Carniny in O'Kane Cup romp

CARNINY Rangers may have come up just short in both the Junior Shield and Junior Cup in recent weeks but they proved once again at the weekend that they are still very much top dogs at Ballymena Saturday Morning League level.

A devastating first half display saw them blow away Abbeyview 8-1 in the Arkmedia-sponsored O'Kane Cup final – with strike Chris Dowie plundering five of the goals.

ARKMEDIA O'KANE CUP FINAL

Carniny Rangers 8, Abbeyview 1: Carniny started bright without really troubling the Abbeyview goal, until they opened the scoring on 20 minutes when a long ball out of defence by Alex McCosh was volleyed home by Chris Dowie from 20 yards out.

Ten minutes later it was 2-0 when Stephen Greene curled a low free kick round the wall and into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Carniny were rampant now and looked to have sealed the victory with only 32 minutes gone when Dowie rose at the back post to head home a Greene cross, and then seven minutes later it was 4-0 when a shot from Greene was miscued and fell to Roger Jones who fired into the empty net.

Credit to Abbeyview they didn't lie down and got a goal back a minute later when a Roy Robinson cross was headed home by Darren Houston, but it was Carniny who had the final say before the break when Maurice McDowell curled home a free kick from 25 yards to make it 5-1.

The second half saw Abbeyview have a go and they should have got a goal back when Darren Houston some how managed to hit the post with the net at his mercy.

This seemed to spur Carniny on as they made it 6-1 on 50 minutes when Derek Reid split the defence for Dowie to race clear and slot home his hat trick goal.

Dowie made it 7-1 with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box with 10 minutes to go and then two minutes later he took his tally to 77 for the season when he made it 8-1 from close range.

With seven minutes to go Abbeyview were awarded a penalty when Alex McCosh pulled back Darren Houston which resulted in the Carniny keeper being dismissed. Chris Perks stepped up but could not find the net as his spot kick hit the post.

After the final whistle, Carniny Rangers captain Jason Robinson was presented with the Arkmedia sponsored O'Kane Cup by a representative of Arkmedia Neil McBride and Carniny Rangers were then able to celebrate the winning of their first trophy of the season.

Carniny Rangers: Alex McCosh, Andrew Russell, Steven Greene, Derek Reid, Alan Gaston, Mark Waddell, Roger Jones, Jason Robinson, Chris Dowie, Leslie McCaughern, Maurice McDowell. Substitutes: Ryan Balmer, Robert Wright, Ryan Bamber.

Abbeyview: Dee Thompson, Alan Donnelly, Jamie Crane, Victor Gibson, Stephen Mckee, Ryan Carson, Andy Robinson, Alan Cochrane, Chris Perks, Roy Robinson, Darren Houston. Substitutes: Derek McKinley, David Thompson, Jim Gallagher.

Referee: Mr. Robert Swann. Assistant Referees: Mr Brian Patterson, Mr William McMaster.

ACE CUP QUARTER-FINALS

All Saints OB 1, Harryville Homers 3: This was the match of the day on Saturday with Homers hitting Saints with a three goal blast at the start of the second half to ensure a place in the Ace Cup Semi Finals.

The first half was a tight affair with few chances created but five minutes before half time Homers had a great opportunity to go in one up at half time when they were awarded a penalty kick when Alan Rainey was upended in the penalty area. Ian Millar who rarely misses stepped up and sent the spot kick wide.

The let up at the end of the first half seemed to lift Saints who pushed forward for a goal but six minutes in they were dealt a severe blow when Homers took the lead. Ian Millar sent in a corner kick for John McDowell to rise above the Saints defence and power a header into the net.

Before Saints could recover from this set back they were hit with a second goal five minutes later when they failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to Gary Bonnes eight yards out and he drilled a low shot into the far corner of the net.

Alan Rainey was torturing the Saints defence with powerful runs and during one of these runs he won the ball at the bye line cut inside before laying the ball off to Stephen McKay to fire home Homers third goal eight minutes later.

A few changes in the Saints team brought them more into the game and they pulled a goal back 10 minutes from time when substitute Conor Crilly sent over a cross from the right to Aidan O’Kane who slipped his marker before laying the ball off to Stephen Tully who shot home from 12 yards.

GEORGE McAULEY CUP SEMI-FINALS

Shore Wanderers 1, Connor FC 2: Connor remained on course to complete the double in Division Two with this hard fought victory over Shore.

Just on the stroke of half time Shore almost took the lead when an audacious lob from Kevin Downey hit the crossbar and went to safety.

The second half was only nine minutes old when Shore took the lead. A long free kick from Shane Ruddy was only half cleared to Kevin Downey who volleyed the ball home from 25 yards out.

Connor took the game to Shore after this and got the breakthrough with nine minutes to go when Darren Campbell latched onto a loose ball from a Shore man before beating two men and slotting the ball into the corner of the net.

