Only four games survived the weather on Saturday in the Hutchinson Tiles Winter League but there was no shortage of goals as a result.
The big game of the day at Balnamore finished with the away side, Hillview, coming away with the points in a tough encounter.
Arnie Blair’s Dunaghy picked up an excellent three points away to Berthas as they came from two goals down to win by the odd goal in five.
Ballyrashane scored five as they took the points against Brook Street while The Taverners were the big scorers of the day as they hammered ten past a struggling Coleraine Olympic.
Managers should please not that Saturday’s round of fixtures may be subject to change to facilitate the two preliminary games in the Cup and Shield which were postponed on Saturday past.
Balnamore FC 0 Hillview FC 2
A brilliant team performance and two spectacular goals from Close saw Hillview pick up their second win of the year.
The Hillview winger was in fine form and dazzled in his finest performance of the season. His first strike came after a brilliant move culminating in a one-two with Frazer. Close coolly slotting the ball past the advancing keeper.
His second strike was a 25-yard wonder strike that would beat any keeper.
The Hillview team battled as a unit, especially the central half pairing of McVey and Sweeney, who worked well together and gave Balnamore front line very little. Man of the Match: Timmy Close (Hillview)
Berthas FC 2 Dunaghy Old Boys 3
Berthas took the game straight to Dunaghy creating three good chances in the first ten minutes.
They took the lead on 12 minutes when MacAulay tucked away a penalty. It was all Berthas and on 28 minutes Minihan made it two with a good strike from 12 yards.
Dunaghy got back into it on 31 minutes when Robinson rounded two players and tucked it away.
‘Robo’ got his second three minutes later from the penalty spot to leave the Old Boys level at half time.
Dunaghy upped their game and were in control when Fulton twisted and beat the keeper in the top corner with a cracker from 30 yards, a goal worthy of winning any game.
It remained tight with every ball fought for but the Old Boys saw it out for a very good three points. Man of the Match: Mark Blair and Gary Dunlop (Dunaghy Old Boys)
Ballyrashane FC 5 Brook Street 3
As always this game was always going to be interesting, Classed as a derby game and as it has always been a close encounter in the past, Ballyrashane knew what was needed of them and could not afford to fail in this game.
Ballyrashane got stuck in after the kick off and soon settled with the midfield of Hunter, Watt, Hemphill and McGrotty it wasn’t long before Hemphill pushed the ball through for McGrotty to get the cross in for striker McLelland to score a perfect header.
Brook Street pushed hard but were stopped due to the strong defence of Morrow, A Freeman, McIntyre and McCandless.
With five minutes gone D Freeman was fouled ten yards outside the box and he stepped up to strike the free kick which hit the post and beat the Brookstreet keeper.
Brook Street battled hard and were unlucky when they struck the crossbar midway through the first half and on a number of occassions keeping Doherty on his toes.
Ballyrashane then came back again pushing hard when Hemphill and Watt took control of the midfield linking up well with the wingers and it paid off when Watt slotted a nice pass through to McGrotty to score on 25 minutes to make it 3-0.
Brook Street went close again forcing Doherty to tip the ball round the post for the corner kick, But they failed to make anything from the corner kick as Ballyrashane cleared the danger.
This leaving another chance for Ballyrashane when Hemphill struck a low hard shot which was saved by the Brook Street keeper, Ballyrashane could have went further ahead when D Freeman broke through the defence only to put the ball just round the post.
The second half saw Brook Street throw everything at Ballyrashane, chance after chance and shot after shot, Brook Street looked as if they could make a come back when Lee McDonald beat Doherty.
Was this a case of deja vu. Ballyrashane then came back again with more hard work coming from the midfield helping Freeman get his second goal of the game when he finished it nicely to make it 4-1. Brook Street once again pushed hard and got there second goal but Ballyrashane clearly not happy as the were convinced that Brook street were offside but McDonald put the ball in the net. Ballyrashane had to make a change when Morrow was forced out with a knee injury being replaced by Buick.
But Ballyrashane went on the attack once again when Hemphill hit another stunning strike but found the side netting, Ballyrashane got there fifth goal when McLelland slotted home another fine header.
Brook Street’s Lee McDonald forced Doherty to pull off another save from a free kick which could of changed the game once again and with Brook Street having late chances they failed to make anything from them which must have been confussing for thier manager.
Nearing the end of the game Brook Street got thier third when Martin Smith got his first of the game to make it 5-3.
Andrew Keys then came on for McLelland but there was not enough time on the clock for the speedster to get a good run at the Brook Street defence. Man of the match: David Freeman (Ballyrashane)
The Taverners 10
Coleraine Olympic 1
The Taverners started the game in a very positive fashion and came close on a couple of occasions.
The deadlock was broken with a wonderful effort from Elder who finished in the top corner from 25 yards. Further goals from Baird, Doherty and a brace from Dunlop left Olympic wondering what had hit them.
The onslaught from Taverners was monotonous with the wind advantage in the first half, but Olympic didn’t give up and came back with a few opportunities of their own and some good chances went begging.
A great move from Taverners was sweetly finished by McMullan and a further goal from Doherty made it 7-0 to Taverners at half time. With the wind in their backs the visitors were hoping to restore a bit of pride and started the second half a bit more positively. They pushed hard but found a Taverners back line in fine form and proving hard to break down.
The pressure resulted in a free kick which was well despatched by Sweeney to get Olympic off the mark. This only resulted in spurring on the home side and a brace from O’Boyle put them back in control.
Doherty in search of his hat-trick was left frustrated by the post and a missed header from close! A further goal from Thompson made it 10-1 to the Taverners and the visitors leaving deflated. Man of the Match: Stephen Elder (The Taverners)
Fixtures Saturday 11 February
Coleraine Olympic v West Bann Athletic Rugby Avenue 2
Dunaghy Old Boy’s v Brook Street Dunaghy
FC Macosquin v Bertha’s FC Rugby Avenue 3
Glebe Rangers Old Boys v Mountview FC Riada 2
Hazelbank v Taverners FC Rugby Avenue 1
Hillview FC v Somerset Crescent 3
Macosquin Village v Balnamore FC Ballysally 2
Villagers FC v Finn McCool’s Castlerock