Clough and Carniny keeper Macauley Cairns. 

McCaughern was the busier of the two in the first half and had to make a couple of smart saves from Neil Weir as Carniny made inroads down both flanks with Jack Dawson and Alan Fullerton providing the width. 

Clough opened the scoring before half time when impressive full back Cameron Waring went into a challenge inside the Carniny half and the ball sailed through the air and dropped into the net to give his team a half time lead. 

The second half provided more chances at both ends with Carniny coming close to an equaliser on a number of occasions.

Bailie Young executed a clever turn and shot from the edge of the box but McCaughern made a superb diving save to his left to deny the young striker. 

Ryan Logan and Chrissy Clail were in superb form at the back for Carniny and some excellent defending kept goalscoring opportunities to a minimum. 

Clough rung the changes and Jordan Leighton and Johnny Cameron were introduced up front. Leighton found space immediately on Carniny's left side but after breaking clear of the last defender his shot was well saved by the advancing Macauley Cairns. The Carniny man also denied a headed effort from eight yards from the same man. 

Leighton was instrumental in the clinching goal as he worked the ball to Kyle McRoberts who smartly steered the ball out of Cairns reach into the far corner of the net to seal his team's victory.

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