Ballymoney sides occupy top spots

THERE'S no change at the top of the HTWL after Saturday's round of fixtures.

Ballymoney sides Glebe Rangers Old Boys and Riverside Athletic lead the way on 22 points each after both recorded comfortable home wins. Hillview are their nearest challengers after they beat Balnamore by the odd goal in five while last years champions Hazelbank are narrowly behind them after they cantered to victory against Somerset. Berthas FC got back to winning ways with a win at home to FC Macosquin while Dunaghy caused a somewhat shock result as they hammered eight past high flyers Macosquin Village. Mountview and Ballyrashane got back to winning ways while West Bann Athletic and The Taverners battled to a four all draw.

Glebe Rangers Old Boys 8 Brook Street 1

Glebe Old Boys continued their recent high-scoring form as they notched eight against Brook Street at the Joey Dunlop Centre on Saturday. Patterson and McCurdy returned for Glebe whilst Harry Love made his first appearance in the squad this season after a lengthy spell on the sidelines. In blustery conditions the Old Boys pressurised the Brook Street defence throughout the first half with the rampaging Paul Surgenor playing a prominent role with his constant overlapping. Goalkeeper David McKissock stood firm making several good saves and demonstrating excellent handling skills. However the breakthrough came from a set-piece when Wilmont used the wind to score directly from a corner. Glebe doubled the lead when a defence-splitting pass from McCurdy saw McCracken continue his goal-scoring form from last week as he neatly slotted home. Glebe continued to make, but fail to take, chances and half-time arrived with the two goals separating the sides. Davy-John McBride replaced Allen between the posts at half-time and Surgenor at last had some reward for his efforts as his cross was nodded in by Steele early in the second half. However Brook Street would not lie down and indecision by stand-in keeper McBride saw the visitors pull one back through Lee Chestnutt. Indeed it could have been worse for the Old Boys as Brook Street somehow missed from a yard out when the home side failed to deal with a corner. Following this scare Glebe introduced Love and Milo Walker to the fray and Wilmont gave his side some breathing space as he scored from close range. Love made his presence felt, latching on to a through ball and lobbing McKissock to make the score 5-1 as gaps started to appear in the away defence. Predator Steele took full advantage and he took his own personal tally to four and his team's to eight as Glebe ended the game with a flourish. Manager McBride was happy with the victory whilst credit must also go to Brook Street for their never-say-die attitude throughout the ninety minutes. Man of the Match: Billy McCurdy (Glebe Rangers Old Boys)

Riverside Athletic 3 The Villagers 1

A good Villagers side began the game playing into a strong wind, but it wasn't long before they had the hosts under pressure. With Riverside huffing and puffing and trying to find a way into the game a free kick against them led to the opening goal when Hutchinson poked home past stand in keeper McLean for the first goal. The goal was the wake up call the host needed and they finally got their game going, driven along by the industrious Smylie, Beattie and Kernoghan. A succession of forced corners led to the equalising goal as Beattie curled the ball past the helpless Friel to leave things all square at the break. Riverside began the second half looking a lot more composed and certainly playing near the level they are capable of, and ten minutes in a throw in by McNabb, a flick on by White, and a well executed finish by Ricky Hanna saw them 2 - 1 up. The two teams then cancelled each other out until fifteen minutes from the end when pressure from Blair, marauding up from defence, forced a corner that he took and saw the unfortunate Pollock head home an own goal. This killed the game and Athletic held on for another three points.

Hillview 3 Balnamore 2

With barely five minutes on the clock, Hillview took the lead when Johnston lashed home from 25 yards. The midfielder's strike proved to be too powerful for Balnamores keeper who could only push it into the roof of the net. After prolonged pressure, Hillview extended there lead half way through the 1st half. Hutchinson's ball found Frazer with a clear sight on goal. The striker coolly fired the ball into the left hand corner of the goal. With the half drawing to a close, Balnamore went close on two occasions. Both were cleared the bar when it appeared easier to hit the target. Balnamore seemed to take encouragement from these chances and started the 2nd half strong. They pulled one back despite being initially denied by a superb double save from McDowell in the Hillview goal. The ball wasn't cleared and eventually fell to Madison who made it 2-1. This goal seemed to give Hillview an extra lift and both Miller and Hutchinson seen chances cleared of the line. There two goal lead was restored when McGowan unleashed a 30 yard thunderbolt, his second in two weeks. With the match drawing to a close Armstrong pulled a goal back for Balnamore to make the final score 3-2. Man of the Match: Cary Evangelista (Hillview)

