Archive by Author

YAW Weekend 2011

10 Aug

The application form for CY/Over 18s/Young Adults’ Weekend is available below. It goes down 16-18 September at Mullartown House, Annalong. Rev. David Sutherland is speaking on Jesus’ parables, with special guests Rev. David McCullough and Rev. Robert Robb doing seminars on spiritual gifts. Hard to argue with that lineup. Also, it’s always sunny that weekend. £35 is the cost if you book before August 27th. So click on the green words below and print the form, or, even better, save trees and email Lynda Bell with your details. Be there, or be a regular quadrilateral.

YAW form 2011

Ranger than Fiction – Renwick grab late draw

29 Mar

Renwick 2-2 Donegal Rangers

Renwick battled hard to earn a respectable 2-2 draw with title-chasing Donegal Rangers on Wednesday at Cherryvale. In a pre-season friendly Renwick dispatched Rangers 9-3, but the Donegal lads had improved immensely since that defeat, and matched the team in blue in nearly every department.

Renwick drew first blood, after coming close on several occasions through Devenney, Cromie and Peoples. Hawthorne picked up the ball and drove into the box, before squaring to allow Chris Carson to tap in for his first of this season. Donegal pulled level before half-time however, as a long Ball eluded Smith and Hanna, and their striker finished off the post.

Rangers took the lead midway through the second half, Renwick paying the price for losing possession in midfield. McCullough responded by changing to a 3-4-3, indulging his captain with a role as a left-sided tornero, and pushing Smith up front. Mark Porter can count himself extremely unlucky not to have scored with a fierce half-volley which the opposition keeper acrobatically saved. The tactical changes eventually paid off, albeit indirectly, with five minutes to go, as Hanna’s inswinging corner found Smith, who duly headed in. The match ended in controversy, as Rangers were denied strong claims for a penalty. The Donegal players surrounded ref Cromie, who was forced to dismiss the opposition right-back for re-enacting Paolo Di Canio’s push on Paul Alcock.

All in all, it was a creditable point for Renwick, as they battled hard all over the pitch. Fallows, Hawthorne and Smith all impressed, but the Man of the Match award this week goes to Andy McKelvey, who worked his socks off for 90 minutes, going to war for every loose ball, and driving forward out of midfield to support the attack.

Renwick (4-4-2): McCullough; Fallows, Smith, Hanna, R McKelvey; Cromie R, A McKelvey, Hawthorne, Carson; Peoples, Devenney. Subs: Throne, Porter.

There will be no photos this week after the transfer of said pictures to my laptop was messed up by Ben, who shall remain nameless. But here’s some choice pics from the games with Bayer Neverlusen and Cytokine Storm to look at with your eyes:

Renwick Immune To Cytokine Storm

17 Mar

Renwick battled to a satisfying 3-2 victory over the in-form Cytokine Storm at Cherryvale on Wednesday, although the win was somewhat overshadowed by an injury to midfielder Phil Aicken. Striker Adam Devenney made his first appearance since the Jonny McCollum Memorial Cup, and was partnered in attack by his cousin Peoples.

With kick-off delayed due to the late arrival of “a potentially fatal immune reaction consisting of a positive feedback loop between cytokines and immune cells” (Wikipedia), the match was curtailed to 80 minutes, and in the end this proved a blessing for McCullough’s charges. Renwick started brightly, and raced into a three-goal lead inside 20 minutes. Firstly, Devenney latched onto a flick-on from his cousin, raced clear and lobbed the keeper perfectly, the ball nestling in the bottom corner. He then doubled his tally, holding off his marker before finishing across the keeper, fed again by Peoples. The third goal came after Cromie Robert outpaced the opposition left-back, and his cross found Andrew McKelvey free in the box to score his first of the season. It was a physical contest, and tackles were flying in on both sides, with Aicken the victim of a particularly nasty two-footed challenge. Despite this, Renwick looked comfortable, and restricted their opponents to long-range efforts. However, just before half-time, one of these speculative strikes found the top corner, leaving McCullough well beaten.

