It was Coleraine FC Social Club Knockout Shield first round day at the weekend with four ties contested.
Holders West Bann Athletic fell at the first hurdle as they were defeated by Ballyrashane by the odd goal in five. Millburn FC squeezed past Balnamore on penalties after a good contest in Balnamore while Glebe Rangers Old Boys saw off North Coast United.
In the other tie played The Villagers progressed beating Hazelbank. The Berthas FC v Dunaghy Old Boys tie will now be played on Saturday 1st October.
In the only league game played, Finn McCools comfortabley beat Coleraine Olympic in their basement battle.
Holders West Bann Athletic fell at the first hurdle as they were defeated by Ballyrashane by the odd goal in five.
The deadlock was broken on the quarter of the hour mark with a deep cross to the back post resulting in a dreaded own goal giving WBA the lead. The home side were then awarded a penalty, but Winston produced a great save to deny MacCoriston.
Good chasing down by D Freeman resulted in the WBAkeeper spilling the ball under pressure allowing the striker to tap home into the empty net.
Into the second half and Freeman grabbed his second of the game as he curled home a great free kick.
The game was far from dead wba came out fighting after the goal and Macoriston picked up the ball 40 yards out and with a sweet half volley found the net to level the score again.
With 10 minutes to go the winner arrived as the home keeper spilled a long range shot allowing Daniel Simpson to nip and and find the net. Man of the Match: Daniel Simpson (Ballyrashane FC)
League champions Millburn edged out Balnamore on penalties in Saturday’s Coleraine FC Social Club Knockout Shield.
With less than 10 minutes on the clock it was the home side who took the lead when Lee Kelly crossed for Simon Armstrong to tap in from close range.
Millburn weren’t to be deterred, enjoying the majority of possession and nearly pulled one back when Chris Boreland found himself with just the keeper to beat but Elder in the home team goal made a brave block to keep his team in the lead. However it wasn’t long until he was picking the ball out of the back of the net on two occasions with two quick fire goals giving Millburn the lead.
First of all Tosh found the net with a clinical finish after good player involving Boreland and Cahoon before Cahoon then gave his team the lead from the spot after Boreland was brought down.
With not long left in the first half it was against the run of play that Balnamore equalised after a good move down the right, Kelly again finding space to pick out McConaghie who made no mistake from 15 yards.
Into the second half and Millburn continued to control most of the play and regained the lead when Curtis Boreland picked out his brother Chris who lashed the ball high into the net. Balnamore were proving more and more dangerous as the game went on with Millburn fading slightly and with 15 minutes left on the clock the drew level when the ball dropped to Josie Kelly 25 yards out and he bent a lovely strike into the top corner of the net.
With time running out, Chris Boreland hit the bar from distance while Connor dragged wide when clean through with nearly the last kick. Extra time brought no more goals although both teams had chances to score so penalties it was. ‘Noodles’ McDowell in the Millburn net proved to be the hero with 3 penalty saves which helped put his team through to the next round. Man of the Match: Chris Boreland (Millburn FC)
The Villagers began on the front foot and the lively Craig Pollock made a chance for himself with neat dribbling, but his shot from a tight angle was tipped onto the post by Crawford the Hazelbank keeper.
There weren’t too many chances but in the 19th minute a speculative effort from Norman Harper made it 1-0 to Hazelbank. The ball looked like going over but it dipped in off the crossbar following the midfielder’s 25 yard looping half volley.
The Villagers came alive again after this and Pollock was denied again by Crawford in an almost identical chance. Crawford again tipped onto the post from the winger’s powerful effort.
Friel also had a header saved excellently by Crawford, while the Villagers goalkeeper was alert to deny Shannon, as the first half ended 1-0 to Hazelbank.
Into the second half and the Villagers really had a go and finally got their reward, in the 51st minute, when Pollock crossed and Gaile headed home despite Crawford’s best efforts as he almost kept it out but didn’t. So it was 1-1 and game on.
The home side kept pressing and in the 67th minute Richard Steele delivered a delicious cross from a free kick and Cain Cutmore fired home an unstopable volley for 2-1 Villagers.
Colin MacFarlane came close for the hosts with his long range effort that hit the bar. It was getting frantic and end to end with Hazelbank coming close with a header that drifted wide and Rab Montgomery pulled off a decent save.
In the 86th minute it was goodnight Hazelbank when Ryan Pollock played a great crossfield pass to Cutmore, who showed great composure to square to Gaile who again took his time, didn’t panic and picked his spot for 3-1 and a fantastic result for the home side.
Man of the Match: Ryan Sweeney (The Villagers)