It was hardly third time lucky for 18th Newtownabbey, for, after two postponements, they lost home advantage and lost 5-1 to current 2A pace-setters Rosemount Rec in this Clarence Cup tie in Kircubbin, writes Alan Hall.
Eighteenth manager Michael Jamison was impressed with Rosemount, pointing out: “They have a few players who had dropped down from Intermediate level with Ards Rangers, and had a striker who was ex-Armagh City – a good side!”
Things were looking far from rosy for 18th as the Rec, with the wind at their backs, breezed into a three-goal lead. Newtownabbey’s only real offering was when Campbell Neill’s lob eluded the keeper, only to be held up in the gusting gale.
On the turnaround, it was the 1C side’s turn to have the elements in their favour and there was some hope that all wasn’t ‘gone with the wind’, as Michael Cole headed in a Simon Bennett corner.
The Old Boys too could have been back within touching distance had the home keeper not pulled off fine saves to deprive Neill, and in particular, Gary Kelly.
However, Rosemount effectively secured their place in the next round, catching 18th on the break to restore their three-goal advantage.
By now 18th were forced into a goalkeeping change; Dylan Knell taking over the custodial duties after Scott Hamilton, who had pulled off some fine saves in the first half, broke a finger.
Knell, too, was relieved to see Rosemount fail to hit the target with two one-on-ones, before the Greyabbey side finally notched a fifth near the end.
Another missed one on one denied Rosemount a six-pack.
18th Newtownabbey OB; Hamilton (D Knell) – K Lynas, Letson, Cole, Campbell – A Knell (Hinton), Kelly, Bennett, P Moore (Lough) – Neill, McAllister.
This Saturday, it’s back to the league and a tasty local derby away to Mossley FC.