THE new Ballymena and Provincial Football League, sponsored by Michelin Athletic Club, got underway with Carniny Amateurs hosting Newtowne on their debuts in Intermediate football on the excellent 3G pitch provided by Ballymena Council at the Showgrounds.
How fortunate this was as due to a heavy cloudburst of rain the Raceview v Ballynure Old Boys game at Broughshane was unable to be played there due to the pitch being flooded.
Rasharkin United hosted the other newcomers to the Intermediate Division Newtownabbey FC with Rasharkin showing they will be hard to beat this term.
Saturday next will see games being played across all four divisions and no doubt teams will be eager to get started.
Friday 12th August League
Clough Rangers Ath v Raceview; Desertmartin v Rasharkin United.
Saturday, 13th August League
Newtowne FC v Kilbride Swifts; Dunloy v Brantwood.
Friday 12th August League
Division One: Tobermore Utd Res v Desertmartin Swifts.
Saturday 13th August, League
Ballyclare Com Res v Larne Olympic; Magherafelt SB Res v Killymoon Rangers Res; Ballymoney Utd Res v Chimney Corner Res.
Division Two: Finvoy v Grange Rangers II; Woodlands v Carnlough Swifts; Antrim Rovers v Wakehurst Strollers.
Carniny Amateurs II v Metro YM; Castle Star v Carrickfergus Young Citizens; FC Ballynure YM v 1st Mossley YM. INTERMEDIATE LEAGUE
CARNINY AMATEURS 0 NEWTOWNE FC 4
This game was played on a very slick surface and allowed both teams to play lots of good attacking football resulting in plenty of goalmouth action.
Newtowne took the lead when after a good move Aaron Wilson scored on the 15th minute and at half-time this goal still separated the teams. Newtowne then took a strong grip on the game after Ryan Logue scored on the 50th minute and followed this on the 52nd minute when they caught Carniny with a counter attack increasing their lead when Gary Moore scored.
Carniny were still well in the game from a football sense but it was in the finishing they failed to match their opponents who were much more clinical. Time was then running out when after another good move Owen Kelly sealed the win for Newtowne after he scored on the 85th minute of a very absorbing game. Referee Mr. Neill Gillespie
DUNLOY 8 CLOUGH RANGERS ATHLETIC 5
What a game this was and you would think when you score five goals in a game you would get something from but this was not the case on Saturday for Clough against Dunloy who scored Eight.
Dunloy took the lead after Conor McKinley scored on the 9th minute and went on to double their lead after Declan McGarry scored on the 21st minute.
Clough worked their way back into the game and a brace of goals scored by Steven Holmes on the 34th and 41st minutes saw then back on level terms. Clough went on to take the lead after Steven Holmes completed his hat-trick on the 54th minute but Dunloy level immediately when Conor McKinley scored his second goal on the 55th minute.
Dunloy then went two goals in front again after Ronan Dooey and Kevin McQuillan scored on the 56th and 67th minute followed by David Nicholl scoring a penalty for Clough on the 68th minute. Benny McGarry then got in on the act for Dunloy converting a penalty on the 71st minute and scoring again on the 76th minute. David Nicholl gave Clough hope after he scored on the 77th minute but Dunloy went on to seal the win when Declan McGarry scored on the 86th minute. Referee Mr. Tony Young
RASHARKIN UNITED 6 NEWTOWNABBEY FC 0
Newtownabbey making their debut in the Intermediate Division came up against a strong Rasharkin team who had a number of new players in their ranks and on this showing Rasharkin will be strong contenders for honours.
Rasharkin took the lead when Ryan Boyd making his first appearance for them scored on the 10th minute and then followed this with his second goal on the 15th minute.
Rasharkin increased their lead after David Junkin scored on the 20th minute and still had the three goal cushion at half-time. Rasharkin then missed a penalty on the 55th minute but goals from Joe Patton and William Beckett on the 75th and 82nd minutes saw then well in control of the game. Time was then running out when Ryan Boyd completed his hat-trick on the 87th minute before Newtownabbey missed a penalty on the 90th minute and Rasharkin had a man sent off.Referee Mr. Jonathan McCrudden
BRANTWOOD 4 KILBRIDE SWIFTS 2
Brantwood, last season’s champions, got an early shock in this game when Glen Miskimmin scored for Kilbride on the 4th minute and Kilbride went on to hold this lead until Wayne Porter scored the equaliser for Brantwood on the 40th minute. Early in the second half it was the turn of Brantwood to take the lead after Patrick Kelly scored on the 47th minute this being followed by a third goal scored by Seamus McClenaghan on the 51st minute giving Brantwood a two goal lead. Kilbride tried hard to get back into the game but with time running down Ciaran Carson killed their hopes when scoring a fourth from the penalty spot on the 85th minute though Kilbride had the last say in the game when Rab Butler scored on the 87th minute.
Referee Mr. John McKnight.