BALLYNURE Old Boys advanced to the second round of the Crawford Cup at the expense of Wakehurst Strollers more convincingly than the 3-2 scoreline suggests.
Two up at the break, the villagers spurned numerous scoring opportunities at Mossley against their junior opponents, who set up a tense finish with a late strike.
The Nure lads took an early lead when Ronnie Burns converted from the penalty spot after being hauled down by the keeper, when chasing a long delivery from Jonny Robinson.
Midway through the first half Wakehurst were back on level terms, when one of their strikers latched on to a wayward back-pass by John Crooks and slotted the ball wide of Gareth Moody.
Generally Ballynure were having the major share of possession, so Moody had to deal only with long range efforts.
Two quick strikes approaching the interval killed off the opposition.
Michael Duff regained the lead in the 40th minute from a Nathan Gray corner, and on the blow Andy Forsythe touched in at the back post from a Burns corner, to give the hosts a two goals’ cushion going in to the second session.
Burns, Simon Gibson and Simon McGreevy all missed opportunities to increase the lead, before Strollers pulled one back two minutes from time, but the Nure defence held out to make sure that their name was in the hat for the next round.
“Wakehurst had a good young side that battled well and made life difficult for us at times,” said chairman Michael Graham, “but overall we had the edge and should have won more convincingly.
“Our passing was poor today, and we will have to move up a few gears for this week’s visit of one of the top teams, Newtowne, in a Ballymena Premier League clash at Mossley,” he added.
Ballynure OB: Moody; Robinson, Gibson, Forsythe, M Curlett; Gray, Leckey, M Duff, Crooks; Burns, Miskimmin. Subs: Penny, Moore, McGreevy.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division Rathcoole FC lost 4-1 away at Dunloy.
After last weekend’s 2-1 win over Carniny, FC Ballynure came back down to earth with a bump in a 9-0 defeat away to Newtowne.
Fixtures (Sept 28): FC Ballynure v Brantwood, Ballynure OB v Newtowne, Rathcoole FC v Carniny Amateurs.