Lisburn Distillery 2 Queens University 0
Lisburn Distillery are the only team in the division to have taken maximum points from their first two league games and also haven’t conceded a goal in the process. The Whites lead at halftime thanks to a spectacular volleyed effort from Johnny McCaw from outside the box but they looked to have their work cut out for them when Gary Workman was given his marching orders shortly after the restart for an off the ball incident. Some excellent defending from the Distillery back line and inspired goalkeeping from Jonah Nicholl seen the Whites preserve their lead and in the 86th minute Queens substitute Ciaran O’Hare was given his second yellow card making it 10v10 for the closing moments. Paul Young made sure of the points for Distillery when he found himself clean through on goal and coolly passed the ball out of the keepers reach and into the net.
Portstewart 0 Newington 2
After a heavy defeat midweek, Newington made the long journey up north to Portstewart and secured their first three points of the season. The game was scoreless at halftime, though Newington could have taken the lead from the penalty spot but Conal Burns missed his effort. Michael McArdle eventually gave Newington the lead and later in the half Newington scored a second to ensure the long trip back to Belfast was a happy one.
Sport & Leisure Swifts 2 Donegal Celtic 1
Controversy reigned in this derby match in which the Swifts eventually emerged with all three points but it was DC who drew first blood taking the lead within the first minute of the game through a Gerard McMullan goal. The Swifts scored after being awarded a free kick that was taken quickly but the DC player failed to close the ball down and Darren Gallagher was eventually able to find the back of the net to draw the sides level. Sport and Leisure’s second goal arrived in bizarre circumstances when after appeals that a DC player had handled in the box the referee awarded a goal kick, as both sets of players advanced up towards the halfway line to Swifts players took it upon themselves to take a quick corner and the result was that Ryan Burns scored what proved to be the winner when the referee allowed the goal to stand, much to the fury and confusion of the DC players (and perhaps even some of the Swifts players)!!!
Tobermore 4 Moyola Park 4
Perhaps the game of the day on Saturday, at least in terms of goals scored as Moyola and Tobermore shared an eight goal cracker at Fortwilliam. Ironically the opening ten minutes was a fairly scrappy affair with no efforts on goal of note but in the 12th-minute striker Tiarnan Raffery seized on a short back pass and lobbed the ball over Andy Findlay in goals for Tobermore to give Moyola the lead. Two minutes after that Rafferty saw his free kick from effort saved by Findlay but Moyola wouldn’t have long to wait to double the lead when Kyle Beggs made a run down the left and hit a shot across Findlay and into the net. With less than half an hour played it was 3-0 and Rafferty had his second when he converted from a Jason Paul cross. After their initial shell shock Tobermore finally began to get into the game and in the last fifteen minutes of the half Moyola keeper Ben McCauley was called into action a number of times and was finally beaten when Aidan McAuley ran through the defence and shot past McCauley. The first half scoring wasn’t over yet though and a minute into injury time it was 3-2 when Dean Stewart scored from close range. Game on!!! Tobermore started the second half on top but it was Moyola who extended their lead when Beggs scored his second of the game making it 4-2 to Moyola. Tobermore were determined to secure something from the game and put the Moyola goal under increasing pressure for the rest of the game with McCauley making some fine saves. Tobermore were rewarded for their efforts in the 87th minute Neil Lamont scored a superb overhead kick and in injury time Gareth Breslin got the equaliser following a corner bringing an end to a superb derby game, Moyola though will be disappointed to have let such a convincing lead slip.
Dundela 0 Armagh City 0
Dundela and Armagh played out the Premier Intermediate League’s (PIL) first goalless game on Saturday but there was still plenty of action with both sides having chances and hitting the woodwork. Dundela overall seemed to edge the game but a young Armagh side dug deep and came away from WIlgar Park with a well-earned point, something perhaps not many teams will be able to say this season.
Banbridge 3 Annagh United 1
Banbridge got their first points of the season at home on Saturday while it’s two defeats in a row for Annagh who will need to get points on the board asap if they are to avoid being cut adrift. Banbridge took the lead in the game through a Stephen Taggart goal but Aaron Duke brought the sides level. Further goals in the game for Banbridge from Fra McGuiness and the experienced Conor Downey secured the win and even a red card for captain Stephen Greene couldn’t threaten Banbridge’s lead.