Premier League Match
Ballynahinch Olympic 3 2 Shankill Utd
Olympic made a spirited start to this game but it took them a while to get to grips with the visitors who had the first shot on 8 minutes when Sterling was high and wide from the edge of the box writes Cyril McKinney.
Olympic then fired into life and had three good efforts on goal in the space of two minutes. Olmpic striker Stefan Mason made space for himself twenty yards out and unleashed a shot that the Shankill keeper did well to hold at the second attempt on 12 minutes, and then Mason in the action again crossed from the left for McNamara to head straight at the keeper.
Molloy then had a chance a minute later but again the keeper was busy diving away to his left to make a great save. At the other end Olympic keeper Walsh had to be sharp off his line to snuff out the in-rushing Marshall on 15 minutes.
The deadlock was finally broken on 17 minutes when Olympic’s Murray hit a pinpoint cross from the right wing and on-form Mason rose high and unmarked to glance a great header beyond the despairing keeper at full stretch to give the home team the lead.
Shankill responded straight away a minute later as Briers tested the home keeper with a rasping shot which he saved with his legs. The Olympic front two combined well when Mason set up McNamara but again the keeper was alert and made a fine stop when a certain goal looked on.
At the other end Shankill striker Marshall broke free inside the Olympic box and his goalbound shot was deflected for a corner by Jason Noade with a last ditch block.
Olympic then went two up on 44 minutes when Molloy headed on a long ball forward on the left flank and as the home defence hesitated momentarily in stepped the alert Mason who hooked the ball over the advancing Trevor NyisZtor in the Shankill nets.
Olympic continued on the offensive in the early stages of the second half with McGrattan forcing the keeper to tip a shot over the bar from just inside the box. On 51 minutes it was 3-0 to Olympic when direct from a free near the halfway line, McNamara nodded goalwards and Stephen Noade got in front of a defender to head home from six yards.
At this stage it seemed that Olympic had the game under control and subs were made on both sides but on 60 minutes Shankill were back in the game when both their subs combined from a long throw-in near the Olympic right wing corner flag with Wilson nodding on for McDermott to fire to the net from close in.
Shankill showed a renewed fresh attacking vigor and grabbed a second goal on 79 minutes with a similar goal to the first and the same two players combining to set up a grandstand finish.
Try as they might Shankill could not find a way past a determined home defence and many wondering why the subs were not used earlier or from the start. Overall an entertaining game controlled well by the referee from start to finish.
Ballynahinch Olympic: Ryan Walsh, Dalton Tate, Ryan Noade, Paul Dickson, Jason Noade, Anton McGrattan, Stephen Noade, Chris McNamara, Stefan Mason, Shane Murray, Ryan Molloy. Subs: Adam McLean for Chris McNamara, James McClean for Ryan Noade, Aaron McClean for Paul Dickson
Shankill Utd: Trevor NyisZtor, Marc Young, Sandy McDermott, Jake Kerr, Lucas Galashan, Philip Gordon, Mark Marshall, Tre Sterling, Luke Briers, Curtis Black, Kyle Dillon. Subs: Gary McDermott for Mark Marshall, John Martin for Lucas Galashan, Stephen Wilson for Luke Briers.