Renwick lose to Derryvolgie in crucial league encounter

13 Feb

  • Derryvolgie come out in top in a traditional six-pointer
  • Renwick title hopes take a major blow despite encouraging performance
  • McCullough puts in a stand out performance to keep his team in it throughout

It was a brilliant day for sport

2010 got off to a bad start for Renwick in the Belfast Super League, falling to a narrow 3-2 defeat at the hands of rivals Derryvolgie. Fielding a weakened team, Renwick were confident that this match was winnable, although aware of the danger posed by a DV team who have been putting in some impressive results of late.  With fantastic weather conditions, a sandy looking pitch and the inspiration of having seen Invictus the night before for some of the team, Renwick were eager to get started and fight for the win from the start.

The Renwick team was built around a midfield partnership of Andrew Lynch and Mark Porter. Ian Buchanan and Mark McCavery provided the firepower in attack, while Chris Carson (so special he played with a numberless shirt!) and Philip Aicken were on the wings. Dave Smith replaced younger brother Gareth in defence, and Andrew Morrison returned at right-back. Robert McCaughan was unavailable due to ‘work’ commitments. Andrew McKelvey was forced to pull out, and not just from the Renwick squad. This game was the first start for both Aicken and Smith this season.

As Derryvolgie had acquired a new kit for the season, Morrison opted for Renwick to play in their change kit to avoid a potential colour clash. The Renwick kit man, Joel Loughridge, did an excellent job of ensuring that the white shirts were in pristine condition for the match, and it is only right we thank him for this.

The combination of white, navy, red, black and lime green was certainly an interesting one

Shortly after 2.30, Renwick kicked off on the same pitch as they played the Ministers on, playing towards the changing rooms in the first half. From the start it was clear that both teams had approached the game with a similar mentality, to not allow their opponents a second on the ball and to make it as hard as possible for them to play. In almost their first attack, DV felt aggrieved about a Steven McCollum challange, and were awarded a free kick. Considering the game had barely started, the aggresive response of the DV forward was hardly warrented. When the free kick was eventually taken the Renwick wall had advanced well beyond the mandatory 10 yards, resulting in the kick going high and wide. Despite witnessing all this, the referee saw no infringement and did not call for a retake.

Get your elbows out

For the next half hour, much of the play was in the Renwick half, with DV having a lot of possesion but in truth creating few chances. The Renwick defence were put under considerable pressure, especially from the wide players, but managed to weather the storm and create a solid platform for the midfield to work from. In the middle Andrew Lynch and Mark Porter often looked outnumbered, but stuck to their task diligently and worked tirelessly all day. The first half wingers, Chris Carson and Philip Aicken, spent much of their time helping out in defence, and so when Renwick did manage to put together an attack, they often found themselves behind the play and had to work hard to get involved in the final third.

With half time approaching and neither team having made a real impact on the game, Renwick slowly started to get into the game more. Mark McCavery took the ball to the by-line and managed to win a corner off the DV right-back. Ben Hanna swung the ball in, only to see it cleared for another corner from the other side. With Hanna again taking the corner, the result was the same. The Renwick left back trotted back over to take the third successive corner, and this time, after some bobbling about in the box, Ian Buchanan managed to poke the ball home. This came as a massive blow to DV who had seen much more of the ball than Renwick. The score remained the same until the half, not without McCullough getting a scare on the stroke of half time when a header from a corner came back off the bar and bobble about until Andrew Lynch took charge and sent it long.

The Renwick mood at half time was one of cautious optimism. The goal had been scored, and although the Presbyterians had made it far from easy, they had rarely threatened the Renwick goal. With the header that struck the bar aside, they had been mostly restricted to shots from distance and chasing long balls over the top of the defence, only to meet an in-form and on-rushing McCullough.

Playing into the setting sun, Renwick begun the half with Michael Hawthorne now playing on the left in place of Philip Aicken, who had taken up refereeing duties. Mark Porter was substituted shortly before the end of the first 45 with a bloody nose, but quickly recovered in time for the restart. Derryvolgie drew level within a few minutes of the half kicking off. From a Renwick goal kick, the ball was played out to the DV right midfielder who ran forward with the ball before slotting across goal to the unmarked player at the back post who reversed the direction of the ball and played it across McCullough who was left with no change. The Renwick full back, Morrison, found himself horribly out of position and was a mere spectator of the goal, unable to backtrack quickly enough.

