Archive | April, 2010

Renwick Football Dinner 2010

30 Apr

With SkySports declining the chance to broadcast the 2010 Renwick Football Dinner in favour of showing a far less illustrious and important shindig, you’ll have to make do with a run-of-the-mill blog post for coverage of the one of the showpiece events on the sporting calendar.

The great and the good and the Ben of Renwick FC descended on Barnaby’s on Monday night to celebrate the end of another moderately successful season. Some girls were also allowed to come, although many seemed to be labouring under the illusion that the evening was about them. After a dinner which was, much like Renwick FC’s season, very good in places but found wanting at vital moments (ie no gravy refills), and after the daylight robbery that was the Jonny McCollum Cup was revisited, the main business of the evening commenced. Awards were to be, erm, awarded for Fan of the Year, Hard Man, Goal of the Season, being Ben, One-game Wonder, Top Scorer, Most Improved Player, Young Player of the Season, and of course Player of the Season. The awards were presented by former Renwick icon and current STS luminary Jonny McCollum.

Fan of the Year – Heather McMullan

Hard Man of Year – Andy Lynch

His stock has certainly risen this season.

Goal of the Season – Pete Loughridge v Bar Staff???

Being Ben (ie Roy Keane award for being keen) – Ben Hanna (although Mark and James ran him close)

One-game Wonder – Joel Loughridge

Golden Boot – Mark McCavery

Most Improved Player – James McCullough

Young Player of the Season – Naked Rob

Player of the Season – Mr. Skills

In an ironic and cruel twist, runner-up Andy Lynch was asked to collect the reward on behalf of his absent compatriot. Far be it from me to cast aspersions on the Hard Man’s decency, but one suspects the award may not have made it further than the Lynch family mantlepiece.

Once the important stuff was done and dusted, Emmaline provided us with a mini Biddy Biddy Up Up, which was followed by the inevitable tedium of the obligatory photo-taking. Finally, James McCullough rounded off the evening nicely with an epilogue from Psalm 118. All in all, credit must go to Andy Mo for putting together what was a good night’s craic, and a fitting end to the season. Also, he must be lauded for “taking on the mantlepiece” of manager this season and putting in a lot of hard work over the last 7 months. Big shoes to fill.

More photos:

Being MC is always hard.

Renwick residents

Gavin Unable-to-recreate-his-performance-from-Google-Streetview-well

Judging by the look on Kathryn’s face, Gavin must have a new phone…

Thanks to Ali G and whoever else I nicked photos off.

Disappointing Renwick crash out of cup

30 Apr

The Renwick pundit will publish a review of the season at some point in the next few weeks, just in case anyone is expecting this match report to contain any moderately developed thoughts.

Having experienced euphoria at the final whistle last week after beating Derryvolgie, it was a very different story this week when the referee finally called time on the game. The draw for the second round of the cup had seemingly gone in Renwick’s favour, being handed a tie against QUBNISA, a team they had soundly beaten 5-1 earlier in the season. With the other big teams left in the competition having drawn each other, the path to the final was starting to look increasingly clear. Standing in the way of this however, was an organised an resolute NISA side.

As with last time, NISA brought a big squad with them, and Renwick had a relatively small squad, with only 2 substitutes. Veterans Peter Loughridge and Robert McCollum gave way for a centre back pairing of Mark McCavery and Steven McCollum, who between them have played well over 100 games for Renwick. Chris Carson paired up with Player of the Year Ian Buchanan in the centre of the pitch beach, the wings remained unchanged with McKelvey and Mitchell, and Mark Porter started where he finished last week, up front with Michael Hawthorne. A signifcantly changed team from last week, although the focus on keeping a clean sheet remained unchanged.

With the wind blowing in Renwick’s favour, the game got underway. On his birthday, Cromie Robert took up the refereeing duties for the first half, overseeing what proved to be a fairly uncontroversial half. The opening exchanges were fairly dull, not really much happening anywhere, save for a lot of throw-ins. The wind played a significant part, allowing goal kick taker to bypass the entire midfield and up to the young strike force, who despite their best efforts struggled to find a way through an organised, if not entirely skillful defence. When the ball did make it into midfield, Chris Carson did a good job of breaking up the play and Ian Buchanan provided composure and base from which to build. Renwick’s most obvious goal threat came from corners, and after the third one flashed across the face of goal without so much as a touch, this pundit did begin to wonder was it going to be one of those days…

It was from one such corner that QUBNISA took the lead. Both Renwick’s central defenders had drifted into the opposition box, and with Ben Hanna taking the corner, defensive cover was left to Morrison and Carson. NISA only had one player lurking, and so the danger seemed minimal, but when the ball was played out from the far post, a quick NISA break left Renwick looking very exposed at the back. A passing interchange left Carson in the almost literal dust, and soon the player with the ball at his feet had to make a choice as McCullough has rushed off his line to narrow the angle. The striker opted to go round the outside of the keeper and despite Morrison’s efforts to get to the line in time, the shot was early and it was 1-0 NISA. There was probably 10 minutes left of the first half left at this stage, and the scoreline barely reflected the way the game had gone. Renwick had been very dominant in possesion and territory, but hadn’t created any clear cut chances. Mark Porter had a shot from the edge of the box saved, and Ian Buchanan saw a free kick or two pass over the bar.

