A second-half penalty and free-kick from David McCrea saw Rathfern Rangers take the Clarence Cup scalp of Premier side Kilmore Rec at Robert Adams Park.
Rangers manager Bill Campbell was well pleased. “It was a good disciplined performance, showing a lot of maturity in bouncing back after losing heavily at Rosario the week before,” he said.
David Moore cancelled out Kilmore’s early lead, before those two second-half strikes from McCrea saw them safely through.
Kilmore, meanwhile, have just appointed a new manager in Larne man Graham McConnell.
Also through are 18th Newtownabbey, though there were only 18 players on the pitch at the end of a feisty affair with 2C newcomers Shamrock at Cloyne Crescent; two from each side sent off for two yellows.
Eighteenth’s Mark Miskimmin told the Times: “We counted 19 bookings and I think the referee started showing the cards too early. Players were bound to pick up a second yellow.”
‘Double-booked’ for 18th were Robbie-Lee Crawford and Glenn Miskimmin.
Matthew Sellars’ goal of the season contender - a bicycle kick right on half time - scrubbed out Shamrock’s opener.
Newtownabbey inched in front after the break when Mark Miskimmin opened his 18th account.
Back though came Shamrock at 10-a-side, before Mark Marshall won it with a stirring 30-yard free-kick into the top corner. The tie, of course, ended up nine a side.
No wins in the last six, though, for Wellington Rec who crashed out at home to Bryansburn Rangers of 1c.
Manager Stephen Donald said: “We should have had the game won at 2-1 - we’re just not killing teams off. Josh McAllister missed two one-on-ones and then Michael Moore’s bad back-pass let them back into it.”
Rec’s marksmen were Scott Todd (penalty) and Josh McAllister.
There was a first league defeat since early October for Nortel at Albert Foundry, although the match was evenly poised at 0-0 until defender Elliott McKimm was shown a second yellow on the hour. The visitors’ goalscorers were Philip McCann and Davy Freyne.
There was a defeat, too, for Barn, who lost 4-1 away at Comber Rec. Jackson Griffith got their goal.