U18 South Belfast League
The U18 team’s improving form continued at the weekend when they achieved an impressive single goal win over Aquinas.
Both sides had their chances but for the first time this season, Colts were very strong defensively with Joey Sweeney in outstanding form.
Carryduff started brightly with Jonny Murray on the right causing real problems for the Aquinas defence.
He created the only goal of the game, midway through the half, when he left two defenders in his wake and crossed low and hard for Ryan Beattie to apply the final touch at the near post.
Centre backs Rory McDonnell and Eoin Doherty stood up strongly to some good attacking play from Aquinas while Nathan Lyons made a couple of timely saves.
Colts suffered a blow when midfielder Paddy McEvoy, who had gained a stranglehold on the game, along with impressive colleague Michael Mooney, had to go off injured and was replaced by Andy Carter just before the break.
Carter nearly made an immediate impression when a great move down the right, involving speedy James Artherton and Murray, saw the latter fire over a superb cross which Carter met but misplaced his header. Colts went close again at the beginning of the second period when Danny Toal fired in an explosive left foot drive that went just over.
The best chance of the second half fell to Beattie, after he was put through on goal by Michael Deeny, but the goalkeeper managed to save.
At the other end, substitute goalkeeper Ciaran O’Hagan made a superb save when he scrambled across his goalline to touch an effort around the post.
Aquinas pushed for an equaliser during the last ten minutes but McDonnell and Doherty stood strong and Colts secured their first win of the season.
Colts: Lyons, Artherton, Sweeney (O’Hagan), McDonnell, Doherty, McEvoy (Carter), Murray, Mooney, Beattie, Toal, Deeny.
Carryduff Colts 4
Goals from Ciaran Gillan, Matthew McConville, Kevin Mockey and Conor O’Toole secured a well-deserved win for the Colts over Ulidia in the early morning kick off at Hydebank.
Carryduff started brightly and Pearse McCabe went close when he lifted the ball over the keeper but it was cleared off the line. McConville had a shot well-saved before Gillan opened the scoring with a fine finish after ten minutes.
The Colts kept up the pressure and made it 2-0 a couple of minutes later when McConville volleyed home.
Paul Maguire hit a great shot just over while McConville also went close again. Ulidia had a few opportunities of their own but the Colts back four stood firm. The Colts had the lion’s share of possession in the second half and finally made their dominance pay when Kevin Mockey scored from close range.
A superb tackle in the Colts penalty area by Aaron Doherty denied Ulidia before Conor O’Toole fired past the Ulidia keeper to round off the scoring.
Colts: O'Neill, McCluskey, Gormley, Caskey, Maguire, Gillan, White, Doherty, McConville, Power, McCabe, McKeown, Mockey, O'Toole, Holden, Devine.
Carryduff Colts 0
The Colts went into this match brimming with confidence and soon had Cliftonville on the back foot.
After five minutes a beautifully floated corner was met by captain Daniel Coogan and he was unlucky to see his header crash off the upright.
Cliftonville looked dangerous on the break but the back four looked assured when called upon.
The Colts had the ball in the net but Tommy Connery was adjudged to be offside as he easily beat the oncoming keeper.
It looked like a matter of time before the Colts would score, however, good defending from Cliftonville left it all square at half time. The Colts started the second period on top with Ronan Lavery’s strong running a key feature in each attack.
A snap shot from Christopher Campbell forced a great save from their keeper while at the other end Simon Henry turned a stinging shot around the post as Cliftonville upped the tempo.
With ten minutes left Cliftonville broke and fired past Henry to give the Reds the lead.
The Colts pushed hard to get back on level terms and a run from Dylan Strong saw his cross shot go narrowly wide.
As the Colts pushed forward they were caught on the break with two minutes to go.
Colts: Henry, Hynes, Murtagh, Coogan (c), Cunningham, Agnew (McCann), Campbell (Reid), Lavery, Maguire (Devlin), Connery (Foy), Doyle (Strong).
Newcastle League Div 2
Newcastle III 4
Carryduff Colts 5
Carryduff Colts’ perfect start to the season continued when they produced a remarkable comeback, in a pulsating game at a soaking Donard Park, to claim their fourth successive win.
The Colts emerged the winners with the odd goal in nine thanks to super sub Stevie Connolly who scored a brace in the last ten minutes.
The Colts started poorly and found themselves three goals down after just 20 minutes.
Two of the Newcastle goals were comical in the extreme with the ball being stuck in a large puddle near the 18-yard line as they tried to play from the back.
With Johnny Henry playing well in an unaccustomed goalkeeping role and Neill Murray pulling the strings in midfield the Colts clawed their way back when Brownlee scored a brace just before half time to make it 3-2. The Colts’ defence was breached early in the second half when they conceded a fourth, but all credit must go to the players as Calum Croskery reduced the deficit midway through the half to 4-3.
Chris Curran was soon moved into an advanced role and played his part as Colts began to turn the screw.
With eight minutes on the clock Connolly pounced in a crowded goalmouth to level.
Soon after, the Newcastle keeper saved from a Doherty effort but from the resultant corner Connolly somehow managed to squeeze the ball over the line from four yards.
A super fightback from the Colts, with Murray the star of the show.
COLTS: Henry, Sweeney, Artherton, Curran, McCullagh (Rea), Magee (Connolly), Murray, J Croskery (Beattie), C Croskery, Doherty, Brownlee.