SLIDESHOW: Busy week of trophy action in SML

Harryville Homers can take another step towards an unprecedented ‘clean sweep’ in the Ballymena Mortgages Saturday Morning League this weekend.

The champagne was flowing for Glenravel FC on Saturday as they won the Ballymena Shamrocks Celtic Supporters' Club-sponsored Paddy Dunlop Cup Division Three play-off, to clinch promotion to Division Two of the Ballymena Saturday Morning League. See pages 52-53 for the latest SML news.

Robert Duddy’s side, undefeated in all domestic competitions this season, as well as their famous IFA Junior Cup win, aim to add yet another piece of silverware to the haul when they take on Michelin in the final of the Ace Cup at Connor on Friday night (7.15pm).

Homers are now into their 14th Cup Final in a row which also includes two Junior Cup Finals so they have a formidable record in knockout competitions and are looking to make a clean sweep of Trophies this season.

Michelin have given them a close match every time they met this season so a very close Ace Cup Final is expected.

The champagne was flowing for Glenravel FC on Saturday as they won the Ballymena Shamrocks Celtic Supporters' Club-sponsored Paddy Dunlop Cup Division Three play-off, to clinch promotion to Division Two of the Ballymena Saturday Morning League. See pages 52-53 for the latest SML news.

Meanwhile, there was play-off glory at the weekend for both FC Antrim and Glenravel who will play in Division One and Two respectively next summer.

ACE CUP SEMI-FINALS

Michelin 4, Abbeyview 1: Michelin took control of this semi final from the start and took the lead on 11 minutes when Stephen Sexton turned and played in strike partner Michael McQuitty to fire home.

Michelin pressure did pay off on 57 minutes when they went 2-0 up. Michael McQuitty repaid the favour from the first half as he played in Stephen Sexton who slotted the ball under Keith Fearson to score.

Six minutes later it was 3-0 when a Craig Larkin cross was met at the near post by the head of Stephen Sexton as Michelin looked to have killed the tie.

Eight minutes from time Abbeyview were give a lifeline when Alan Cochrane was fouled in the box and a penalty was awarded. David McWilliams fired the spot kick into the top corner of the net to make it 3-1.

Michelin were to have the final say though as they secured their final place with a fourth goal in the final minutes when Gareth Hill rose to head home a Craig Larkin corner and complete the scoring for Michelin.

Harryville Homers 2, Carnlough Swifts 0: After a scoreless first half, Homers eventually broke the deadlock on 61 minutes when Darren Campbell scored from the penalty spot after David Nicholl had been fouled.

Twelve minutes later Homers killed the game off when they got their second goal. Right full back Richard Forsythe crossed to the back post for fellow full back Keith Wylie to score with a powerful header.

DIVISION TWO PLAY-OFF

FC Antrim 7, North End Shamrocks 2: Antrim raced into a two goal lead in the first 15 minutes in this Leighinmohr House Hotel-sponsored play off final.

They opened the scoring on six minutes when a Pearse McAuley flick set Sean Redmond in the clear and his shot was parried over the line by Shamrocks keeper Dylan Lyttle.

Eight minutes later Antrim were awarded a penalty when Odhran McAuley was fouled inside the box. Pearse McAuley stepped up and made no mistake from the spot kick.

Antrim looked like they were going to run riot after this but Shamrocks got back in the game 16 minutes before the break. Paul Donegan clipped a free kick to the back post and found Brian Paul Donnelly who volleyed home from close range.

Antrim hit back with two quick fire goals to make it 4-1. Their third goal came when Odhran McAuley player in Shane Donnelly to fire home and then Sean Redmond scored his second to make it 4-1 five minutes before the break.

Shamrocks started to take the game to Antrim at the start of the second half but it was Antrim who got the next goal. Niall McCoy slipped in Shane Donnelly who raced clear to make it 5-1 just after the hour mark.

Antrim controlled the game after this and made it 6-1 when Niall McCoy smashed the ball home from a tight angle on the right hand side of the box.

Peter McAuley made it 7-1 to Antrim 12 minutes before the end when he diverted home a Shane Donnelly cross from the left.

Ryan McCloskey got a consolation goal for Shamrocks minutes from the end, but Antrim had done enough and ran out easy winners.

After the final whistle BSML Chairman David King handed the Leighinmohr House Hotel Cup over to winning Antrim Captain Shane Donnelly and the promotion party began.

PADDY DUNLOP CUP

Glenravel 2, Galgorm Blues 1: The Ballymena Shamrocks Celtic Supporters Club sponsored Division Three Play Offs took place on Saturday and after a hard fought game Glenravel won through to gain promotion to Division Two after coming back from one goal down.

The Blues started the better and their early pressure paid off after 6 minutes when Ryan Crawford played a cross from the right into the Glenravel penalty area which Lee McCaughern chased and force a Glenravel player to put the ball into his own net.

Glenravel snatched the equaliser 10 minutes later when Ryan McGlade played a long cross field ball which sent Cormac Gordon clear and he slotted the ball past the outrushing Galgorm keeper Andrew Steele and into the net. Glenravel took the lead half way through the half when they were awarded a corner kick which Darren Burgoyne took and sent a deep ball to the back post where Mark McAllister headed back across goal for David Birt to cooly side foot into the net.

The nearest Galgorm got to a goal was a header from Andrew Mairs which Glenravel defender Declan Higgins headed off the line with his keeper beaten.

After the Final whistle Mickey Gordon representing Ballymena Shamrocks Celtic Supporters Club handed over the Paddy Dunlop Cup to Glenravel Captain Darren Burgoyne which sent the Glenravel players and supporters into celebration mood.

LEAGUE MEETING

The last meeting of the season takes place this Monday 26th May at 8pm in Michelin Club. It is essential that teams are represented as arrangements for the League Dinner on 6th June will be discussed as well as payment of tickets and new Player Registration Forms will be available.

OTHER RESULTS

Rainey Cup Semi Final: Carniny Rangers 2, Harryville Homers 4.

Ballymena Mortgages Division One: Carnlough Swifts 1, Michelin 11; Clough Rangers 2, Ahoghill Thistle 1; Harryville Homers 2, All Saints OB 1; Clough Rangers 1, Carniny Rangers 1.

Ballymena Mortgages Division Two: Connor 9, Holywell 1.

FIXTURES

Tuesday, May 20 (7pm) - Ballymena Mortgages Division One: Harryville Homers v Carniny Rangers (Wakehurst 2); Carnlough Swifts v FC Moylena

Friday, May 23 - Ace Cup Final (7.15pm) - Harryville Homers v Michelin (Connor).

Saturday, May 24 (10.15am) - Ballymena Mortgages Division One: Randalstown Sky Blues v Carniny Rangers.