Carrick Rovers 3
Quay Celtic 3
Quay recovered from 2-0 down to then have what would have been an important win snatched from their grasp at the death in this away match on Friday night.
Striving to get back on track after a stuttering patch prior to the summer break, Quay fell two goals behind, the second of which was of the gift variety, to go in at the break with a sizable task on their hands.
However, the introduction of Chris Clarke and Brian McGuirk very much signalled a big improvement in their play, and Fintan Brady put them right back in the hunt by cutting the deficit.
He then notched a second to leave it level pegging, and Scott Hearty made his mark on his introduction, putting the visitors ahead with a good finish, showing why he has been the leading marksmen for most of the Dundalk Junior League season.
Regrettably for Quay, they couldn’t hold out which was somewhat disappointing but from the perilous position in which they were, it was a result with which they could be happy.
Quay: Eddie Maguire, Conor Murphy (Brian McGuirk), Kian McEvoy, Dannan Killeen (Blake Stephens), Dylan Cahill, Brian Brady, Adam McKenna, Thomas Daly (Chris Clarke), Fintan Brady, Terence Kelly, Dylan O’Hanlon.
Rock Celtic 9
Bay FC 1
This relegation tussle turned into a romp for Rock and the manner in which their opponents collapsed in the second half spells real trouble for them as the points eased the Seasiders’ worries with all three teams underneath them losing at the weekend.
They were much the better side from the start at Sandy Lane on Friday night and weren’t flattered by a two-goal lead after 20 minutes. Ronan Sands finished off in style a sweeping move started by goalkeeper John Rogers, and then former Bay player Kizito Ekwueme was put through a yawning gap in the centre of the visitors by a pass by Mark Leavy from halfway to add his side’s second goal.
A spectacular scissor-kick by Gavin Donnelly from near the six-yard line put Bay right back in the game with just under a half an hour played .
Rogers pulled off a crucial save on his line before, on the stroke of half-time, substitute Josh Todd restored Rock’s two-goal advantage when Seán Hand raced clean through and laid the ball back for his teammate to place a shot past a defender on the goalline.
The game took a drastic and decisive turn in the opening couple of minutes of the second half. The Bay goalkeeper, with a trailing leg, brought down Ekwueme, who took the penalty and calmly stroked his kick into the bottom corner of the net.
Then a brilliant pass by Jack Reid inside the full-back set Hand free on the left side of the 18-yard box and he curled the ball beautifully into the far top-corner despite Callum Mulholland getting a finger tip to it.
A stunned Bay went further behind with Ekwueme streaking clear into their penalty box on the right and finding the bottom far corner to complete his hat-trick and make the score 6-1.
Joseph Byrne was barely on the field when he steered home Rock’s seventh goal from a low cross by fellow substitute Josh Todd.
Ekwueme grabbed his fourth and his side’s eight goal when Mulholland spilled Byrne's low cross in front of his goal.
And Sands completed the rout with his second goal of the night when he converted another spot-kick which he won himself.
It was elation for Rock but sheer dejection for Bay who have a real job on hand to avoid relegation, which they have flirted with over the past two seasons.
Rock: John Rogers (David Hayes), Liam McDonnell (Liam O’Callaghan), Connor McGowan, Fergal Carroll, Kevin McKenna (Kai Akhal), Ronan Sands, Jack Reid, Mark Leavy, Killian Duffy (Josh Todd), Seán Hand (Joseph Byrne), Kizito Ekwueme.
Bay: Callum Mulholland, Angelo Stanley, Michael Adeboyega, Cornel Nazari (Gabriel Solares 45), Stephen Woods (Gaither Diatezulwa 65), Paddy Connor, Sahnoon Buye, Alfonso Crespo, Shaun O’Connor, Gavin Donnelly, Alan Dyas.
Glenmuir took advantage of Walshestown’s defeat the previous night with this decisive win over the bottom club, putting them into third place in Division 2 and right on course to earn promotion.