Somerset 2 Hazelbank 7

Somerset got off to a great start, taking a two goal lead in the opening 13 minutes, poor defending by Hazelbank for both, Barry McGonigle opened the scoring on 12mins, a well worked free kick, framer playing the short pass, Hennessey cutting in from line, pass two Hazelbank defenders for McGonigle to tap in, Scott Frazer doubled the lead on a minute later, McCartney and Boorman getting there pass wrong, Millar quick to react and set up Frazer who pushed it by the injured Crawford to make it two,this was great wake up for Hazelbank, finally the midfield started to work together, king set up McClarty who finished well from a tight angle on 22 minutes, Dave McClean got his first a minute later, Colin becoming provider, flicking into the space for Dave to race through, and slipping the ball below the advancing keeper, McClean put Hazelbank in front on 28 minutes, heading in at the back post from McClartys cross, from here on it was all Hazelbank, McClean completed his hat trick o n 35 minutes, McClarty again involved in the build putting dave in for a tap in. The 2nd half had Colin McClarty become goal keeper rather than goal getter, Steven Crawford unable to continue due to injury, but by now Hazelbank where well in control, Ciaran Wilson got the 5th goal on 57 minutes, breaking free from his marker and making no mistake calmly slotting past the outstretched keeper, Kieran Reid tested the keeper with a low drive, McAllister at full stretch turned it round for a corner, five minutes later Reid got his first goal for Hazelbank, controlling Wilson's pass and drilling home to make it 6, Gavin Kelly had a glorious miss, side footing over from easily six yards, this would have been great move, Scott Frazer hit the post from a corner, Kelly cleared continued his run, after feeding Sheppard, who laid it on a plate for him, with too much time he shot over, Nigel Sheppard completed the job in last minute, turning in McClean's lay off. Man of the Match: Mark Boorman (Hazelbank)

Dunaghy Old Boys 8 Macosquin Village 1

Dunaghy started with a strong wind behind them putting M.Village under pressure with their quick passing and movement. On 20 minutes Christie scored with a low drive to put the home side in the lead and then 10 minutes late Fulton doubled the lead from a tight angle. M.Village came out for the second half with the wind and Stewart quickly forced Doherty into two great saves. Dunaghy went straight up the other end and increased their lead when Christie powered a shot into the net. Fulton then got his second of the game when he cut in from the left before driving low into the net. M.Village kept at it and pulled a goal back with a corking effort from range. Dunaghy replied immediately with Hickinson starting a move from his right back position ending up inside the away team 18. The defender exchanged passes before lifting in the ball over the keeper and into the net for a great individual goal. Christie then got his hat trick when he converted Ian Blair's pass. The inform youngster then got his seventh goal in two games as he tapped home after the M.Village keeper could only parry away Neal Keers' shot. Fulton then had the chance for his hat trick but the away team keeper made a great save from the defenders penalty. Arnie Blair rounded off the scoring for the home team and their 8th of the day when he beat one defender and then rounded the keeper to slot home and finish off a great performance for his team on the day. Man of the Match: Ian Christie (Dunaghy Old Boys)

Berthas FC 3 FC Macosquin 2

Berthas came into this game on the back of three straight defeats and with nearly 10 first team players, an inform FC Macosquin were a team they wouldn't have wanted to be facing. However the players who were available came out all fired up with the home team going two up after eight minutes. The got their first when David Patterson converted Chris Morrows cross before Davy Caldwell increased their lead when he tapped home after good work from Willie Stewart. The away team then got to grips with the game and pulled one back 10 minutes later before Stewart increased his teams lead with a classy finish. The second half was pretty close and FC have the chance to pull one back from the spot but Andrews drilled the penalty high over the bar. FC did pull one back with 20 to play but pushed hard from there for an equaliser but the home team held on for a valuable three points. Man of the Match: Darren McGarvey (Berthas FC)

Mountview FC 2 Finn McCools 1

Mountview kicked this match off and from the start were putting decent pressure on the Finn's defence. The first chance fell to Irwin just outside the box, his shot going just wide of the post. Mountview were playing the better football and had good possession in midfield. On 20 minutes Mountview opened the scoring when Smyth dribbled past two defenders and placed his shot across the Finn's keeper and into the far corner. Unfortunately Smyth got injured in the process and could not participate in the rest of the match. On the half hour mark Finn McCools got themselves back into the match, Kane losing his marker and his headed shot from the corner found the back of the net. Mountview continued to pressurise the Finn's defence but couldn't find an opening. The second half started much the same as the first and on the hour McClenaghan and Wills linked well together and Wills volley from 20 yards found the top corner to put Mountview back in the lead. Mountview were then forced into making a few substitutions in succession due to injuries. They continued to push forward making a few good chances, but the Finn McCools defence stood strong. Towards the end of the game Finn's pushed four up front and they created some decent chances of their own. McLaughlin in the Mountview goal saving well from Rushe's effort, which was bound for the top corner from eight yards. Dobbin found himself one on one with the keeper in the dying minutes, but the ball got stuck under his feet allowing McLaughlin to save well at his feet. Man of the Match: Gareth Kerr (Mountview)