At half time the game was still very much there to be one, although Renwick knew they had a harder half ahead of them playing into the wind. The two wingers were replaced by Robert Cromie and Philip Aicken. Cromie went to right wing, and Aicken came into midfield. NISA had most of the play in the early stages of the half, and it wasn’t long before they converted it into a goal, a goal about as different as is imaginable from the first. The same player picked up the ball midway inside the Renwick half, with his back to goal and feeling the close attention of Hanna and Carson. In a lightning quick motion he had turned and found half a yard for himself and put away a very early shot. The ball was almost past McCullough before he could react, and to compare the goal to this one would not be unreasonable.

Renwick were 2-0 down and looking very devoid of any sort of inspiration. Mark McCavery was moved into midfield to liven things up and this did work to an extent, as Renwick started to force the issue at the other end of the pitch. On about 75 minutes a penalty was awarded to Renwick for a foul on Buchanan in the box, and McCavery stepped up and smashed the ball home. This was all well and good until the penalty was ruled out due to several Renwick players encroaching. It was the correct decision, although still a fairly hard one to take. Forced into taking the penalty again, the Renwick number 9 this time decided to go for placement but got it wrong leaving the keeper with a relatively straightforward save.

NISA had further chances, seeing a loose swing at a ball from a corner come back off the bar and another effort cleared off the line, but as fill time approached it was Renwick who had all the pressure. On 86 minutes a goal was finally created, with a fine Ian Buchanan cross being headed in by McCavery. Robert Cromie might well have brought it level with a shot from 8 yards he managed to put wide but it was not to be and when the ball was hoofed clear by a NISA defender the referee brought the game, the season and a number of Renwick careers to an end. Heading straight to the changing rooms, Renwick were left to contemplate what might have been.

I will save any further words for the end of season round up, which should be published in the next few weeks. Thanks to everybody who has been involved in Renwick this season, it has been a pleasure.

In case anybody is wondering, the Renwick Dinner will be being blogged in the next few days, and footage of the Jonny McCollum cup that some people have requested will be placed on the internet in the next few days in some form or another.

Man of the Match

Mark McCavery – solid in defence, creative in midfield and a threat in attack.

Intolerance and Love

24 Apr

The ruins of Ancient Ephesus

March 18, 1950 – Revelation 2:1-7

Ephesus was intolerant of evil men. That church could not bear the evil workers who sought to settle among them. But that mere intolerance of evil did not make Ephesus what Christ wanted her to be. Intolerance of evil is, or can be, a negative attitude, and if it lacks the moral backing of positive love for God, it will quickly degenerate into bigotry and narrowness. This is for me, for though I pretend zealously to have hatred for wickedness, often it is not from a knowledge of and love of righteousness, but from mere external, social, and environmental feelings.

Jim Elliot, The Journals of Jim Elliot

P.S. There’s an excellent book review of Jim Elliot’s biography Shadow of the Almighty at Philip Dunwoody’s Spy blog. Read the review and read the book.

Porter Snatches Late Cup Win for Delighted Renwick

22 Apr

Renwick House FC 1-0 Derryvolgie

Mark Porter striking the winner

The draw for the first round of the Belfast Super Cup pitted Renwick House against arch-rivals  Derryvolgie. The Presbyterian Halls lined up confidently having beaten Renwick in a tetchy affair on their way to winning the Belfast Superleague. The volcanic ash left Renwick with a long list of unavailable players leading to frantic phone calls to former greats such as Matt “Gulliver” Jess and Stephen Steele. RTC students Peter Loughridge and Robert McCollum formed an experienced centre-back pairing and completing the XI a debut was given to Jordanstown student Michael Muldoon as Renwick wore their change kit. Derryvolgie’s failure to correctly book the Ozone pitch meant the crucial cup encounter was played at Cherryvale, the venue for Renwick’s disappointing 50th game earlier this year.

