There were mixed fortunes for Nortel and Barn United on Saturday, with both teams aiming to translate promising cup form into their first league wins of the season.
Nortel moved up two Premier Division places after a 3-2 success at Crumlin United in the top-versus-bottom clash. Lee McCartney’s men did the damage in the opening 25 minutes, racing ahead through goals from Adam Richmond, Elliott McKimm and William Bingham.
For the second week in a row, though, Nortel were indebted to a crucial penalty save from Kris Malone early in the second half, though Crumlin did eventually end up within touching distance with two long-range strikes.
It was a weekend to forget for Davy Rollo’s Islandmagee who were thumped 8-1 at home to league leaders Downpatrick.
Hovering just one off the bottom in Division 1A are Barn United who lost 2-1 at Orangefield OB.
The Cregagh Sports Club is never the easiest ground to play at, but on a sunny Saturday Barn boss Jim Pherson conceded: “It was as good as it’s going to be, only you don’t really get time to play much football up there. It’s always going to be end-to-end.
“It’s our own fault. We should never have lost. Very disappointing, not the same application, attitude or quality there has been over the past few weeks.”
Matt Doyle gave Barn a 65th-minute advantage after Rob Armstrong’s 30-yarder hit the post, but back came the Old Boys five minutes later, following a mix-up at a corner.
Barn were soon reduced to 10 men; Matt Bingham seeing red after being awarded the free-kick and it was the home side who exploited the numbers game 10 minutes from time.
It was 10-a-side, though, for the final two minutes after a home defender was shown a second yellow.
Larne Tech ended their three-game drought in Division 1A with a 3-0 victory at home to Dromara Village courtesy of two from Reece McGinley (one a penalty) and one from Niall McAllister.
Wellington Rec got back to winning ways in 1B with a 2-1 success at Donard Hospital. Andy Phillips and Andy Waide got their goals. Rec stay second, behind leaders Ballynahinch Olympic who were 6-2 winners over an understrength Rathfern Rangers, whose marksmen were Gary Orr and David Moore.
Newington Rangers claimed their second league win of the season with a 3-2 success at Dromore Amateurs, while Whitehead Eagles were 4-1 winners at home to Grange Rangers in Division 2C.