Ministers Keep the Faith in Comeback Victory

28 Jan

Ministers 2-1 Renwick

For the sixth time this season Renwick were defeated by a one goal margin as the Ministers recorded an historic win in the 2011 Jonny McCollum Cup. Ali McCollum gave Renwick a first half lead with his first goal for the club before Reuben Agnew, the youngest player ever to feature in the fixture, scored a crucial equaliser. In a strange twist former Renwick manager Phil Dunwoody was the one who snatched victory for the elated Ministers, RTC students, Short-term servants and Tim. Read the full match report below, as of yet unavailable from Shall We Take Engagement Photos For You.

Renwick’s line-up was largely recognisable from the first half of the season with unavailable Andrew Peoples and Richard McKelvey the most noteable absentees. They were encouraged by the return of Andy McKelvey who started on the bench and became the first ever Renwick player to wear a number 13 shirt. The fierce Dunwoody-Loughridge rivalry of previous years was set aside amongst three players who played for Renwick in 2010 starting for the Ministers in this encounter. When asked about this during the build-up McCullough had confidently stated that both Phil and Stevie would have struggled to win a starting spot in this season’s Elmwood team.

Nigel “Daniel” Aggers captained the Ministers

A pre-match giggle between P10 and the Pastors

After the two teams joined together for a pre-match prayer, Renwick started nervously as McCullough turned what should have been an easy situation into a goal mouth scramble which could have resulted in the Minister’s taking a first minute lead. Renwick regained their composure and started to play some attractive football which stood in contrast to the Minister’s long ball and set piece game on which Joel Loughridge thrived. Renwick broke the deadlock on 20 minutes after a spell of passing football. Joel Cromie’s cross found the marauding left back Ali McCollum who made no mistake from close range. A hamstring injury prevented Devenny from completing the half and his replacement, Robert McCaughan, was relieved to see his defensive header hit the bar and go over during a spell of Ministerial pressure. A crucial tackle from Michael Hawthorne also helped protect Renwick’s lead whilst at the other end heroics from the Minister’s goalkeeper Andy Lyttle and hestitation from Phil Aicken combined to leave Renwick wondering how they hadn’t doubled their advantage before half-time.

Go on Tim

Michael heads wide

Sadly the header quite badly affected his neck

Renwick looked threatening when they got the ball on the deck

Monsieur Lyttle

Devenny competes with Agnew

Phil vs Peter

Not who Tom normally spends Wednesday afternoon with

The beginning of a nice Renwick move

Joel stretched the Ministers’ defence

And Ali McCollum was on hand to bury Joel’s cross

Sports studies has enabled Joel to locate his knee

Dowie turns Michael

Philip McCollum Moffett

Renwick centre-halves

Renwick legend

versus Ali

Ali’s funny pose for the week

Michael makes a goal-saving tackle

Peter gets a chance from a corner

More set piece pressure

McCullough punches clear

Hard not to look at this and fear for Robert

The absence of the ball doesn’t stop these two tackling

Joel beaten at his own game

Strong defending from Rev. Agnew and Peter Loughridge continued to make the Ministers hard to break down during the second half. Their threat came primarily from set pieces as Pastor Bun’s long throw combined with Joel Loughridge’s strength to create many problems. Poor marking at a dead ball situation cost Renwick as a bound fell to the clinical Reuben Agnew for equaliser only 3 minutes after the restart. Apart from one spell of concerted pressure from the Ministers,  Renwick spent most of the 2nd half on the attack, desperately looking for a winner. McCaughan, Hawthorne and Cromie Joel each came tantalisingly close to regaining the lead.

The game was a tough physical encounter across the pitch but was played in a good spirit. Blood was only drawn by the ever dangerous Stevie McCollum who kicked one of his own teammates in the face. Joel Cromie received several uncompromising challenges from the Minister’s defence whilst a challenge from McCullough raised eyebrows as he desperately lunged for the ball at Reuben’s feet, preventing the youngster from doubling his tally. Only minutes from the end Renwick lost the ball unexpectedly in the middle of the park, Stevie McCollum hit an exquisite first time long pass that split Hanna and Morrison, andfound Dunwoody who made no mistake with the finish. In the dying minutes of stoppage time Renwick brought the goalkeeper up for a corner, a delicious ball from Cromie J found the unmarked McCullough who couldn’t find the target with his header. Ali McCollum blew the final whistle and the Ministers began to celebrate their victory.

Poetry in motion

Sporting his new Scott Parker hairstyle

More defensive heroics

The camraderie of the match was enjoyed by all and although Renwick will be disappointed by the result it will have undoubtedly served as a beneficial warm-up as they return to Superleague action next week. Keen to avoid controversy in post-match discussions McCullough refused to be drawn on the observation that the Minister’s first ever win came in year that least ministers featured. Renwick Pundit would like to thank all for taking part and the dedicated fans for making the fixture into the great occassion that it was. This match was the first time former Manager Andy Morrison had seen Renwick this season and he remarked that whilst the team had coped surprisingly well despite losing many key players since last season, the one player that hadn’t been effectively replaced was centre-forward Mark McCavery. Under-pressure McCullough has refused to rule out new acquisitions in the final days of the transfer window with rumours that Institute centre-back Gareth Smith is set to return in search of first team football along with playmaker Mark Porter. Reports that the Elmwood side are interested in signing teenager Reuben Agnew have also started to circulate as Renwick eagerly await the announcement of fixtures for the 2nd half of the season.


MINISTERS: A Lytle; P Moffett; N Agnew (C), P Loughridge, C Bun; P Dunwoody, S McCollum, R McCollum, R Agnew; T McCollum, J Loughridge

RENWICK: J McCullough; L Campbell, C Carson, B Hanna (C), A McCollum (A Morrison 61); C Robert (A McKelvey 45), M Hawthorne, P Fallows (A Rolleston 72), P Aicken; C Joel, A Devenney (R McCaughan 32)

Man of the Match

Reuben Agnew kept a cool head to score the equaliser and performed impressively against players much older than himself. Honourable mentions also go to Ali McCollum, Nigel Agnew, Peter Loughridge, Joel Loughridge and Andy Lyttle.

Video footage of the match will available soon. (Rumour has it that the background audio reveals who the girls really came to watch!) A special thanks to those who took the photos, they are of an exceptional quality.

It now stands at Renwck 3-1 Ministers in 5 years of fixtures ;)


3 Responses to “Ministers Keep the Faith in Comeback Victory”

  1. Steven January 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    Phil and Stevie are the only players who have played in all of the ministers-renwick matches and have never been on the losing side. There was just as many players that live in renwick that played as ordained ministers that played.

  2. Peter February 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    Right, it’s way too quiet on here … time for a spot of post-match banter!!! :-P

    Had to chuckle at Stevie’s comment above about the number of Renwick residents in the line-up – was thinking exactly the same myself when the number of ministers was mentioned! I also love how Stevie talks about himself in the third person when giving the stat about him and Phil!! :-D

    Apologies for the number of Revs however. Not much could be done about it. Many were invited! Busy men, I suppose. 2 bona fide clerics pulled out in the final 24 hours before kickoff. One withdrawal was only confirmed 1 hour before the game. Matchwinner Dunwoody was only signed at tea-time on the eve of the match. Though that may have been due to simmering animosity on my part over the “fierce Dunwoody-Loughridge rivalry of previous years”!!??!! ;-)

  3. Phil D February 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    I would whole-heartedly agree with all that my team-mates have said. Also have to laugh Ben ‘liking’ a picture of himself on the ball with the captain’s arm-band on Facebook. Shameless.

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