Despite the inclement weather this top of the table clash went ahead at the Crescent with the hosts minus stalwart Stephen Tosh and dangerman Aaron Cahoon whilst the visitors were missing the injured Mervyn Greer and Ashley Grimes.
The Old Boys flew out of the blocks and Andy Sheppard put them in front with only a couple of minutes on the clock. The striker made it two a minute later and then notched his hat-trick when blasting home the rebound after Campbell’s penalty had been saved by McDowell. McKee almost scored with a low drive before Millburn finally got going with Reilly forced into action to turn over Boreland’s free-kick. Millburn had claims for a penalty turned away before Sheppard scored his fourth, forcing home Bellingham’s knockdown and half-time arrived with the Old Boys four up.
Bellingham headed home early in the second half from a Holmes corner and shortly after the heavens opened with ref Frankie Hiles forced to take the players off for a brief interval. When play resumed Curtis Boreland reduced the arrears with a neat finish and the hosts at last began to show glimpses of the form that has seen set the pace.
However it was Sheppard who continued his man of the match display when he slotted Campbell’s ball past McDowell to complete a nap hand and he was then denied by the crossbar after an audacious chip just failed to hit the target. As time ran out a fine free-kick from sub McDonald beat Reilly to make the final score 6-2 to the Old Boys.
Ian Bellingham’s mood on Saturday afternoon was in sharp contrast to previous weeks as he reflected on a fine team performance and an important 3 points. Full of praise for his squad he singled out Andy Sheppard for special mention after the striker returned to form with an impressive 5 goal display.