The second period began much as the first ended, with Renwick withstanding pressure and defending on their 18-yard line. Five minutes in, Storm reduced the deficit to one with another goal from outside the box, again leaving McCullough powerless to stop it. There was a lengthy pause soon after, as Aicken was caught as he went past the opposition’s left midfielder. It was clear that something was amiss, and after the final whistle he made a trip to A&E, with a lengthy absence seeming likely. The break in play meant Storm lost their momentum, and although they continued to pressurise, the Renwick defence held firm to see out a gratifying 3-2 win.

All in all, it was an encouraging performance from Renwick, against a team challenging for the Super League title. Having raced into an early lead, they defended resolutely, and can count themselves unlucky to have conceded two wonder goals. Devenney looked sharp up front, and showed no ill-effects from his recurring hamstring problems. Andrew McKelvey bossed the midfield, and his brother Richard was rock-solid at left-back.

Man of the Match – Pete Fallows was particularly impressive, refusing to allow his opponents to get past, and winning the ball back at crucial points.

Renwick: McCullough; Fallows, Carson, Hanna, R McKelvey; Cromie R, M Hawthorne, A McKelvey, P Aicken; Devenney, Peoples. Subs: R Throne, T McCollum, L Campbell

As Lineker would say, we wish him well

Renwick Have The Whole World In Their Hands

2 Mar


Renwick House Football Club are surprised and disappointed to hear the name of their proud institution dragged through the mud over the past few days. The allegations posted, in public, as a comment on this blog, are untrue. Consequently, we are currently taking legal advice on the matter. It should be pointed out that the missing trophy was bought (not won) by the team in question, and to get so worked up over it so as to threaten the involvement of the authorities is, to be honest, pretty sad.


Renwick 6

World XI 4

Renwick put the memory of last week’s disappointing defeat behind them as they came out on top of a ten-goal thriller at the Ozone on a fine spring afternoon. Manager McCullough returned to the familiarity of nets, with Andy McKelvey assuming a new role at centre-half. Cromie Joel returned to play in the centre of the park, and Ali McCollum on the right flank.

The match started at a brisk pace, and Renwick soon began exert their influence on the game, with Cromie Robert having several opportunities to open the scoring. The first goal came from McCollum, whose latched onto the end of Aicken’s searching ball, and fired into the roof of the net. However World XI soon levelled with a header, after some slack marking at a corner. The game was delicately poised, but it was Renwick who scored the crucial next goal. A goalmouth scramble from a corner ended with Peoples heading in for his tenth goal of the season, despite a pretty blatant foul on the opposition keeper. Tempers then flared, first as Cromie Robert’s reckless lunge resulted in a heated exchange, and then when the Donegal man’s legitimate goal was ruled out for a foul on the keeper. Although it should be pointed out that Cromie’s studs did disintegrate the keeper’s flowery shorts in the process.

Aicken gets stuck in

Funny photo of the week


Ali celebrates

The epitomy of a high work rate

Renwick extended their lead after half time, as a collision between a World XI player and their keeper allowed Michael Hawthorne to slot into an empty net. However World XI soon reduced the deficit to one again. Peoples, having been shifted to centre-back, was unfortunate to give away a penalty as he kicked the ball against his own hand. After World had slotted the penalty home, the game continued in its end-to-end fashion, before the being lit up by a 35-yard strike from Phil Aicken. He picked up a poor kick from the keeper, before hitting a dipping shot over the keeper. The game then swung in World XI’s favour again, as Hanna gave away a free kick on the right hand touchline. The resulting ball eluded everyone before finding the far corner of the net. The proverbial pendulum then swung back in Renwick’s favour once again, as Pete Fallows broke his Renwick duck, with a goal-line tackle from Peoples’ cushioned header. Just when Renwick thought the game was won, a defensive lapse allowed the team in yellow to make it 5-4. It was a nervous final few minutes for McCullough’s men, but the tension was eased when Joel beat his man on the right hand side of the box, before squaring to give his brother a simple finish. This was the final act of the match, leaving Renwick with a morale-boosting win.

Ali cleverly pushes the opposition player into his own keeper…

…leaving Michael with an open goal

Before the bust-up

Phil strikes

Keeper stranded

Pete bundles over the line

Particularly impressive were Campbell, Hawthorne and Cromie Joel, but the Man of the Match award goes to Phil Aicken. Composed in possession, and constantly looking to play in those in front of him, Aicken capped off an impressive performance with two assists and a memorable goal.


