11 Mar 2023
© Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press Matthew Ferguson celebrates scoring the winner at Blanchflower Park

Two games might have fallen foul of the weather but the four Lough 41 Championship contests that did go ahead didn’t disappoint on what turned out to be an eventful afternoon.

Leaders Loughgall uncharacteristically lost points at home with a one-goal defeat to Dergview, their first reversal in eight outings.

Ben Gallagher grabbed the only goal of the game for Tommy Canning’s side just before the break to move them up to ninth spot and into an advantageous position in the battle at the bottom.

Warrenpoint Town moved clear in second spot, five points behind the Villagers, following a 2-1 victory over Institute at Milltown.

Steven Ball fired Barry Gray’s charges in front on 37 minutes with a drilled effort following a good team move.

It was a lead they held until three minutes into added time when Adam Carroll seemingly made sure of the win with a brilliant strike but ‘Stute hit back almost immediately through a Sean McCarron free-kick to set up a nervous finish.

Third placed Annagh United faltered again, going down 3-1 at home to Ballyclare Comrades.

Scoreless at the break, Ian Fletcher opened the scoring around the hour mark with a high ball into the box that keeper Ronan Burns dropped into the net.

Callum Ferris doubled up soon after with a close range header before Joe Tully steered a volley into the net with just over five minutes remaining. Peter Duffin did pull one back for Annagh after that but it proved to be scant consolation as Ciaran McGurgan’s side fell to a third defeat on the bounce.

And there was late, late drama at Blanchflower Park as HW Welders came out on top over Dundela in the big east Belfast derby.

Ciaran Dobbin had edged the Duns in front midway through the first half but two goals within a minute of each other from Jonny Frazer and Matthew Ferguson saw the Welders come through to claim the points.

Meanwhile, in the Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League, Limavady United stormed to a five-goal defeat of Tobermore United at Fortwilliam Park.

Tiarnan Boorman and Lewis Tosh had the Roesiders in front at the break, with Ryan Doherty and Alex Pomeroy adding to the tally after the break before Tosh wrapped things up with his second of the afternoon.