League leaders Hill Street and Lurgan Institute took centre stage last weekend as the only game to beat the elements in local football.
Thanks to the 3G pitch at Lurgan Junior High School the local rivals battled out a keen contest despite the tough conditions.
The first 10 minutes passed with very little happening to excite the large crowd that had gathered to watch the encounter. The first chance fell to Street’s Darren Kennedy who was played in brilliantly by David Hawthorne but he put his shot straight at the keeper. Ian Penny had another chance but he to put his shot straight at the keeper.
Institute shocked the home team by scoring against the run of play. Good play down the left hand side with the ball breaking to Jamie Boyce who turned well to put an unstoppable strike into the top corner of the net to leave Kidd in the goal with no chance.
Institute could have added to this lead with Davy Clarke rattling the bar with a header and Jonny Hoey shot narrowly wide after great build up play from Simon Freeburn.
Street’s McCoy had a chance towards the end of the half when he broke clear of the defence but put his shot off target. Hill Street hit the bar from a corner to add to the home teams frustration and Institute held the lead to the break.
Hill Street went into the second half knowing they had to start taking their chances if they wanted to win the match and stay in contention for the league. They took the game to Institute by pressing higher up the pitch and got their reward 15 minutes into the second half with great work up front from Penny who played in Simon Gilkinson who placed the ball into the corner of the net. Andrew brown entered the pitch for Street to add more presence up front and 20 minutes from time Street took the lead. Good play down the right from Kennedy and Gareth Wright set up Penny who powerfully put the ball past the keeper.
Institute pushed forward in search of an equaliser but the Street defence remained resolute to hold out for the victory.
Hill Street: Aaron Kidd James Lindsay, Gareth Wright, Callum Grieve, Jason Herron, Darren Kennedy, David Hawthorne, Simon Gilkenson, Dwayne Kerr, Greame McCoy, Ian Penny. Subs Paul Mercer, Keith Mercer, Andrew Brown
Hill Street pass on their deepest condolences to their player Chris Wing who’s brother Mark sadly passed away.
The match was sponsored by Mercer PME Engineering.