Ben keeping an eye on his Dutch opponent

Derryvolgie continued to pressurise, forcing the goalkeeper into a string of excellent saves, one in particular where with his back to goal and dealing with the Morrison at close quarters, the DV left winger took a cross first time on his right foot, hooking it towards the Renwick goal. McCullough saw it late but managed to turn it round the post. Renwick were finding it very hard to link between midfield and attack, as the central midfielders were forced into taking up a very deep position. Neither McCavery or Buchanan saw much of the ball for the first 30 minutes of the half.

Another day with little joy up front

On 65 minutes Philip Aicken rejoined the action, slotting into midfield as Chris Carson joined the defence. Andrew Morrison saw out the remainder of the game as referee. Soon after, a poorly defended Renwick corner resulted in a DV player being left unmarked at the back post, allowing him to send a powerful header into the net. Judging by the celebrations, this goal was an important one, and what might well have been the winning goal. But Renwick were not going to go down without a fight..

Quite how this wasn’t given as a DV penalty is a mystery. Another Steven McCollum classic

A poor challenge on Philip Aicken 10 yards outside the DV box gave Renwick a chance to build an attack from a free kick. Ian Buchanan opted to shoot directly, and after having got his shot up over the wall and down in time, the keeper came and got himself in the way of it. Unfortunately for him, he did not keep control or even push it to safety, but let it roll out at the front of Mark Porter who duely finished, giving way to the wildest celebtrations this writer has ever seen at a Renwick game.

Shambolic defending, duly punished

Seven minutes from time, DV struck once more. From a throw in, Dave Smith misjudged the flight of the ball, and the lightning quick Derryvolgie forward latched onto the loose ball and calmly slotted the ball past the quickly advancing keeper. Another frustrating goal to concede for the Elmwood side, but maybe not entirely unexpected after 83 minutes of continuous defending, leaving the players at the back both physically and mentally exhausted. Renwick were unable to create any meaningful chances after the goal, and the final score remained at 3-2 to Derryvolgie.

Losing 3-2 to Derryvolgie is very painful, although I’m sure that those who were there would agree that this scoreline is probably a fair representation of the game. There are plently of “what-if”s you could say about this game, but the truth is over the 90 minutes Derryvolgie were better in almost every part of the pitch and ultimately, just wanted it more. The team will look forward to playing Bayern Eunchs again next week, and know that a performance like the one given against Derryvolgie would be good enough to beat most teams.

Renwick have now dropped to 4th in the BSL, sitting 6 points off the lead. Further details here

Thanks to our supporters, it’s appreciated. Also loving the fact you guys did this:


Man of the Match

James McCullough – pulled off a number of fine saves on the day and has more than earned it over the course of the season

I realise that this report is very very late.

Other craic:

Ben has been practising using The Force lately

…and taking corners

DV’s midfield genius. We didn’t get close

See you next week


8 Responses to “Renwick lose to Derryvolgie in crucial league encounter”

  1. Peter February 15, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    “From a Renwick goal kick, the ball was played out to the DV right midfielder who ran forward with the ball before slotting across goal to the unmarked player at the back post who reversed the direction of the ball and played it across McCullough who was left with no change”

    Left McCullough with no change?!! That’s totally lousy. It’s bad enough conceding a goal but getting your money stolen at the same time is the pits!


  2. Joel February 15, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    I can really sympathise with James after the first goal, it happened me in Tescos this week when I went in to buy Mach 3 razor blades. I didn’t know they were so expensive – not much change out of a tenner.

  3. Strob February 15, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    you boys are sad!! my understanding of the incident was the james was so scared that he had a wee accident, desperately needing a change…!

    stevie mccollum classic photo – looks like he had a jerry flannery moment!

  4. Peter February 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Jerry Flannery = lunatic!

  5. Joel February 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    Did one of the DV players wear sunglasses?

  6. Andy February 15, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Try clicking on the photo of Ben and his Dutch opponent now

  7. Dave February 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    from a throw in dave smith misjudged the flight of the ball. i was playin right side of defence and the throw in was on the left so i was no where near the throw in

  8. Joel February 15, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Get the joke now!! :D

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