Millburn FC are the new Hutchinson Tiles Winter League Champions after Saturday’s round of fixtures.
Joel McDonald’s men travelled to Dunaghy Old Boys knowing anything less than a win wouldn’t be good enough and even then they would be relying on results elsewhere to help them.
They produced a performance of champions scoring nine goals and when news came through from Balnamore that Glebe Rangers Old Boys, who were in pole position before the game, had lost, the Coleraine men were confirmed as champions in only their second season in the league.
Congratulations to Millburn FC on their success.
Elsewhere in the league, West Bann Athletic enjoyed a good victory over Ballyrashane while Coleraine Olympic and North Coast United fought out a high scoring draw.
This Saturday sees the first final of the season with Mullaghacall hosting the final of Hutchinson Tiles Knockout Cup between Berthas FC and Dunaghy Old Boys. This is a real 50/50 contest with both teams gaining a win apiece in their league fixtures this season, each scoring and conceding seven goals in the process. Expect a good encounter between these two sides. Kick off for this one is 2pm at Mullaghacall, Portstewart with a £2 entry fee.
Dunaghy Old Boys 1 Millburn FC 9
Dunaghy entertained Millburn on their last game off the season. Millburn needed to win and got off to a great start on five minutes as Cahoon whipped a corner in it fell to predator striker Boreland who smashed it in the net.
It was 2-0 on 13 minutes as winger Boreland linked up well with Cahoon who finished well. On 20 minutes it was that man Cahoon who made it 3-0. Dunaghy had there first chance soon after as a corner swung in dropped to Ian Blair to hit a deflected shot into the net.
On the half hour Millburn striker Tosh made a great run to get on the end off Smyth’s ball to finish well. Millburn dominated the first half as hitman Boreland got his second on 40 minutes with a cool finish. It was 6-1 on 43 minutes as Campbell played a great ball through to winger Boreland to grab his second.
The second half started much the same as the first with Millburn dominating possession, chances were missed by Tosh and Boreland.
On 62 minutes on-fire winger Cahoon took his chance well as he beat two players to curl home his second to make it 7-1. Millburn were excellent all game with neat passing and on the 70 minute predator striker Boreland completed his hat-trick and his 41st off a great season to make it 8-1.
Millburn made changes as the excellent Smyth and Campbell were replaced by Nesbit and Dickson. On the 82minute Nesbit and Dickson combined well to set up winger Boreland to complete his hat-trick and his 23rd off a remarkable season to make it 9-1.
With minutes running out Nesbit had a great strike bound for top corner but keeper made a fine save. Overall an excellent performance from every player in Maroon. Man of the Match: Chris Boreland (Millburn FC)
Balnamore FC 4 Glebe Rangers Old Boys 1
This fixture never fails to entertain and Saturday was no different. Glebe needed something from the game to keep their title hopes alive, but Balnamore had other ideas.
The visitors started the livlier, piling pressure on the home side as Balnamore saw very little of the ball in the first fifteen minutes. However Glebe’s efforts were restricted to long range. David McDowell almost found the net only to watch his low shot drift wide midway through the half.
After the break the game sprung into life, Balnamore looked dangerous on attack, but Glebe scored first from a free kick, Ian Bellingham’s glancing header giving the advantage.
The lead lasted only three minutes though as Paul Robinson nipped in to equalise when Glebe keeper McBride spilled the ball. Balnamore piled more misery on the Glebe soon after when Lee Kelly curled his free kick past M Bride, a wonderful strike. Last year’s Champions weren’t for giving up easy, but for the heroics of Balnamore keeper James Elder, Glebe could have been level.
The old boys threw caution to the wind as the game wore on. Balnamore capitalised as the in form Ryan Mooney got on the end of an excellent piece of play side stepping his marker to fire Balnamore’s third through a sea of red jerseys.
In injury time Alcorn brought Lee Kelly down in the box, Davy John McBride saved the resulting kick, but Mooney’s quick thinking rescued the ball, his pass gave Paul Robinson the simplest of tap ins to make it four.
This saw The Old Boys title hopes disappear as the final whistle went.
Balnamore showed commitment and played excellent football in a game they well deserved to win . Man of the Match: James Elder (Balnamore)
West Bann Athletic 5 Ballyrashane FC 2
West Bann Athletic defeated Ballyrashane 5-2 with goals from captain Matthew McCandless, Kieran Neill with a double and Dylan Neill likewise. Ballyrashane scored two goals late on through Jack Gray and Reece White to make it West Bann Athletic 5 Ballyrashane 2 at full time.
Congratulations to Millburn FC on winning the league from all at West Bann Athletic FC. Man of the Match: Kieran Neill (WBA FC)