Ballyrashane FC 5 Coleraine Olympic 2

With Ballyrashane needing to get back on track after two defeats and Olympic struggling just to get off the bottom of the table. The three points were up for grabs. Ballyrashane got of to a good start with some good passing and had their chances but failed to find the back of the net through Freeman and McKnight. Olympic got an early chance but it ended up somewhere in Portrush. Ballyrashane stepped it up a gear and found the back of the net through McKnight but credit must go to Simpson for hard work on the wing. Ballyrashane then suffered an injury blow when Collins had to hobble of with an injury he picked up at training. On came McClelland to replace Collins and it wasn't long before he made his mark on the game with a well placed goal to make it 2-0. Olympic then battled hard to try and come back but the Ballyrashane defence stood strong and made life tough for Olympic. McCandless, Boyd, Barnes and Deeny all on fire in this occasion. The only real shot Olympic had in the first half was pushed past the post by Doherty in nets who came out tops from a one on one. The second half seen Olympic under more pressure early on but they also pushed hard and had a few more chances but Ballyrashane held tight and worked well. Olympic hopes were shattered when Freeman found the back of the net from another well placed shot to more or less finish the game off. Olympic then found the back of the net from a corner kick which took Ballyrashane by surprise. For some odd reason Olympic thought they were back in it but McClelland had something to say about it when he scored his second of the game to make it 4-1. Then at the other end Ballyrashane failed to clear the ball away and Olympic scored again to make the score 4-2. Ballyrashane knew they had a comfortable lead with not long left and only had to hold tight until the end but Freeman made it even more safe when he blasted his second of the game. Man of the Match: Daniel Simpson (Ballyrashane FC)

West Bann Athletic 4 The Taverners 4

The game started brightly with West Bann Athletic on the front foot from the start. WBA had numerous chances in front of goal throughout the first half but failed to convert the majority of them through either bad finishing and good goalkeeping. The Taverners opened the scoring, when a long ball over the top was gathered by Niall Okane and he placed the ball under the oncoming Athletic goal keeper. Shortly after this Taverners doubled their lead when a long ball down the left beat the West Bann Athletic defence and again Niall O'Kane finished over the goalkeeper's head. Athletic needed a reply and a reply is what they got when a long ball was won well by Athletic forward Lee West, Jason Holmes hit a stunning 30 yard volley into the top corner. West Bann Athletic finished the half on the worse possible note when the West Bann Athletic goalkeeper hit the ball off the back of his own centre back and the ball fell for Niall Okane for a tap in to make it 3-1 at half time. West Bann Athletic started the second half brightly as they did the first and they were rewarded soon after the restart when winger McCorriston cut the ball back for Lee West who smashed the ball into the corner of the net. Taverners were not regained their two goal cushion within minutes however when a ball came over from the left and was met on the half volley by Neil Thompson leaving the keeper no chance. Athletic hit back almost straight away to make it 4-3 when a long ball from Shirlow found McCorriston who coolly finished to set up an exciting last 10 minutes. This jump started Athletic as they then began to press even harder for the equaliser. They were able to find it when a long ball from the right back position again found McCorriston who then took on the left back and chipped the ball over the keeper to make it 4-4 at full time and another high scoring draw for WBA. WBA would like to thank both sets of players, all in attendance and the referee for observing a minute's silence prior to the start of the game. Man of the match: Niall Okane (The Taverners)

Fixtures for Saturday 9 October

Balnamore F.C v Taverners F.C Fulton Park

Brook Street v Riverside Athletic Crescent 3

Coleraine Olympic v Mountview F.C

Rugby Avenue 1

F.C Macosquin v Hillview F.C

Rugby Avenue 2

Finn McCool's v Bertha's F.C


Glebe Rangers Old Boys v West Bann Athletic

Riada 2

Hazelbank v Dunaghy Old Boy's

Rugby Avenue 3

Macosquin Village v Ballyrashane

Ballysally 2

Villagers F.C v Somerset Castlerock