A GOAL in each half eased Ballynure Old Boys to a merited Ballymena Premier League 2-0 win over Carniny Amateurs at the weekend.
The ‘Nure lads settled in quickly on the 3G surface at Ballymena Showgrounds and they had the home side on the back foot early on.
In the 10th minute Ronnie Burns squared nicely to strike partner Ross Miskimmin who volleyed over the bar from a favourable scoring position.
Goalkeeper Ryan Stewart, promoted from the 2nd XI, had little to do, with Johnny Robinson and Gareth Curlett supreme at the heart of the defence, so that the hosts were restricted to long range efforts.
Burns continued to show his class up front, and eventually he opened the scoring when he latched on to a long clearance by Robinson and neatly chipped the advancing keeper.
Just before the break Stewart produced a fine diving save at the expense of a corner to prevent a Carniny equaliser.
Former Dundela and Ballyclare Comrades stalwart, David Officer, took control in midfield after the break so the result was never in doubt.
On the hour Officer, Stevie McDowell and Burns combined to leave Miskimmin with a simple back-post tap-in to double the lead.
It was one-way traffic towards the home goal after that, but David Hall, McDowell and new signing Nicky Agnew (ex-Kilbride Swifts) were unable to increase the lead.
“Under manager Gary Burns and his assistant Andy Forsythe, Ballynure are beginning to show something like the Ballynure teams of old,” said club president, Michael Graham.
“David Officer was in commanding form in the engine room, and although we are outsiders for the title, we could still secure a podium finish and do well in the cups, if we can reproduce this form consistently.
“We have had a disastrous run recently, but hopefully we have now turned the corner,” he said.
Ballynure OB: Stewart; Penny, Robinson, G Curlett, M Curlett; McDowell, Officer, Hall, McGreevy; Burns, Miskimmin. Subs: Hegarty, Agnew, Gregory.
An under-strength 2nd XV, which included evergreens Stephen Taylor and Stuart Reid, were well beaten 4-0 by Division 1 outfit Tobermore United Reserves in the Canada Trophy at The Diamond.