Three minutes later Connor took the lead when Campbell put a free kick on the head of Ricky Hanna who headed home from six yards out to send Connor in the final of the George McAuley.

In the other Semi Final St Comgalls came from a goal down to win 2-1 with second half goals from Gary McCorry and Colin Campbell to set up an interesting final on Wednesday, May 19, at Ballymena Showgrounds.

PADDY DUNLOP CUP

Ballymena Shamrocks Celtic Supporters Club sponsored Paddy Dunlop Cup – for the Division Three play-offs - takes place next Monday 17th May at Ballymena Showgrounds 7pm KO.

Cullybackey Olympic won their Semi Final on Saturday in a close fought match with Lisnafillian Swifts. Cullybackey Olympic scored the winner on the hour mark through leading goal scorer Aaron Wilkinson.

Cullybackey Olympic will go into the final as favourites as they finished third in Division Three 14 points above Wakehurst Athletic. Aaron Wilkinson has been outstanding for Olympic all season with 19 goals and he will have to be closely marked by Athletic.

In mid field Dean Brownlow is the work horse of the team and he is supported with winger Gary Glass who provides the ammunition for Aaron Wilkinson. The strength of the team is their centre backs veterans Richard Rock and Derek Faulkner who give very little away.

Although Olympic are favourites Wakehurst Athletic played in last season Final and appear to be keeping their best form for the Play Offs.

In their Semi Final they beat Atletico Antrim 6-2 with goals from Jason Mitchell, Michael Thompson David Cameron, Gary Robinson and Thomas McCullough with an OG from Atletico Antrim to round off the rout.

Athletic are a very experienced outfit with ex Carniny Ranger and Ballymena United Alan Craig centre back while David 'Speedy' Cameron plays in mid field with Alan Shaw.

The experience is greatly helped with a few youthful players especially goalkeeper Andrew Steele who is having a great season. Up front Jason Mitchell have proven a handful for most Third Division side defences hitting 17 goals already this season. They have felt the hurt of losing last seasons play off Final and could surprise the favourites Cullybackey Olympic.

OTHER RESULTS

BSML Division One: Carnlough Swifts 0, Carniny Rangers 5; Abbeyview 4, Templepatrick 2; Ahoghill Rovers 3, FC Antrim 1.

BSML Division Two: Braid United 4, Riverdale 0; Michelin 4, Ahoghill Thistle 2; Clough Rangers 5, Waveney Swifts 1; Blackstone Rovers 3, Riverdale 0; FC Inter Stars 0, Connor FC 3; Clough Rangers 7, Shore Wanderers 0.

BSML Division Three: Woodside 1, Dunloy Athletic 5; Westend Athletic 4, Randalstown 2; Wakehurst Athletic 0, Demesne Star 2.

Ace Cup, round one: Randalstown Sky Blues 6, Templepatrick 2.

Ace Cup, round two: FC Antrim 1, Ballykeel 2; North End 2, Glenarm Rovers 1.

Rainey Cup, round two: Seven Towers 4, Cloughmills Thistle 5.

Rainey Cup, round three: Holywell 5, Braid United 3; Carnlough Swifts 3, Templepatrick 1.

FIXTURES

Tuesday, May 11 (6.45pm) - Rainey Cup, round three: Cloughmills Thistle v FC Moylena.

Ace Cup, round one: Carnlough Swifts v Abbeyview.

BSML Division One (7pm): Carniny Rangers v Harryville Homers (Wakehurst 1); Randalstown Sky Blues v Glenarm Rovers.

Wednesday, May 12 – Rainey Cup, round three (6.45pm): Broadway Celtic v Ahoghill Rovers (Showgrounds 4).

BSML Division Two (7pm): Blackstone Rovers v FC Inter Stars (Wakehurst 4); Clough Rangers v Connor FC; Braid United v Michelin; Riverdale v Waveney Swifts (Wakehurst 2); St Comgalls v Shore Wanderers.

BSML Division Three: Steadfast v Westend Athletic (Galgorm); Demesne Star v Inver Athletic (Dunfane).

Thursday, May 13 (7pm) - BSML Division One: Holywell v Carniny Rangers; Abbeyview v Ballykeel (Forum).

BSML Division Two: Ahoghill Thistle v Seven Towers.

Saturday, May 15 (10.15am) - Rainey Cup, round three: All Saints OB v Abbeyview (Waveney 2).

Ace Cup Quarter Final: FC Moylena v Ballykeel (Forum).

BSML Division One: FC Antrim v Carniny Rangers (Forum).

BSML Division Two: Connor FC v Broadway Celtic; Shore Wanderers v Braid United; Riverdale v Seven Towers (Wakehurst 1).

BSML Division Three: Woodside v Inver Athletic (Wakehurst 4).

Monday, May 17 (7pm) - Paddy Dunlop Cup Final (Division Three Play Offs): Cullybackey Olympic v Wakehurst Olympic (Showgrounds 4).