Renwick (4-4-2): McCullough; Campbell, A McKelvey, Hanna, Fallows; McCollum, C Joel, Hawthorne, Aicken; C Robert, Peoples. Sub: R McKelvey

Renwick overcome Stern (John) opposition to show that they Kenwyne after all

3 Feb

Renwick returned to winning ways for the first time in over 3 months on Wednesday at Cherryvale with a tense 4-3 victory over Peter McConaghie’s Trinidad and Tobago reserves. Manager McCullough responded to last week’s disappointing defeat against the Men of the Cloth with some drastic reshuffles; right back Luke Campbell took his place between the sticks, McCullough moved himself out to centre-back alongside Hanna, Gavin Blackwell made a welcome return in midfield, and Andrew Peoples led the forward line, partnered by Joel Cromie.

The match started at a frantic pace in wet and windy conditions, and the opening exchanges were largely even. Renwick’s new-look defence was largely coping with the Carribeans’ attacks, but it was T&T who scored first, a speculative strike from 30-plus yards beating Campbell and crashing in off the underside of the bar. Despite going behind, Renwick were beginning to get their passing game going, and equalised midway thought the first half. Robert Cromie’s early cross found his younger brother, who held off his man before finishing expertly. The goal filled Renwick with confidence, and further chances were squandered by Cromie R as the team in blue played some of their best football this season. A second goal did come however, with Peoples picking up the ball 25 yards out and firing a dipping shot over the keeper. Two became three just before half time, as Blackwell’s scooped header from Cromie Joel’s free-kick was palmed in by the keeper.

After half-time, Renwick continued in a similar vein, and soon extended their lead to three goals, Joel Cromie’s excellent volleyed cross finding sub Rob McCaughan at the back post, and he duly headed home. As the half wore on, Renwick began to ease off slightly, and soon found themselves in a game again. First, Campbell was unlucky as he got a strong hand to a T&T shot, but was only able to turn the ball in into the far corner of the net. Soon after, Campbell was rounded, and captain Hanna stuck out an instinctive arm to present the resulting shot from going in. Hanna was deservedly sent off, and the Carribeans scored the penalty, leaving Renwick to hold out for the final ten minutes with 10 men, and a makeshift pairing of Peoples and Blackwell at centre-half. The Elmwood side just about held on, and the final whistle was greeted with cheers of relief more than elation.

While Renwick will be disappointed with the fact that they made things unnecessarily hard for themselves towards the end, there were long spells of the game where they played some excellent football. If they can keep up this style of play, results will continue to improve and things will start to look a lot brighter from McCullough’s men.

Alas there was no camera present at this week’s match, so you’ll have to make do with a Piecam from the archives

Man of the match: Cromie Joel – in what may be his last appearance for a while due to timetabling issues, Joel supplied a goal and two assists, and caused constant problems for the T&T defence.

Stat of the week: Renwick have now won four and drawn one at Cherryvale in 5 games this season, and have only won one game elsewhere, losing the rest.

Renwick (4-4-2): Campbell; Carson, McCullough, Hanna, A McCollum; Cromie R, Blackwell, Hawthorne, Aicken; Cromie J, Peoples. Subs: McCaughan, Fallows, R McKelvey

Jack Warner was unavailable for comment

Renwick left Numb as Jay’s Football Friends give them 99 Problems

17 Dec

The opposition manager

Another week, another defeat for Renwick, as McCullough’s men were beaten 2-1 by the dubiously-monikered Jay’s Football Friends at Grove on Wednesday. The defeat leaves Renwick with only one win to show for their opening 6 Belfast Super League fixtures. With the league not recommencing until February, management and players alike will have plenty of time to mull over the performances in the opening 6 games of the season.

The match itself was a drab affair, reflecting the overcast sky under which it was played. The standard of football was low from both sides. Things were largely even in the first half, with Jay & co causing occasional trouble to the Renwick defence through their strength and determination. Renwick themselves rarely threatened, relying on lone striker Adam Devenney to provide any menace in the opposition half. It was Devenney who opened the scoring after 25 minutes, powerfully outmuscling his marker and latching onto a through ball from Mr. Skills before squeezing the ball past the keeper and into the bottom corner. Devenney almost doubled his tally 5 minutes later, flicking a throw-in onto the top of the bar after defensive shenanigans from the Friends. This was as good as it got from Renwick, who struggled to get on the ball and play the neat football that they’re capable of.

