CHAMPIONSHIP 1: HW Welders 4 Comrades 3

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Ballyclare Comrades were on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller, losing 4-3 to Harland and Wolff Welders at Tillysburn Park.

The Reds had battled back from 3-1 down to draw level before Michael McClellan’s late winner secured three points for the home side.

McClellan’s 85th-minute effort, his third goal of the afternoon, was adjudged to have crossed the line despite goalkeeper Paddy Flood’s efforts to keep it out.

Joel Cooper netted the opener for the Reds after 15 minutes when he headed home Andrew Simpson’s cross. Two minutes later McClellan provided the home side’s response when he was allowed a free header from a corner.

Veteran centre-forward Davy Rainey gave the Welders the edge six minutes after the re-start.

William Armstrong squandered the opportunity to net number three from the penalty spot, denied by a fine save from Flood.

A third did arrive, however, when McClellan landed the goal of the game with a sublime chip over Flood, setting himself on course for his fourth hat-trick of the season.

The Reds responded in style with last year’s top scorer Chris Trussell coming off the bench to net two in two minutes.

But the Welders had the final word when McClellan scored the crucial goal five minutes from time.

Ballyclare: Flood - Doherty, McCart, Gage, Buckley - McIlveen, Simpson (Brown 63), McClurg (Trussell 63), Agnew (Gray 73), Reid, Cooper. Subs not used: McIlwaine, Getty.