The result really was a fillip after the holiday break as they meet Walshestown, away, next Sunday, when they could take a big step towards fulfilling their goal of securing First Division football next season.
Friday night’s game was one where manager Paudie Gollogley once again turned to his U17 squad and with a pleasing outcome, with six of those young players involved, four starting, and young striker Kerri Williams coming off the bench to score twice and clinch the points.
James Callan put the visitors in front after 20 minutes when, following a short corner-kick, he hit a great strike into the top corner of the net from 25 yards.
Glenmuir created plenty of scoring opportunities, and Mark Molloy made it 2-0 as a result of good play down the left.
Newtown cut the leeway just before the break when young Glenmuir goalkeeper Shane O’Connor looked to have been impeded and dropped the ball to allow the home side to score.
Newtown had a let off after the break when striker Tomiwa Osho struck a post. But shortly after Daniel Brogan made it 3-1.
Williams was then introduced and the 16-year-old scored with virtually his first touch from a very acute angle.
He then headed home his side’s fifth and final goal.
Glenmuir: Shane O’Connor, Ronan Molloy, James Callan, Edgar Bitanis (Willie Kelly), Kyle Watters, Chris Stewart, Robert Kilgallon (Stephen Carron), Daniel Brogan (Ryan Del Duca 60), Mark Molloy (Éanna McArdle), Connor Maguire, Tomiwa Osho (Kerri Williams 60).
The leaders were mightily relieved to hear the final whistle on Friday night in this game in which they managed to extend their unbeaten record with a win they barely deserved.
Certainly, visitors Bellurgan didn’t gain their just deserts in losing with Trim hanging on in the closing minutes having been reduced to 10 players with a player sent-off.
The leaders opened a 3-0 lead but it didn’t really tell the story with Bellurgan with a just grievance over the manner in which they conceded all of the Trim goals.
One was the result of a mistake, another came from a deflection and the other from a disputed penalty.
Still, Bellurgan didn’t let the turn of events weigh them down, and pulled a goal back through Emmet Rogan, and had a claim for a penalty of their own as a tense finish ensued with Trim down to 10 men in the closing stages.
The winners had their goalkeeper to thank for securing the win with a string of crucial saves, a number out of the top drawer, that leaves them 12 games without a defeat.
The visitors fell behind in the first quarter of an hour. But not long after, Peter Shields wasted a glorious chance to equalise when he shot wide from five yards out.
What Bellurgan thought was a perfectly judged tackle by John Smith ended up in Trim being awarded a penalty which they converted to go 2-0 ahead.
Bellurgan responded strongly in the second half and Shields had another good chance to score after 10 minutes.
Lady luck seemed had totally deserted Bellurgan when a deflected effort ended up in the visitors’ net to make it 3-0 to the home side.
However, the Peninsula outfit almost immediately gained their just reward when Rogan reduced the leeway, and the game was thrown into the melting pot with the leaders having a man dismissed
It was then the home goalkeeper really came to the fore with a number of top-quality saves as it was all one-way traffic in the direction of the home goal. Bellurgan tried all they could to salvage a draw but the denial of what they saw as a clear penalty was proof to them it just wasn’t their night.
Bellurgan: Seán McGeough, Mario Kolak, Ray Finnegan, Joe Higgins, Luke Higgins, Emmet Rogan, Joe Needham, Conor Watters, Tadhg O’Connor, Peter Shields, Alan Connor. Subs used: Coran Lindsay, Owen Traynor, Seán Murden.
Ace man Micky O’Kane followed up his hat-trick against Quay Celtic with the match-winner as the champions continued their climb up the North-East Premier Division table.
O’Kane, so often the hero for his side, fired home from the spot to secure the spoils against opponents who were on equal points entering Friday night’s encounter at Muirhevnamor.
The win puts the champions three points clear of their rivals and alone in third place.
Mark Traynor put Muirhevnamor ahead in the first half with a great half-volley from the edge of the penalty box.