There was deserved Clarence Cup success on Saturday for Barn United and Nortel - even if both sides had the ‘Christmas bonus’ of playing over half the ties against 10 men.
Barn were 3-1 winners over 1A stablemates 1st Bangor OB in the Intermediate at Haslett Park, taking a two-goal interval lead despite playing into the teeth of the howling gale.
Barn boss Jim Pherson explained: “Our game plan worked a treat, we had five at the back and kept the ball on the deck. They couldn’t get it off us and you could see their frustration mounting.”
Andy Kane had already gone close with an ambitious chip which gusted just a fraction wide before giving United the lead from the spot after Allen McCune had been fouled.
First Bangor were reduced to 10 – a straight red for a stray elbow on Marc Kelly – by the time McCune doubled Barn’s lead.
The Old Boys pegged one back just after the break, but Barn’s place was secured with Kane once more spot on, after the lively McCune had once again triggered Bangor’s defensive alarm.
Nortel, meanwhile, were comfortable 7-1 winners over 2A outfit Ford.
Adam Irwin settled Nortel’s early nerves and Dale Fenner had rattled the timber, before Ford were down to 10. Willie McMurdie made them pay minutes later with his side’s second, before Fenner notched a third before the break.
Nortel added further second half goals through McMurdie, Craig Caughey and the Clarke brothers, Timmy and Jordan.
There was a Clarence calamity for Larne Tech Old Boys losing 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw away to Dromore Amateurs.
Assistant-manager Stephen Adair lamented: “Dromore were the hungrier side. Even when we went two up, Dromore had the better chances and had they that bit more quality up front they wouldn’t have needed extra-time.
“A total disaster and we got what we deserved, but we’ll move on and have two weeks to work on things.”
The Tech’s goalscorers were Christopher Agnew and Niall McAllister.
Elsewhere, UUJ lost 5-2 at Sirocco Works, while 4th Newtownabbey were 3-1 winners at home to Temple Rangers. Whitehead Eagles exited the competition, losing out to Iveagh United.