Westbank United move clear on Premier Division summit

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WESTBANK UNITED moved three points clear on the summit of the Premier Division table on Saturday with an emphatic victory over nine man Brandywell Harps in one of only three games to survive the deluge of rain.

Meanwhile, in the Championship it was goals galore as Rocking Chair defeated Sion Swifts 6-4 and in the First Division Top of the Hill Celtic Youth and HML shared the spoils in an entertaining 3-3 draw.

Premier Division

Westbank United . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Brandywell Celtic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Westbank opened the scoring on 25 minutes when they made a break down the right and Duffy sent the ball in towards Aaron Nash who scuffed his shot but it was enough to deceive Doherty in the Brandywell goal and the ball trickled over the line.

Westbank doubled their lead nine minutes later when the ball was crossed in to Gary Collette who finished well.

There seemed to be some controversy in the goal and in the aftermath Stephen Melly received a straight red card for dissent leaving Brandywell with just 10 men.

Just before half-time Brandywell were reduced to nine men when Gary Melly was also red carded for dissent. Five minutes into the second half it looked as if the game was over when Nash ran clear of the Brandywell defence and rounded the keeper before slotting the ball into an empty net.

Brandywell surprisingly got back into the game eight minutes later when from a free kick Paul Gormley powered a header past McCloskey to reduce the arrears to 3-1.

Brandywell were then awarded a penalty when a player was brought down inside the penalty area and James Melly scored from the spot to leave just a goal between the sides at 3-2.

Westbank were then awarded an indirect free kick when the keeper collected a pass from his full-back and from the set-piece the ball was rolled to Nash who rifled the ball into the net to complete his hat-trick.

Westbank then extended their lead when Nash went down the right and his perfect cross saw a diving header from Collette find its way past the keeper.

Things got worse for Brandywell when a ball into the penalty area saw Manus Deery turn the ball past his own keeper to finish the rout.

The Championship

Rocking Chair. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Sion Swifts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Rocking Chair took control of this game from the start and they soon raced into a two goal lead when Thornton and McIntyre found the net.

All credit to Sion Swifts who managed to play their way back into the game and goals from Patton and Monaghan saw the two sides level.

Rocking Chair though managed to get back in front before half-time when Barry Maxwell scored and that was how it stood at the break.

In the second half Sion got back on level terms when Rory Gilloway scored but Rocking Chair went back in front when Morrow found the net.

Once again Sion equalised through Gilligan but Wilson and McIntyre both added goals for Rocking Chair to put the game beyond doubt.

First Division

Top of the Hill Celtic Youth. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

HML. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

HML stunned Top of the Hill by taking an early lead when George Green scored after just five minutes.

Midway through the first half Top of the Hill were right back in the mix when they won a free kick and Sean Irwin headed in the equaliser.

In the second half Top of the Hill took the lead for the first time when Connor Kane scored but back came HML and George Green netted his second goal of the game.

Top of the Hill then took the lead again when Aaron Tarr scored but HML had a great chance to level the game when they were awarded a penalty kick, however, George Green missed from the spot.

Top of the Hill were then given the chance to go 4-2 in front when they were awarded a penalty but Dylan Casey missed from the spot.

The game looked to be going Top of the Hill’s way but late in the game George Green completed his hat-trick.

Forthcoming fixtures - Today (Tuesday); Premier Division - Brandywell Celtic v Rosemount (Lisnagelvin No 2); Clooney v Oxford United (Prehen No 6); Tomorrow; Championship - Newton Heath v Red Star (Lisnagelvin No 4); First Division - HML v Benbradagh Colts (Swilly Stadium); Saturday, April 28th; Blue Riband Cup semi-finals - Drumahoe v Phoenix Swifts (Prehen No 1); Brandywell Celtic v Westbank United (Showgrounds); Premier Division - Clooney v Du Pont (St Columb’s No 3); Supplementary Cup - Newton Heath v Tamnaherin Celtic (Templemore Central); Oakleaf Celtic v Northside Albion (Lisnagelvin No. 2); Rocking Chair v Hatmore Harps (Lisnagelvin No 4); Strabane Athletic v Collegians (Strabane); HML v Sion Swifts (Prehen No 6); (Clooney, Top of the Hill Celtic Youth and Foyle Athletic received byes); Tuesday, May 1st; Top 4 Trophy semi-final - Gransha Institute v Drumahoe (Riverside Stadium); Red Star v Benbradagh Colts (Lisnagelvin No 2).