Top two in final

Mountview and Glebe Rangers Old Boys will contest the final of the Knockout Shield after both advanced through Saturday’s semi final games.

Mountview saw off the challenge of last year’s winners Balnamore by a single goal while Glebe Rangers had it easier than expected with a comfortable win away to Hazelbank.

In the league, The Villagers recorded what is believed to be the highest score line in Hutchinson Tiles League history with thumping nineteen (19) to nought victory over a sorry Somerset side. Macosquin Village took a good win away to Hillview while Dunaghy and Finn McCools both took three points in their games against Brook Street and Coleraine Olympic respectively.

This weekend sees the semi finals of the Hutchinson Tiles Knockout Cup taking place with Mountview bidding to reach their second final of the season and they will start off favourites at home to The Villagers.

The other semi is a real 50/50 tie with last year’s beaten finalist Hazelbank taking on the leagues in-form team in West Bann Athletic. The final of the Knockout Shield will be played at Anderson Park on Saturday 5 May with the Final of the Hutchinson Tiles Knockout Cup at The Rope Walk on Saturday 12 May. Both games have a 2pm kickoff.

Balnamore FC 0 Mountview FC 1

Having played each other the previous week in the league, both teams knew if they were to reach the final, they would have to perform at their best. Mountview were first to settle, with Wills, in particular, enjoying success on the left.

The first chance of the game fell to Mitchell, but his fierce drive from outside the box was well held by Elder. Mountview’s’ best chance of the half, though, was to fall to Wills.

The young winger picking the ball up around the half way line before advancing to the edge of the box, where he laid the ball off to Doherty. The striker turned his marker, before crossing into the box. Unfortunately, Wills’ headed effort went the wrong side of the crossbar.

After enjoying much of the early possession, the visitors allowed frustration to creep into their game as passes started to go amiss. Sensing this the home side started to come more into the game, with Armstrong and Hogg causing concern among Mountview’s rear guard. Armstrong was to have his side’s best chance of the first half, when he robbed Irwin of the ball inside the box.

Thankfully, McLaughlin was quick off his line as he dived at the striker’s feet to push the ball to safety. Neither side were to create any more chances before the interval.

The second half continued in much the same vein as the first with neither side really creating clear chances in front of goal. With 20 minutes played, the visitors finally broke the deadlock. An inviting corner from Wills, was powerfully headed home by Irwin at the back post.

This seemed to settle the visitors once again, as well as take a little bit of momentum away from the home side. The game though was still in the balance, and the home side regrouped to mount a serious push for an equaliser.

The Mountview defence, though, stood firm and controlled the remainder of the game to see their team progress to the final against the Glebe Old Boys. Man of the Match: Gareth Mitchell (Mountview)

Hazelbank FC 1 Glebe Rangers Old Boys 5

The Old Boys and Hazelbank met in this Shield semi-final at Rugby Avenue on Saturday morning. As ever it turned out to be a hard fought battle in the first of two games in three days between these two.

Hazelbank had the best of the early chances with Green heading wide from a corner when well-placed inside the box whilst Glebe were restricted to a couple of long range efforts from big Chin Blair before Crawford saved from Steele. However it was the Old Boys who went in front when the alert Holmes pounced on a mis-placed pass in the Hazelbank defence and steered home.

Hazelbank came storming back and were awarded a penalty after a foul on Smith by Surgenor who was still recovering from a blow to the stomach moments earlier. McClarty made no mistake from the spot to draw the scores level.

As play ebbed and flowed it was talisman Ivan Elder who gave the Old Boys the lead again when he controlled Wilmont’s superb cross-field ball before despatching an unstoppable low drive past Crawford to leave the Old Boys two-one up at the interval.

Glebe started the second half with long time absentee Les Nicholl making his comeback after four months in the wilderness as he replaced Wilmont. With the game finely balanced it was Elder again who made the breakthrough when he latched on to a Holmes long ball and slotted past Crawford.

Hazelbank were dealt a blow when, Smith who had been at the hub of Hazelbank attacks throughout, received his marching orders from referee Hiles for an off the ball incident.

With this being the first of four games in a week and a number of players carrying knocks, the Old Boys introduced Coulter and DJ McBride to the fray and McBride impressed in a cameo role up front.