However, in the second half, instead of making the improvement needed to see out the game, Renwick got worse. Jay’s crew grew in confidence, and began to dominate proceedings, pouring forward in numbers. Despite this, Renwick had some joy with long balls over the top to Devenney, however he was guilty of being wasteful with these chances. On 70 minutes, Jay’s equalised, catching the Renwick defence cold, leaving their striker with a simple finish. Once the first goal went in, there was a sense of inevitability about the second, which duly came five minutes later. Renwick failed to clear a corner, the ball was played back in, pushed out by McCullough but only the land at the striker’s feet, leaving him with a simple finish once again. Renwick changed shape, throwing Joel Cromie up front to link up with Devenney, but chances were scarce. The best fell to McCaughan, who wriggled his way into the box, but could only fire straight at the keeper from close range. The game petered out, leaving Renwick with much to consider over the Christmas break.

This game was the fifth time that Renwick had thrown away a lead in six league games, and this is a problem that will need to be addressed over the next month or so. The neat possession football that personified McCullough’s side in pre-season has all but disappeared. They will need to rediscover their confidence if they are to make anything of this season.

Man of the match: Although no Renwick players can come out of this game with any real credit, Richard McKelvey deserves a mention for another solid performance at left back.

Renwick (4-5-1): McCullough; Fallows, Carson, Hanna, McKelvey; Aicken, Hawthorne, Skills, Peoples, Cromie J; Devenney. Subs: Cromie R, Blackwell, McCaughan

Renwick Foyled by Derry

26 Nov

With defeat to Derryvolgie still stinging, Renwick came up against another of their traditional rivals at Cherryvale on Wednesday. Matches Derry City Supporters Club have always been feisty affairs, and today’s encounter was no exception. After the lacklustre display against DV, manager McCullough felt the need for radical changes, and so Renwick lined up in 4-3-3 shape, with Michael Hawthorne deployed as a regista behind Peoples and the returning Mr. Skills. Pete Fallows slotted in at right-back, and the Cromie brothers and Philip Aicken made up a fluid front three.

The first half began at a ferocious pace, and both sides went close in the early exchanges. The Renwick forward line caused Derry problems with their movement, and Skills and Peoples constantly made probing runs from deep. Derry also threatened, with several long range efforts cannoning off the woodwork. It was end-to-end stuff, but it was Renwick who struck first, Skills threading a through ball to the younger Cromie, who ignored the opposition’s offside calls to calmly lob the keeper from the just inside the box. The circumstances of the goal ratcheted up the temperature by several degrees, and there were soon some tasty tackles flying in from both sides, with the Derry ref struggling to control the game, as players from both sides surrounded him at every decision. The Muckers soon equalised, a through ball finding a gap in the Renwick defence, allowing their striker to slot past McCullough. Shortly after this, Derry were awarded a penalty, with Hawthorne deemed to have tripped an opposition player in a tangle of legs in the box. However the Renwick keeper saved comfortably from the resultant kick, and this decisive stop seemed to re-ignite Renwick. They lay siege to Derry, and soon took the lead again. A long throw from McCollum caused panic in the defence, the ball eventually falling to Cromie R close to the byline, whereupon he somehow managed to squeeze his shot into the net from the tightest of angles. Renwick finished the second half on top, but careless marking at a corner allowed Derry to equalise once again, and the sides went in level at the break.

Renwick started the second period positively, and had Derry on the back foot for long spells. With an hour gone, Renwick were offered the chance to re-take the lead. A ball over the top from Peoples found Cromie R in space, and the Donegal man was clipped by the opposition full-back as he cut inside. Cromie took the penalty, nervelessly sending the keeper to one side as he placed his penalty low and straight down the middle, or alternatively, hitting the ground harder than the ball, thus deceiving the keeper and sending the penalty rolling into the net. Renwick had further chances to extend their lead, with Tim McCollum guilty of the worst miss, sending his diving header wide after an inch-perfect cross from debutant Richard Mark, who played well despite having no surname. Derry’s third equaliser came out of the blue, a speculative 30 yard effort flying past McCullough and into the top corner. There was controversy late-one, as Derry believed they had scored the winner, only for it to be (correctly) ruled out for offside.

