Steelstown lost out in a tightly contested affair at Dean McGlinchey Park on Sunday and were in this match right up until the closing minutes.
In a low scoring first half Eunan Murray scored the first three points of the game, Steelstown coming back to cut the lead to the minimum. Carlus McWilliams put Ballinascreen 0-04 to 0-02 ahead at half-time.
Johnny McKee extended the lead to three points. Again the city side responded to narrow the gap to 0-05 to 0-04 but the home 15 had points from Ronan Devlin and Carlus McWilliams to give them a 0-07 to 0-04 advantage.
Three points in a row from Phillip Bradley, Ronan Devlin and Carlus McWilliams opened up a six point lead. Back came Steelstown for 0-10 to 0-07 but two points from Benny Heron made it 0-12 to 0-07.
Steelstown closed the gap with points from Eamon Donnelly and Daniel Jackson, making his return for the first time since a shoulder injury in the first game of the season against Kilrea. Then Neil Forrester blazed the ball over the bar with a goal beckoning.
With Ryan Devine finishing on three points seven players scoring one each Steelstown were in with a shout in the closing minutes but Ballinascreen closed out the game with a point from Dermot McBride.
The Ballinascreen scorers were - Eunan Murray 0-03, Carlus McWilliams 0-03, Ronan Devlin 0-02, Benny Heron 0-02, Johnny McKee, Phillip Bradley and Dermot McBride 0-01 each.
The Steelstown scorers were - Ryan Devine 0-02, Eamon Donnelly 0-02, James Jackson, Aidan Cleary, Daniel Jackson, Neil Forrester, Ryan McCloskey and Liam Heffernan 0-01 each.
Coleraine rattled up five unanswered points inside seven minutes from Colm McGoldrick, Conor Carey, Richard Carey, Declan Mullan and Ciaran McGoldrick from a free. Cathal O’Kane and Ryan Moore pointed for Craigbane by the 11th minute, with Barry McGoldrick and Aidan Devine then exchanging points.
In the 22nd minute Conor Carey added another point, Colm McGoldrick scoring 1-01 for a 1-08 to 0-03 advantage.
In the closing minutes of the half Conor Carey, Aidan Mullan and Ciaran McGoldrick gave Coleraine a 1-11 to 0-03 interval lead.
Declan Mullan added to the lead with a point inside 20 seconds, Kieran Lagan and Aidan Mullan also on target after seven minutes for 1-14 to 0-03. Cathal O’Kane pointed a free but Gregory Bradley finished a good move with a well taken goal.
Blaine Gormley pointed a free and, after Conor Carey scored a point, Craigbane got another minor before Shane McMenamin netted for the visitors and Rory Gormley pointed in a good spell for Craigbane to take the score to 2-15 to 1-07.
In the 49th and 51st minutes Conor Carey and Aidan Mullan pointed, two minutes from time, after a Rory Gormley point, Colm McGoldrick rocketed the ball to the net from the left of the ‘square’. Conor Carey and substitute Sean Leo McGoldrick finished the scoring for Coleraine as they racked up a comfortable 16 point win.
Banagher lost John Lynch with a shoulder injury after five minutes. However they belied their lowly league position and stunned the home side with fully deserved five point victory, a Darragh McCloskey goal midway through the first half helping them to a 1-06 to 0-05 interval lead.
James Kielt (2), Stephen Johnston from a free, Eamon Morgan and Brian Og McAlary scored for Kilrea, while Eunan Murphy, Conor Lynch, Mark Lynch with two frees, Gavan O’Neill and Aaron Hasson scored the points for Banagher.
Oisin McCloskey scored the second Banagher goal in the 45th minute to give them an eight point advantage and they held out to give them a vital two points in their battle against relegation.
Loup had 10 points to spare over the Tones in a high scoring game, all six goals scored in the second half after Loup had built a 0-12 to 0-05 interval lead.
The Bellaghy goals came from Ryan Lee (2) and Conan Brown, with Glen Martin, and Ciaran Devlin (2) netting for Loup.
Peter Cassidy scored three points from frees for Bellaghy, while Declan McVey (5), Ciaran Devlin (3) and Anthony O’Neill (3) were the main points’ scorers for the home side.
In a closely contested first half Newbridge led 0-05 to 0-04 at half-time, with Eamon Burke, Nathan Rocks (2), Kevin Sweeney and Thomas Walls on target.
In the last quarter Rossas outscored Newbridge 0-06 to 0-02 to win the game by five points, Chrissy Spiers top-scoring with eight points.
Thomas Gunning levelled the scores at 0-06 each in the 52nd minute but that was as close as the Davitt’s got in a low scoring game at Davitt Park.
Ballinderry, who missed many scoring chances in the second period, scored six points in a row to win by six points.
Fintan Bell had put Ballinderry in front but Brian Diamond levelled before Conleith Gilligan and Eugene O’Kane swopped points and Daniel McKinless made the score 0-04 to 0-02 at half-time.
On the resumption Conleith Gilligan scored twice for 0-06 to 0-02 but Seamus Kearney, Eugene O’Kane, Brian Diamond and Thomas Og Gunning capped a determined fight-back by Swatragh to level the scores but they could not push on for victory as Ballinderry hit six points on the bounce for a win that keeps them clear at the top of the table.
The Swatragh scorers were - Brian Diamond 0-03, Eugene O’Kane 0-02, Seamus Kearney and Thomas Og Gunning 0-01 each.
The Ballinderry scorers were Conleith Gilligan 0-04, Daniel McKinless 0-03, Stephen Scullion, Fintan Bell, Matt Quinn, Martin Harney, Dermot McGuckin 0-01 each.