Indeed it was from his chip that Glebe scored their fourth when Crawford just managed to get his finger-tips to the ball and was unlucky to see the ball drop right in Elder’s path and the in-form striker duly completed his hat-trick from close range.

With time running out it was Les Nicholl who completed the scoring with a typically sublime finish from McBride’s pass. Man of the Match: Ivan Elder (Glebe Rangers Old Boys)

Hillview FC 3 Macosquin Village 6

The away team started this game with only 10 men and quickly fell behind to a Nathan Black strike. However, with time running out in the first half the numbers were evened when Close received his marching orders for the home side.

Macosquin Village dominated the second half and raced into a 5-1 league. Donald Newton brought his team level before Darren Stewart lobbed the keeper from just outside the box to give his team the lead. Newton then grabbed his second, third and fourth goals to give his team a commanding lead.

Nigel McVey reduced the deficit from the penalty spot for Hillview but Dee McNeill grabbed his teams sixth with a peach of a strike from 25 yards. Hillview’s Darren Fillis rounded off the scoring near the end of the game.

An excellent win for Macosquin Village considering their lack of numbers and one that keeps them in the title race. Man of the Match: Donald Newton (Macosquin Village)

Somerset FC 0 The Villagers 19 (nineteen)

The score line 19-0 tells the story of this match. The Villagers were brilliant and ruthless; McFarlane made it one then two, Davie Pollock made it three, McFarlane soon made it four and then five with great poaching instincts.

McFarlane then made it six, Wilson made it seven, Shirlow made it eight with a great finish, Parke made it nine and Gallagher made it 10 on half time.

The second half and more of the same Gallagher made it 11 with a great free-kick, Parke made it 12, McFarlane made it 13, Gallagher made it 14, Best made it 15, McFarlane completed his scoring for 16 his seventh, Wilson made it 17 and Best made it 18 Gallagher rounded of scoring by making it 19-0.

This is The Villagers record score line and one that will take some beating. Man of the Match: Colin Macfarlane (The Villagers)

Coleraine Olympic 0 Finn McCools 6

Olympic started this game with an under strength side and Finns took advantage of this. It was Finns who took the lead continuing to control the game in the first half making it 3-0. Second half it was more of the same this time Olympic causing some problems but not enough to score. Finns pushed on and it paid off by scoring another three goals making it six against a brave Olympic side. Man of the Match: Pete McAfee (Finn McCools)

Dunaghy Old Boys 5 Brook Street 3

Dunaghy old boys were creating from the first whistle and when Bartlett’s through ball found W Blair he rounded Brook Street’s keeper and hit the net with a good lob with seven minutes gone. It was end to end stuff but it was Brook Street who equalised on 22 minutes when Tosh’s shot found the bottom corner from 18 yards.

The Old Boys had better of play rest of half but it remained 1-1. The second half started with Dunaghy still attacking and on 55 minutes W Blair’s cross was tucked away on the volley by Bartlett. Five minutes later it was three when I Blair rounded the defender and slotted past the keeper.

This spurred Brook Street and on 63 minutes Edgar pulled one back with a well taken header at the back post. Four minutes later it was all square when Boreland finished of a very good counter attack.

Both teams went looking for a winner and on 83 minutes I Blair’s long throw into the box was superbly volleyed into the top corner by M Blair Jr. He got his second two minutes later to seal the game when he latched onto another long throw and lobbed the advancing keeper.

A very hard fought three points for the Old Boys. Man of the Match: Mark Blair Jr (Dunaghy Old Boys)

Wednesday 25 April

Bertha’s FC v Glebe Rangers Old Boys Castlerock

Hazelbank v Somerset Rugby Avenue 2

Villagers FC v Balnamore FC Rugby Avenue 3

West Bann Athletic v Mountview FC Rugby Avenue 1

Thursady 26 April

Ballyrashane v Finn McCool’s Ballysally 2

Saturday 28 April

Ballyrashane v Balnamore FC Ballysally 2

Bertha’s FC v Finn McCool’s Castlerock

Brook Street v FC Macosquin Crescent 3

Glebe Rangers Old Boys v Macosquin Village Riada 2

Knockout Cup Semi Final

C Hazelbank v West Bann Athletic Rugby Avenue 1

C Mountview FC v Villagers FC Rugby Avenue 3