Warm up

Epic photo

A couple of the fans, thanks to all who came to support

“Keep it tight” were the instructions ringing in the ears of the Elmwood players as they took to the pitch in and the opening exchanges were nervous but Peter Loughridge organised the Renwick defence into a solid unit. Richard McKelvey was converted from a defender to a  right midfielder with the workrate of Dirk Kuyt and didn’t stop running hard from the first whistle, providing manager Morrison with more cover than a Amish school uniform. A late tackle on Peter Loughridge threatened to end the Grange captain’s involvement but he continued and minutes later Ben Hanna gave the Derryvolgie right winger Barrow something to cry about (and he did cry about it for the rest of the 90 minutes) as he lunged for a bouncing ball catching his opponent. McCullough was forced to produce one noteworthy save making a one-on-one stop with an outstretched  right leg before Strob (who proved to be just as pacey as his younger brother Stevie) sent the ball to safety. Michael Mitchell proved a useful outlet for Renwick but only one opportunity was ever created for McCavery as Derryvolgie dominated possession and territory with Ithai Udaiyar pulling the strings throughout the half.

A good old-fashioned Andy Throw photo

Insert epic Mark quote

Strob back in Renwick action

It’s not as bad as it looks!

Penalty appeal for DV

McKelvey was brilliant

DV pressure

Number 7 was probably still talking about Ben’s tackle

Ithai had a great game

No prizes for guessing who won this encounter

Mitchell on the ball

A hairy moment (this caption would’ve work better if James hadn’t got his much-needed haircut)

Renwick were probably the happier of the two teams at the break despite failing to test Derryvolgie’s shaky keeper. The second 45 picked up where the first half had left off with Renwick relishing their underdog status and fighting like beavers, frustrating the league champions. Peter Loughridge aerial domination was central to RHFC’s ability to absorb the pressure and the pace of McCavery offered a threat on the end of long balls. Derryvolgie’s only half chances cam from corners but the best chance from a set piece came at the other end as Loughridge headed narrowly wide from a great Ben Hanna delivery.

Mark Porter moved up front as Ian Buchanan dropped back into midfield in an effort to contain Ithai but the possibility of a penalty shoot out was beginning to loom in the minds of all the players. In the 86th minute the Derryvolgie defence failed to deal with a long pass from Loughridge which found Porter who could not be caught by the Presbyterians and finish cooly sending Renwick into ecstasy. Derryvolgie poorly refereed the entire match and began playing “Fergie-time” from the Renwick goal but the team in white stayed strong and organised. Muldoon put in a particularly fine last few minutes working hard as legs tired around him.


Desperate DV chase down the ball

With only 2 minutes remaining it was becoming apparent that the game was slipping beyond the league champions and a loose ball was kicked through landing at the feet of McCullough. Concious of the ticking clock Renwick’s keeper chose to keep the ball at his feet and dribbled to the corner of the box alongside the byline. Frustrated Scott Jamison chased towards the keeper and without any chance of winner the ball he lunged through the back of McCullough in what can only be described as a truly horrible tackle capable of ending a career, not just James’ marathon hopes. Peter Loughridge was highly unimpressed with the foul on the young keeper and conveyed this to the opponent before persuading an irate McCullough not to chase after Jamison. Inexplicably the referee failed to produce a red card claiming in Arsene Wenger style to have been looking the other way whilst the whinging Barrow attempted to square up to black belt Hanna. Loughridge turned to Jamison and beseeched him to have the common decency to walk off the pitch himself but the striker lacked the morals to do so.

Not receiving a Christmas card

Renwick held on for the remaining minute despite Derryvolgie desperately throwing their keeper forward for a free kick and guilty DV striker was put in his place by a meaty Buchanan challenge before Morrison’s men rejoiced at the eventual sound of the final whistle. The victory was made all the sweeter in light of the disgraceful behaviour of Jamison who summed up the actions of certain individuals in the Derryvolgie side leading manager Morrison to describe them as having some players with “a very poor attitude”. However it should be recognised that there were notable exceptions to this including midfield maestro Ithai and glasses-wearing Ray Millar. Renwick can now look forward to a cup quarter-final after a deserved victory but if the Renwick Pundit had been commentating as the whistle blew he may have made a Norwegian-style outburst, “Andrew Barrow, Scott Jamison, Edgar Davids, Steve Stockman your boys took one epic beating”.

Piecam returns

Celebrating with ice cream

Man of the Match

Ithai put in a very strong performance for Derryvolgie but all the Renwick players played a great game. All members of the Elmwood defence played well but Man of the Match must go Peter Loughridge. He organised the Renwick team, dominated in the air and put in many crucial tackles.