Overall, Renwick can be pleased with a gutsy performance against a steely and physical side, and they didn’t lose their heads (much) in the face of near-constant provocation from the opposition. Special praise must go to Hawthorne, who excelled at the root of a midfield pivot, drawing comparisons with the likes of Pirlo and Schweinsteiger. Phil Aicken also deserves a mention, as he worked tirelessly in his role as false nine, much like a prettier Carlos Tevez. However, given the circumstances of the game, this should be regarded as two points dropped rather than a point gained.

Man of the match: Andrew Peoples – once again Peoples proved the catalyst for much of Renwick’s attacking play, with his driving runs and incisive passing.

Stat of the week: This was the first time Renwick had ever avoided to defeat against the Candystripes.

Renwick (4-2-3-1): McCullough; Fallows, Carson, Hanna, A. McCollum; Hawthorne, Peoples; Cromie R, Skills, Cromie J; Aicken. Subs: Campbell (Fallows 45), McKelvey (A. McCollum 60), T. McCollum (Aicken 70), Mark (Cromie R 70)

Edit: Photos, thanks to Renwick’s equivalent of Sandra Redknapp…

Follow Stevie in Cyprus

28 Sep

Short-term servant and seminal ex-Renwick House centre back Stevie McCollum has started a blog, to chronicle his time working with the church in Cyprus. You can find it here. He posts useful prayer points, and, less usefully, photos of where he puts his toilet paper. But don’t let that put you off, it’s well worth a read.

Convoy & Stranorlar GO Team

9 Sep

In response to Ali’s gentle-but-amusing jibes in his Derry post about what I’ve been up to, I thought I’d better set the record straight by recounting the 11th Convoy & Stranorlar GO Team. Consider yourself in the loop, dear reader…

Despite the apparently commonly-held belief up North that Donegal is an island, accessible only by ferry or raft, six intrepid adventurers turned up at Glebe Hollow in Stranorlar on August 14th to join everyone’s favourite joint charge for our annual GO week. These troopers were Tom Somerville (foxy-eyed), Eleanor McCollum (running and running), Gavin McCaughan (destroyer of stair rods), Catherine McCullough (tea-pourer par excellence), Sarah Morrison (only came to get her Queen’s Award), and Factor 50 Pete (Pete burns, who knew?). They were joined by a cast of thousands, not least our three cooks Jenny, Helen and Elma, who once again surpassed themselves culinarily, although Rosemary may beg to differ, give the pea-content of the lasagne. Also assisting were many of our two congregations’ young people, and to be fair, the rest of the not-so-young people too. Spearheading this operation was myself, leading in a style I like to think of as being equal parts Tony Blair, Tony Adams, and Tony the Tiger.

Photos courtesy of Catherine, the only person thoughtful enough to bring a camera, although not thoughtful enough to take any pictures of any work being done

After the team arrived on Saturday afternoon and were briefed on the week’s activities, we headed to Longs’ for a congregational BBQ, which was a really great way to start the week, with plenty of banter to be had thanks to Chip’s games in the field, and a meteor shower perfectly visible in the clear Donegal sky. The good weather continued into Sabbath, which was probably the best day of the summer heat-wise, further lifting the spirits of our visitors, already enchanted by their period residence on Stranorlar’s Main Street, shower leak over Pete’s bed notwithstanding. Morning worship on Sabbath was followed by a congregational lunch (we’re big into communal dining in C&S), and an afternoon off to enjoy the sunshine, or indeed, in the case of more elderly participants, the inside of one’s eyelids. We finished off the day with a Psalm sing and prayer time in Convoy.

Monday dawned predictably damp, and we got stuck into the week’s work. After our team Bible study and prayer time, we set about giving out our 3000 4you magazines to homes in Stranorlar, Ballybofey, Convoy, Killygordon and Castlefin. These leaflets are fantastically put-together and faithfully preach the message of salvation, and no church in our denomination would have the resources to create something as good as them. Although they don’t lend themselves to letterboxes. In the afternoons, our activities were varied. We offered our cleaning and general odd-jobbing services to families from the Parent & Toddlers club, and also church members. We went into several homes and cleaned, dusted, hoovered, painted and the like. Daphne, Matthew and I fared much better than anyone else, as we received benefits-in-kind as a means of thanks at one home, including salami from Harrods, among, er, other things! Matthew will get his gift when he turns 18. We also had an afternoon off on Wednesday, consisting once again of a nap for some, and not much else for others. On Thursday, we went to Stephen & Joanne’s home for a seminar on World Missions. The presentation Steve used for this is available here, and is well worth a look. On Friday, we headed back to Longs’ to bake for that evening’s events, more of which later.

