Saturday, 09 October 2010 09:57
Bangor Hibs recorded only their second home league win of the season on Sunday with a deserved victory at home to Ballyglass, ending the visitors' hopes of promotion to the Super League in the process. In fact, you could say it knocked Ballyglass for six, because in pushing the visitors into sixth place in the table it also relegated them, thanks to the restructuring of the league for next season. For Bangor, the win has set up a playoff for fourth place in the division against Clew Bay United, a game that will be played in Manulla next Sunday. The winners will stay in the premier; the losers will also be relegated (yes, from fifth place in the table).
The teams cancelled each other out in the opening 28 minutes until Hibs striker Brian McHale was tripped just outside the box. Picking himself up, he despatched the resultant free kick into the bottom left-hand corner of Shane Ryan's net for a goal that the match so desperately needed.
This stirred the visitors into action and they were level three minutes before the break when a poor throw-in by the Bangor defence resulted in Ballyglass' Kevin Burke seizing on the error to fire home from six yards.
It looked as if the sides would go in at the break level but just prior to the half time whistle Hibs enjoyed a slice of luck. Goalkeeper Michael Reilly's wind-assisted kick carried all the way into the Ballyglass area and was met by centre half Darren Reilly who unfortunately back-headed over Ryan in the visiting goal and ensured Hibs had a significant cushion for the second half.
The second period saw Hibs up their game and go in search of the crucial third goal. It eventually arrived on 75 minutes when a brilliant through ball from midfielder Shane Mangan was met on the half-volley by striker Mikey Sweeney, a half time substitute for Declan King, and he expertly kept the ball down to fire high past an outstretched Ryan.
Ballyglass forced a number of corners late on but just couldn't break down a Hibs defence in which veteran Jimmy Flannery and Cormac Murphy shone.
Bangor Hibs 3
Bangor Hibs: M. Reilly, S. Ginty, J. Flannery, C. Murphy, M. Carey, G. Sweeney, S. Mangan, K. Holmes, M. Doocey, B. McHale, D. King.
Subs used: M. Sweeney and A. Carey.
Ballyglass: S. Ryan, S. Hamilton, P.J. Gibbons, D. Ruane, D. Reilly, K. Burke, D. Bell, D. Mahon, A. Jennings, J. Walsh, B. Keane.
Subs used: A. Walsh, J. Noonan, L. Cawley.
Ref: P. Foley (Westport).
●Star rating: Jimmy Flannery...solid.