Tag Archives: Belfast

Belfast Marathon 2011 Not On Sunday

13 May

(Thanks to Joel for his comment pointing this out and Dad for his excited text with the news. I felt the news was so good it deserved a full post.)

“Last night members from all of the five political parties represented on Belfast City Council’s development committee agreed that the issue would be postponed for a year and guaranteed it would be held on the usual Monday in 2011.” Newsletter

The BBC and the Newsletter report that contrary to earlier fears the 2011 Belfast Marathon will not be held on a Sunday. It will continue to take place on Easter Monday. These reports, however, do seem to indicate that the issue may raise itself again next year. Lets keep fighting to keep the command to keep the Sabbath holy in the public conciousness for the sake of God’s Glory.

Cromie got our time wrong in his hilarious round up, it was actually 4:19:54

One thing that does bemuse me a little is that  the BBC and Newsletter both quote Stafford Carson and fail to mention the Moderator of the RPCI Synod who ran the whole thing! Thanks to all those who sponsored Dad and I, together we raised over £1000 for the Prostate Cancer Charity. If you’ve promised money but weren’t able to give it to us at the time please pass it on as soon as possible. If you haven’t sponsored us you can still do so online.

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.

Shaftesbury Reformed Conference and GO Team

17 Feb

On Wednesday of last week, Shaftesbury Square RPC held it’s approximately annual Reformed Conference. Following on from the two day conference on John Calvin last year, two American speakers had been invited to give an address.  Dr. Joel Beeke, of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and author of many books, and Dr. Joesph Pipa from Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary gave talks lasting about 45 minutes dealing with doctrinal issues, speaking to the average Church member, rather than just those with a special interest in theology.

Dr. Pipa’s address was on the subject Right with God. You can listen to it online at the Shaftesbury Sermon Audio site, or download it and listen to it on your mp3 player or iPod. After a short interval, Dr. Beeke spoke on Children of God. Again, this can be downloaded from the Sermon Audio website.

There were about 120 people, a very encouraging turn out for Shaftesbury. David McKay noted that of that number, around half were under the age of 30. Stafford Carson, present PCI moderator and speaker at last year’s conference was in attendance. Pray for all who heard the talks, and those who will hear them online, that God will use them to his glory.

Three days later, it was back to Shaftesbury for a one day GO Team. About 20 people assembled in the Church hall on Saturday morning before leaving to give out a flyer advertising the various means of outreach Shaftesbury undertakes to the houses in the areas near the Church building. Unlike other years, it wasn’t snowing, and was actually a very pleasant day, perfect for walking the streets of south Belfast.

The other side advertised the weekly Church services

About 5000 leaflets were given out on the day, leaving about 1000 for Paul and Philip to distribute over the next few weeks. Remember to pray for the lunchtimes services held on Thursdays starting on 4th March and for the men who will speak at those.

Later on that evening, some of the team went to Great Vic. Baptist to hear Stuart Olyott speak.

Ben passing on Joel and Steelo’s regards

The talks are not online yet, but when they are I’d guess you’ll be able to find them here.

Finally, Shaftesbury Fellowship is on tonight, Warren Peel speaking on God The Father. Tea at 6.45, talk around 7.30.

Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

“Should I Go Clubbing?”

9 Jan

This article was  written by Jonny McCollum and was first published as the sole part of what appears to have been The Messenger Magazine’s shortest ever series. Thanks to Jonny for allowing us to reproduce it.

“I want to witness to my non-Christian friends. Should I go clubbing with them in order to get closer to them?” One of our chief responsibilities is to tell the lost about Jesus Christ. If we spend every last moment in “holy huddles” with Christian friends, this is almost impossible. It is right that we should befriend non-Christians and that we should spend time with them and get to know them. Unfortunately, non-Christians often spend time in places where we are uncomfortable, such as nightclubs. This presents us with a dilemma – should we go with them to these places in order to better befriend them and hopefully have opportunities to share the gospel? While the Bible doesn’t speak specifically about clubbing, it does present us with important principles. Some are adamant that no Christian should even touch alcohol and thus to go to places such as pubs and clubs would be sinful. Others condemn this as legalism. What does the Bible say? It is clear from scripture that alcohol itself is not inherently wrong (1 Tim 5:23). It is equally clear that drunkenness is (Eph 5:18). While we could go out and simply not get drunk, will our friends assume that by visiting places such as Kelly’s & Mclub, where drunkenness is the norm, that we condone something that is forbidden by God’s law? If they do assume this then how will it affect our witness? If we choose to attend nightclubs, we will be bombarded with temptation. In order to avoid falling into sin, it is vital that we do not underestimate our enemy. Imagine you are about to embark on a journey across the Indian Ocean. You plan to sail past the coast of Somalia, and before setting off you are warned of pirate attacks. If your view of pirates is based entirely on cartoons, you will picture men with big beards and parrots, who spend their days drinking rum and shouting “Arr!” (the pirates, not the parrots!) Perhaps you decide to pack your trusty cutlass (admittedly few readers are likely to have one lying around), confident that it is enough to ward off a group of drunken men with eye patches and wooden legs. Now imagine that your boat is attacked by real life, Somali pirates. But these men don’t look like Captain Pugwash or Jack Sparrow; they’re professional and they have dangerous, modern weapons. Your cutlass wouldn’t look quite so impressive when faced with a gang armed with assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades! If we are silly enough to underestimate the danger we will face serious trouble. Often our view of Satan is just as misconceived. Far from being a figure of fun with hoofs, a tail and a pitchfork, Satan is devious, determined and dangerous. And while we are unlikely to be attacked by pirates, we come under assault from Satan and his angels each and every day. Satan is incredibly cunning. He disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). While we may go out with friends with the hope of sharing the gospel, Satan will use the opportunity to barrage us with temptation. Perhaps you can resist the temptation to get drunk, but will the revealing clothes worn by others lead you to think lustful thoughts? (Matt 5:28) We dismiss the dangers posed by Satan at our peril! We should be wary and vigilant (1 Pet 5:8). It is impossible to escape temptation altogether, but this does not justify putting ourselves in the firing line. Perhaps some do not struggle with these temptations. But they are a problem for most Christians, and we ought to take others into account. Will a weaker brother/sister who is likely to fall be more inclined to go to clubs and thus put themselves in danger because they know you attend? The very ethos behind nightclubs is in stark contrast to our calling. God calls us to be self-controlled (Gal 5:23). People are attracted to nightclubs because the free flowing alcohol, accessible drugs and hypnotic dance tracks are designed so they can ‘lose themselves’. Clubbing is not about socialising or making friends. It is about losing control. And what about the very people we are trying to witness to? What if they become Christians? Will we warn them of the dangers of going clubbing? Our example tells them that nightclubs are a suitable place for new Christians to hang around. They aren’t! The intense temptations associated with clubbing, and the messages sent out by attending, mean that even if our motives are good, it is surely best to avoid these places. It would be far better to witness to our friends in the places we already go with them, besides, if we aren’t able to tell them about Christ in the classroom or workplace then why should a bustling nightclub be any different?