Gavlar got flippin’ stuck in

Sadly there are no photos of the alternative top hats Joel and I produced, including one with marshmallow arch and the tallest top hat ever created

From Monday to Wednesday some of the team were involved in a Holiday Bible Club held in Convoy. At least, that was the plan originally, but as numbers swelled to an unprecedented 40 children over the 3 evenings, more of us had to muck in. This was probably the most encouraging aspect of the week, as at previous HBCs there had been a max of around 16 kids, so for 40 to turn out, meaning we had to ask to use extra rooms at the venue was really exciting. Praise God that He brought along so many youngsters and that we were able to preach the Gospel to them!

On the Thursday evening, the congregations hosted a public meeting on local poet (and former Stranorlar RPC member) David Cunningham, and another Stranorlar alumni, Raymond Blair, was the speaker. Despite the lack of enthusiasm for the subject matter from team members, Raymond did a great job of expounding and explaining Cunningham’s works, and the meeting drew in people from the community who perhaps would not have darkened the church’s door otherwise. The highlight was Raymond clearly presenting the message of Christ, and those attending could not have failed to understand its implication. Then on Friday night, something altogether different, as the Agnew family (plus assorted Matthesses (Matthi?) and others!) returned to entertain the congregation and friends with an evening of banjo-centric japery. Just as they did last year, they put on a great show, with an eclectic mix of styles, and successfully overcame the dreadful acoustics in Stranorlar church building. The team’s job was to make and serve supper, and despite Catherine leaving a few people with moist laps, this passed off without major incident.

No-one thought to take photos of this year’s performance, so this is what the Agnews and friends looked like just over a year ago

After we debriefed each evening (with predictable lame jokes), there was a semi-obligatory time of team “bant”, usually taking place just after I went to bed. Activities included being irritated by Rosemary, basking in Pete’s auburn glow, nearly breaking the chandolier in the team house with a stray chair, and fives. Eleanor especially made the most of these times, resulting in her missing of the final Bible study of the week on Friday morning, as she had only been woken twice.

Our final task as a team was to help out at the Mums’ Breakfast on the Saturday morning, setting up tables, chairs and food, and also babysitting the legion of babies and toddlers who came along with their Ma. Brenda Kelso spoke after the meal, and by all accounts it was really challenging to the women present, several of whom bought some of the books that Brenda had brought along, which was a big encouragement. Once this was complete, we headed back to the house to have a quick feedback session, before everyone repaired to popular seafood eatery The John Dory for lunch. Although I wasn’t invited! But I got over it.

A massive thanks to the team, who were a pleasure to lead, and all those who from the congregations who got stuck in as well. All in all, it was a really good week, with some epic craic and true blessings from God. Pray that He would be pleased to continue to work in our congregations and that we would faithfully sow the seeds of His word.

More photos:

Helene gets to experience a rare privilege: Huggable Pete

Ladies’ Captain Rosemary Long, who thoughtfully chucked Catherine out of her room so she could have a double bed all to herself

Watch, watch, WATCH!!! THE CHANDOLIER!!!

Eleanor, definitely not pictured here at Friday morning’s Bible study

Young Adults Weekend 2010 Form

10 Aug

Courtesy of Cream Bun, we have the Young Adults’ Weekend 2010 form available to download, print and fill in at your leisure. The YAW returns to Mullartown House near Annalong, and takes place from 3rd – 5th of September. Newly-installed Moderator Rev. Barry Galbraith will be speaking, and it promises to be a great weekend. Anyone over 18 can apply, and for those who haven’t been before, expect a more laid-back but also more spiritually intense version of Camp Reunion. Highly recommended. It’s always sunny too. The weekend is dirt cheap at £35 if you book before 28th August. So click the green text below and print out the pdf.

Last year. See?

YAW form