Union Undone in High-Scoring Opener

23 Oct


Renwick House FC 11-1 Union Theological College

  • McCavery scores 50th goal for Renwick House.
  • Midfield trio boss game from the centre of the park.
  • McCullough concedes for the first time.

Comprehensive victories in pre-season gave Renwick House cause for confidence before their Superleague curtain-raiser against Union. Previous encounters between the sides had been tightly contested and a similar encounter was anticipated by the Renwick Manager. Sadly other duties meant that Morrison was unavailable for his first competitive game in charge so match day authority was placed in the safe and experienced hands of the experienced Philip Dunwoody.

Renwick made the breakthrough within the ten minute mark when the ball fell to Buchanan just inside the penalty area and despite the defence’s desperate lunges he calmly placed the ball in the top right-hand corner. Union struggled to maintain possession for any length of time and were left awestruck by an exemplary goal created by Dunwoody’s cross to McCavery who duly buried his header for his 49th all-time Renwick goal. The College team still looked like they might pose a threat but were unable to find their way past the defence in which Carson had replaced the absent Morrison. The new right-back faced the brunt of the opposition’s attacks in his first start and dealt with them comfortably perhaps giving his coach another selection dilemma as he made a substantive case for regular inclusion.

Again the basis for Elmwood dominance came from the middle of the park where the three central midfielders looked comfortable in possession, provided good service for those ahead of them and proved an impenetrable shield through which Union could not play leaving no option but the long ball. Andy Lynch was rewarded for his hard work when his 60 yard run climaxed in an exchange with McCavery and the Bready man finished cooly for his first-ever outfield goal for the team. Not long afterwards a delicate through ball from Buchanan found caretaker boss Philip Dunwoody allowing him to make it four-nil completing an awesome 30 minutes. Later in the half  UTC, were starved of time on the ball, came closest to a PCI first half goal from a dangerous in swinging corner which nearly beat a nervous McCullough but it was Renwick who were to have the last word before the break when one of McCaughan’s many unstoppable runs helped Mark McCavery bring up his half-century.

When play restarted Michael Hawthorne came on to make his long-awaited debut and youngster Philip Aicken also took to the field and linked well together on the pitch. Renwick’s superior fitness made a mark difference and Union’s lack of game time left acres of space in the middle despite the no.10 dropping deeper in search of the ball. McCavery scored twice, the second after stealing the ball from an opposing defender, before Blackwell put his name sheet making it eight without reply. A delightful chip over the keeper gave Mark his fifth of the game then Michael Hawthorne spotted the keeper out of position and made it double figures with an audacious 30 yard lob.

As the game became more stretched Union were afforded more opportunities and defensive confusion combined with a unprovidential bounce off Smith’s knee, wrong-footing McCullough whilst bringing the ball back into the path of the striker who finished Renwick’s run of clean sheets. Responding to this 80th minute consolation Ben Hanna found a good position at a set play but his header cleared the bar. It was the head of another defender, Steven McCollum who scored the 11th, diving to meet McCavery’s cross only minutes from the end.

Despite their greatest loss since Geoff Allen it should be noted that Union were probably the best opposition Renwick have encountered so far but a better side was met with a better performance as Morrison’s men claimed the three points. The new formation appears to be a permanent change and no side has yet been able to cope with Renwick’s extra man in the centre of the park. The strength in-depth of the current Elmwood side is particularly noteworthy with Hawthorne and Aicken adding to the manager’s selection headache but as Morrison has stated “It’s a nice problem to have”. 

A glance at the other results has indicated the presence of other potential title contenders in league leaders, the Law Society and new side MGT who recorded an impressive 6-0 victory over World XI. The next fixture will be the 50th game of the modern Renwick House era and the side will be keen to mark the occasion with another victory.

Jackie Fullerton (official Renwick commenator)

Renwick Team: James McCullough, Chris Carson, Gareth Smith, Steven McCollum, Ben Hanna, Andy Lynch, Gavin Blackwell, Ian Buchanan, Philip Dunwoody, Mark McCavery, Robert McCaughan Subs (all used): Michael Hawthorne, Philip Aicken


The return of official Renwick FC photographer has produced some excellent pictures. Thank you Bob!


 Much needed goalkick practice before kick off


 Couldn’t get get near him


 Union’s best player takes on Skills and loses


 Rob skips past his opposite number
 Andy Lynch’s goal


 Another run by Rob


 Chris putting in a very good performance at right -back


 Michael scoring from 30 yards


 Philip on the attack


 Ian brings the ball out defence
 Rob makes it look easy


Mark McCavery, Philip Dunwoody, Ben Hanna, Andy Lynch, Gavin Blackwell, Steven McCollum, Ian Buchanan, Andrew Morrison, Gareth Smith, Robert McCaughan, James McCullough, Michael Hawthorne, Chris Carson, Philip Aicken

Man of the Match


 Left the defence feeling exposed

Other News

Trinidad beat the Anglicans 3-2


The man himself


Peter gets down on one knee

League organiser Andrew Wallace (World XI) has proposed that the league adopt Grove Playing Fields as their new home. Morrison is not opposed to the move but has expressed a desire for Renwick’s fiftieth match to be played at the traditional venue.

Renwick House FC now have a Facebook group for players, vetrans and fans alike. Feel free to join.

League Table and other results.


9 Responses to “Union Undone in High-Scoring Opener”

  1. Ali G October 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    I’m guessing Debbie’s just out of shot in that last picture then

  2. Ali October 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    Is the first picture a team talk or pre-match prayer?

  3. James October 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Pre-match prayer. Awesome photo from Bob, it’s now my desktop background.

  4. rob dp October 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    nope Debbie was way back in defense far left side. she didnt seem to get touch of the football, i guess the guys werent too confident.

  5. Andy October 23, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Excellent works lads. Not cool that I had to miss it. Looking forward to next week

  6. Peter October 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    The 50th match stat intrigues me. When was the first game? And against whom? And does your Statto know how many games it took Mark to reach his half century?!

    I love the weekly Pie Monger updates by the way!

  7. Rob Mccaughan October 23, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    feel very privilaged for man of match.
    good work team renwick

  8. Philip October 24, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    Emphasis is on 50th match of the modern era, Pete, as in 2006 til now. We know there’s some sketchy Renwick football history from before this time, but 2006 was when we first got a kit, a manager and a league, so we’re counting it from then. All but a handful of the games have been covered by SWS. The first game was a friendly against church of Ireland almost three years to the day!

  9. Peter October 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    Aye, I noticed the ‘modern era’ reference in the article!!! I know there were occasional games before that (a “sketchy history” is a very accurate description! Probably best forgotten too!) but I was just wondering when the 50 game period actually referred to – so you’ve answered my question!

    The Men in Black certainly seem rampant at the minute. Those of us with an interest in playing an occasional game this season might find it hard to get a look-in!

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