Renwick 8 Jordanstown 2
Loughridge: Grange/Renwick transfer talk “rubbish”
McCavery: “When I scored I wanted to [censored! - Phil I really can't put that on!!]“
Renwick recorded another fine league victory this week at Ozone against University Ulster Jordanstown, putting eight goals on their general-Belfast-area opponents. Interestingly David Robb, the Limavady RP who will be climbing a mountain near you soon, was playing wing back for Jordanstown, whilst Gareth Hughes and Ian Buchanan stayed loyal to their denomination and played for Renwick as usual. In fact it was the closest Renwick have come to fielding an all RP eleven, with only Peter Henderson, a Presby blow-in from the North West, representing any outside church. Not that we mind, much.
With Steve McCollum on the hunt for a job, Simon Curry injured from last week and Pete McConaghie disappearing off the face of the earth, a loan deal was negotiated with Grange Rangers FC for the services of Peter Loughridge, and once again it proved to be a dream signing. Pete played in the middle with Mark and bossed the game and kept Renwick ticking over. Hopefully it’s not the last time he will pull on a Renwick shirt this year…
Renwick once again had a dream start to the game, scoring from one of our first attacks. Phil got a pass from Mark after he won it in midfield, and he put in an early cross, which Pete L “dummied” (!) to Ian Buchanan, who controlled it nicely before smashing it into the top corner, leaving the keeper no chance. It was a great team goal and gave UUJ a shock, since it came in the first five minutes. Soon after it was 2-0, when Pete L made a surge into the box and hit a fierce shot which the keeper failed to hang onto – the loose ball fell to Conor, who dispatched his fourth of the season. Against the run of play, UUJ pulled one back shortly after; they worked it down the Renwick left and their striker lost out to Joel from close range, but after a series of ricochets the ball went in off Gareth Hughes from about half a yard in front of the goal. It was just bad luck and there wasn’t much Gareth could have done about it. We weren’t too worried by the soft goal – we were looking good in attack, with the hard work of Pete and Mark in the middle ensuring Conor and Phil saw plenty of the ball and linked with Pete H and Ian. UUJ played a 3-5-2 formation, and made good use of the wings, but our back four had a great game and made sure any loose balls around the box didn’t find their way to the strikers. About midway through the half we got our third; Mark and Peter again won the ball in the middle, and Phil played a ball over the top for Ian B to run onto. Going in on the keeper he coolly dispatched his tenth of the season. There were no more goals in the first half, though with several corners and half chances Renwick were certainly on top.
At half time Ian D, having given another solid 45 minutes, departed for other commitments, and Jonny, who had very graciously refereed the first half, came on at right back, Gareth switching to the middle. The game was delayed a bit at this point, due to a mix of injuries and a lack of players for UUJ. We lost a bit of momentum as a result, and our fourth goal didn’t come for a while. The game became a bit more scrappy, and UUJ applied some pressure on our defence, which continued to give little away. Eventually Peter H found the net, for what would be the crucial goal of the game. He was put through by the other Peter, and finished the move off with a great lob over the keeper. Ian B was substituted for Barry McAuley, who made a fantastic contribution upfront. He linked well with Conor on the left and benefited from Pete’s performance alongside him. Both strikers were superb, and created a number of good chances as the half wore on. Conor scored our fifth goal; after pushing forward up the middle Phil laid it off, and Conor hit a curling shot into the far top corner, another great strike. Peter H got the sixth, another lob over the keeper and soon after Phil got his ninth of the season when a shot by Pete was blocked and he managed to keep the rebound down and find the back of the net. The goal of the game however went to Mark. Renwick had a move down the left, Conor and Barry linking well again, and Conor squared up for a shot, which was blocked and came out as far as the Renwick number 8 on the edge of the box, who caught it on the volley and hit a fierce shot into the top left corner of the net. Even the UUJ guys applauded that!
The scoreline flattered us slightly, perhaps, and the fourth goal was really crucial. UUJ have had a good run in the league, and were the best bunch of lads we’ve met so far. They had a few chances themselves, and their striker scored a nice individual goal near the end, but after our fourth they inevitably tired and left more space at the back. Nevertheless, 8-2 is a pretty impressive score. The Belfast Mini League now takes its winter break, and will resume in semester two. Renwick lie fourth, behind AC Malone, Derry and QUB Law Society, though the latter two are in a two horse race for the title. Renwick will now turn its attention to enticing Peter Loughridge away from Grange and playing full time for Renwick. Well played lads!
Team (4-4-2): J.Loughridge – G.Hughes, I.Dunwoody (for J.McCollum), A.McKelvey, A.Lynch – P.Dunwoody (c), M.McCavery, P.Loughridge, C.Hyndman – P.Henderson, I.Buchanan (for B.McAuley)