GLEBE Rangers Old Boys stretched their lead at the top of the Hutchinson Tiles Winter League with a comfortable victory at home to Coleraine Olympic at the weekend.
They now sit 11 points clear of nearest rivals Hillview and Berthas though both teams have two games on hand on the Ballymoney men.
Hillview picked up the three points away to The Villagers while a late Keith Wills goal gave Mountview the points in a seven goal thriller away to The Taverners.
Balnamore continued their excellent form of late with a fine victory away to FC Macosquin, while West Bann Athletic dusted off a bad run of form with victory away to Dunaghy Old Boys. Finn McCool’s won by the odd goal in five away to FC Windyhall while Brook Street saw off Ballyrashane in the remaining game.
The league committee and its players would like to pass on their best wishes and condolences to league veteran Stephen Fillis and his wife on their recent bereavement.
Glebe Rangers Old Boys 8 Coleraine Olympic 0
Glebe Old Boys welcomed Coleraine Olympic as these two sides met for the first time this season at Megaw Park. An unchanged line-up took the field for the Old Boys and they took the lead in the second minute when current hotshot Jason Wilmont sprinted on to an Allen through ball and lobbed Doherty from fully 25 yards.
With this boost Glebe continued to press and Bellingham made it two with a close range header from the resurgent Patterson’s corner. A spell of three goals in a four minutes followed with Wilmont completing his hat-trick followed by a Les Nicholl strike. Man of the match Wilmont then notched his fourth to complete the first half scoring. Wilmont struck his fifth of the game early in the second half from a Blair through ball before Lee Kyle notched his first in three seasons when he forced home a Patterson corner.
Glebe made a number of substitutions with party animal Bellingham and the petulant Blair among those replaced. However there was no further scoring and it was the Old Boys who took the three points. Credit must go Olympic who put in a hard-working shift and never let their heads go down, particularly in the second half. Man of the Match: Jason Wilmont (Glebe Rangers Old Boys)
The Taverners 3 Mountview FC 4
The Taverners entertained Mountview in an action packed encounter at the Riada Centre, Ballymoney. The first half was 15 minutes old when a break away from the home side saw a shot parried by Simpson in nets, only for McDonald to react first and fire home. The Taverners were rarely troubled by their opponents and deservedly went two ahead five minutes before half time. A cross from the left wasn’t properly cleared and the ball fell to McKay, who controlled and slotted the ball home. Mountview came out for the second half a different team and started positively.
Dossy Mitchell started the come back when he tucked home from close range two minutes into the restart. The equaliser followed on 50 minutes when Paul Wallace reacted to a loose ball and finished expertly. The game was a much tighter affair now and chances were created by both sides. However, the Taverners showed resilience by taking the lead again. A free kick into the penalty area was cleared by a Taggart, only for Grimes to powerfully head home from the edge of the box.
A double substitution by the visitors gave Mountview added impetus as they took control of the midfield. Scott Fraser sent over an inch perfect cross for Dave Parsons to volley home and equalise again. The game was an intense contest now and it was Mountview who were proving the greater threat. Keith Wills was producing strong runs from the left back position and was rewarded late on as he finished off a move involving Martin and Fraser, to put Mountview 4-3 ahead for the first time in the match.
Further opportunities to increase this lead were squandered and the Taverners threw extra players forward to level the match once more. But Mountview held firm to take the three points in an enthralling contest where both sides played their part in a competitive, yet sporting manner. Man of the Match: Keith Wills (Mountview)
FC Macosquin 1 Balnamore FC 5
Balnamore collected all three points in this encounter with FC Macosquin, producing a clinical first half display that saw four goals scored in a rampant twenty minute period. Macosquin started the livelier of the two sides and for the first while imposed themselves well. Balnamore settled and began to stroke the ball around well. They had a couple of decent chances to open the scoring early on, only for poor finishing.
Balnamore’s opener came from a corner, Lee Kelly again floated a precision delivery into the box, Nicky Tweed timed his run to perfection as he powered his header past the stricken Tosh in goal to go one up. Macosquin tried hard to get the ball down and play, but Balnamore’s midfield and defensive personnel thwarted their efforts well. Willy “El Nino” Corr notched Balnamore’s second goal from close range after Simon Armstrong’s effort came off the upright, Corr in the poacher’s position made no mistake driving the ball over the line.
Philip Hanna soon got on the score sheet, his delicate header from another corner found the top corner as keeper Tosh was left unsighted. Campbell and Blackwood tried to get Macosquin settled but nothing seemed to be working out for their efforts. Balnamore’s fourth came just before half time. Simon Armstrong found himself in space out side the area, he picked his spot and watched as his thirty yard drive rippled the net leaving the keeper stranded.
Macosquin came out a different side after the break, they played more solid and threatened more as they attacked, they looked good for a goal but half way through the second half Balnamore produced the hammer blow, David McDowell this time beating two defenders before nicely placing his shot beyond the keeper with an excellent finish. Macosquin eventually opened the Balnamore defence with a well-taken goal by Lee Biggart, the young striker latching onto an excellent through ball to dink the ball over J Elder. A good game played in good spirit by both sides buts it Balnamore who bank the points. Man of the Match: Simon Armstrong (Balnamore)
Dunaghy Old Boys 1 West Bann Athletic 3
West Bann Athletic travelled to Ballymoney having not won a game in the league since September 1st to take on an in-form Dunaghy team who had scored 10 in their last game out. Dunaghy continued were they had left off last week taking the lead with 11 minutes gone through Jason Moore who made no mistake when presented with the opportunity. Athletic equalised in the 15th minute with Luke Bacon getting on the end of a cross from Michael Olphert.
Athletic took the lead five minutes later when goal scorer Bacon turned provider for Michael Olphert who made no mistake when played in. The second half started with both teams going at each for the all important second goal with both sides coming close on several occasions. Athletic should have made it 3-1 when they were awarded a penalty on the hour however Aaron McLelland’s strike was well saved by the Dunaghy number one to keep his side in the game.
This seemed to spur the home side on as they went all out for the equalising goal in the last twenty minutes however Athletic soaked up whatever was thrown at them, defending well from front to back. Athletic sealed all three points in the last minute when Michael Olphert tapped in to make it 3-1 to West Bann Athletic. Man of the Match: Martin Pancott (West Bann Athletic)
FC Windyhall 2 Finn McCool’s 3
This was a tight game from start to finish. It was Windyhall who scored first when Finns Central defenders collided going for the same ball letting in the big centre forward to score. There was some good entertaining football from both teams in this half playing end to end. The second half started much the same. Finns pushed to get a corner and the ball went through a lot of players before A Deighan got on the end of it to make it one each.
Again both teams started to push and it was Finns who took the lead from that man Deighan again with a cool finish. Windyhall didn’t give up and this paid off when they also scored from a corner, Finns not clearing their lines. It was an exciting finish to this game and it was the Bushmills men scoring in the last five minutes from another corner with C McAfee out jumping everyone to head home. Man of the Match: Peter McAfee (Finn McCool’s)
Saturday 8 December fixtures - Ballyrashane v FC Macosquin Rugby Avenue 4, Balnamore FC v Dunaghy Old Boy’s Fulton Park, Coleraine Olympic v Bertha’s FC Rugby Avenue 2,Finn McCool’s v Glebe Rangers Old Boys Bushmills, Hazelbank v Villagers FC Rugby Avenue 1, Hillview FC v West Bann Athletic Crescent 3, Mountview FC v Brook Street Rugby Avenue 3, Taverners FC v FC Windyhall Riada 2.