In the Ballymena Junior Division 1 top against bottom clash, Ballyclare Comrades Reserves showed no mercy for ten man Cookstown RBL who were thrashed 9-0.
Hat-tricks by Curtis Dempster and Jamie McMillan, plus a Kyle Woods brace, followed by an own goal significantly improved the Reserves’ goal difference, and left the County Tyrone lads reeling on their own patch.
Trailing 5-0 approaching the break the home side’s woes were compounded when they had a player sent off in the 43rd minute.
The goalfest started as early as the third minute when Dempster netted from a Ryan Burke pass, and then McMillan doubled the lead following a right wing thrust by Kyle Robinson. Dempster made it 3-0 from a one-on-one with the busy keeper, and on the half-hour McMillan scored his second when he chased down Curtis Woods’ long ball over the top.
In the 40th minute a defender deflected a Robinson cross past his own keeper to give the rampant Reds a five goals’ cushion going into the second session against 10 men.
Woods opened his account within six minutes, before Dempster completed his hat-trick with the best goal of the day – he chested down a Michael Haskins free, swivelled and volleyed the ball in to the roof of the net.
Woods doubled his tally when he rifled the ball into the net from 25 yards and McMillan completed the rout from another Haskins pass.
“I had sympathy for the Cookstown goalie who pulled off several outstanding saves to prevent further embarrassment,” said manager Ronnie Burns. “It was good to see striker Curtis Dempster from the senior squad back in action, having been sidelined for a couple of months with a fractured bone in his foot. Left back Curtis Woods also got much-needed match time.
“This was an easy win, but we will face sterner opposition this weekend when Antrim Rovers come to Threemilewater Park,” he added.
Comrades Reserves: McKnight; McCauley, B Crowe, C Woods; Robinson, Burke, Clarke, Haskins; McMillen, Dempster, K Woods. Subs: McIlwaine, Finn, Fenton, Todd.