Renwick team: James McCullough, Andrew Morrison, Robert McCollum, Peter Loughridge, Ben Hanna, Richard McKelvey, Mark Porter, Michael Muldoon, Michael Mitchell, Mark McCavery, Ian Buchanan

Why Join the Church?

19 Apr
Following on from the “Why Evening Worship?” series I’m now borrowing Dad’s “Why Join the Church?” leaflet and turning it into a series of blog posts. This post is an introduction to the topic and will be followed by 5 reasons.


Every Christian should be a church member, however, not all seem to be persuaded of this.  Some with hurts from the past feel that the step of membership is hard to take again.  Others are on the search for the perfect church and are reluctant put down their roots.  Still others seem to have a pride in their supposed flexibility saying, “we belong to a global church.”  Some may even out of a wrong sense of responsibility say, “I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.” The purpose of this short series is to show clearly the Biblical principle that every Christian should belong to a visible body of believers.

It goes without saying that not any church will do.  The Reformers of the 16th century rightly spoke of the three marks of the church: true preaching of the Word of God, faithful administering of the sacraments and the exercising of Biblical Church discipline.  A church that has these three marks evident in its life is the sort of church a Christian should belong to and be visibly committed to.

The Reformation Wall in Geneva depicting four 16th Century Reformers

It is also true that every saved sinner belongs to the wider Church of God.  Revelation 7:9 speaks of a great multitude which no one can number.  Our membership of this world wide, century bridging company is to be expressed in our membership of the local church.  By local this does not necessarily mean the church nearest to where you live.  Sometimes this is simply not possible.

We believe also that the children of believers are already members of the church.  That is how it was in the OT & NT.  For them we look forward to seeing God’s grace apparent in their lives and them professing faith in Christ when they come to the years of discernment.  At that stage they will enter in to all of the responsibilities and privileges of being a member of the church.

So why should every follower of Jesus Christ belong formally to a local gathering of believers?


1. To Obey

2. To Receive Care

3. To Fulfil Responsibilities

4. To Reach the Lost World

5. To Bring God Glory

Each of these reasons will be expanded upon in future posts in this series.

Not long to GO!

15 Apr

The official closing date for GO Team Application forms is only a few days away, so if you haven’t made your mind up yet, time to get the thinking caps on!

Please do have a good think over the next few days if there are times during your summer where you could give up a week to serve the Church. I’m sure some of our readers could give us some information on where numbers are still needed if you would like to know where you could be used best! Don’t fear about late applications, every one will be welcome!

Also a reminder that the Evangelism Conference is being held in Lisburn R.P.C on Saturday 1st May, more details will be coming to you soon no doubt.

So hopefully this post has got you all nostalgic, if so, feel free to browse through these hilariously old photos of previous GO Teams and Campaigns (as they were once called…)


Retro GO Team Photos

April Book Review – A.W Tozer

14 Apr

This is the first in our series of Monthly Book Reviews by the A.K Team. This month, is A.W  Tozer’s book, ‘ The Knowledge of the Holy’. It has recently been re-released as part of a 10 book Box Set, reliving some of his classic works, which are as  relevant and powerful today as ever.

Couldn't find a picture of the New Edition!

Some information on the Author:

A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) was  a pastor, preacher, author and editor. He was called a twentieth-century prophet even in his own lifetime. Converted at seventeen after an encounter with a street preacher, his ministry spanned more than forty years. He is one of the best loved Christian authors of all time, leaving a legacy of inspirational, Christ-centred books that have had a profound influence on Christians worldwide.

The 10 Book Box Set

Pretty much all of the books in this 10 part series are class, titles like “Whatever Happened to Worship?”,  “I Talk Back to the Devil” and “The Pursuit of God” just make you wanna read them.

However, I would like to plug “The Knowledge of the Holy” at this particular time, i’ve been reading it recently with a group of school friends in a Friday Morning Devotional time we have together and the book has continued to amaze me as the year has gone on.

We have been looking at it in a study format, reading a chapter at a time and getting stuck into what the chapter is teaching us. The many characteristics of God have been expounded by Tozer and they have made our discussions about each chapter lengthy and mind blowing. Chapters like “The Self Sufficiency of God”, “The Wisdom of God”, “The Grace of God”, “The Eternity of God” and “The Sovreignty of God” have been my favourite, they are truely exceptional, taking these well know characteristics of God which i’ve always been aware of, but making me think so much deeper about them, what they truely mean for us and what impact they should be having on our lives.

I would really recommend this book for personal or group use, it will ultimately make you closer with our Father in Heaven as we learn more about Him. It’s a fantastic read and if you see it or any of the Tozer collection, snap it up!

“If you have never read Tozer – what are you waiting for?” Warren Wiersbe