Renwick finish 2009 on a high

18 Dec
  • Renwick come away with hard earned victory, winning 5-1
  • Dunwoody opens the scoring in possible last appearance
  • McCaughan returns to the action with a brace

On a mild December day, Renwick were back at the Ozone for the last time this year, hoping to take another 3 points and keep the pressure up at the top of the Belfast Super League. The opposition this week was “Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland Supporters Association”, or QUBNISA for short. Records show that the last time this match was played out, on Wednesday 13th December 2006, Renwick lost 2-1. The squad they lined up with, the biggest we have faced yet probably bore little resemblance to that team however. That said, only three Renwick players from the original match featured on Wednesday. In previous games this season results showed that NISA tended not to lose games by much more than a one goal margin, and so Renwick cautiously approached the game, but aware of the importance of an early goal.

Five subs!

For the last match of the year, the Renwick squad was as strong as it has been. Mark McCavery successfully predicted the start XI on Tuesday when he created Virtual Renwick. Robert McCaughan regained his starting place in the team, and Gavin Blackwell returned in central midfield. A late addition to the squad was Gareth Smith, with big brother Dave watching the first half from the sidelines. Robert Cromie joined him there, taking the camera for the first 45, along with keen supporters Kathryn and Heather. NISA refereed the first half.

Kicking off almost on time, NISA got the match under way. It was clear from early on that they were going to be playing on the shoulder of the last defender and trying to catch us on the break. This didn’t go very well for them, as Renwick’s first attack led to a goal. Mark McCavery won a ball in the air, sent Philip Dunwoody free, and with only the keeper to beat he struck the ball low into the goal. A fantastic start to the match, something which was noticeable lacking last week. From the kick off, Renwick again took control, not letting NISA play at all. An Ian Buchanan free kick from the edge of the box was comfortably dealt with by the keeper.

Whilst going up for a header with the smallest player on the pitch, Philip Dunwoody caught a stray elbow just below the eye, and was on the ground for some time. Determined to play on, he got up and got on with it, despite an increasinly large lump. Thankfully there was no lasting damage, just a rather odd looking facial injury.

Shortly after, as a high looping ball was sent into the box, McCavery jostled the keeper, who really should have had it anyway, won the ball, and it dropped at the feet of Robert McCaughan who had the easy task of passing it into the unguarded net. 2-0 up, and with the opposition yet to have the ball in the Renwick half, things were looking good. All this, despite Renwick having barely put a pass together.

Moments later, it was 2-0

Renwick won another free kick in a similar position, and Buchanan again stepped up, but then surprised everyone by playing it short to Steve McCollum who had made a cheeky (is there anything he does on the football pitch that isn’t cheeky?) past the wall toward the by line. McCollum then crossed it to the back post to Mark McCavery who put it back across goal and towards Gareth Smith who smashed it into the net giving the defense no chance. Renwick added a fourth after 25 minutes through Robert McCaughan, with the goal coming in a similar manner to the first.

Ben rushing to celebrate. Pain etched all over the NISA faces

QUBNISA must have been what had hit them, but like so many goals in this league, much of what Renwick did came through defensive ineptitude rather than brilliant play. Although not all goals are like that! With the match effectively won at this stage, the next 65 minutes were all about defending and keeping concentration. NISA started to come into the match as the half drew towards a close. Their approach to goal scoring was still fairly Bolton like, and their main creative force was found not in attack, midfield or even defense, but between the sticks. Taking goal kicks long seemed to be their only option, but this didn’t work out very well, with Lynch and Smith in particular taking charge. When their goal did come it was after a period of sustained pressure, with the defense failing to clear several throw-ins from the Northern Ireland right wing. The ball came loose on the edge of the six yard box, and the first player to it was a NISA player who placed it to the keeper’s right. Despite getting a hand to it, McCullough was unable to keep the ball out. There was a strong hint of offside in the build up, but with no video evidence available, the referee was unable to call it.

The second half was much less eventful, with Renwick spending most of the time in the NISA half, without ever really threatening to score. NISA, with their large squad made several changes to freshen things up, but still were trying to play route one football. Renwick substitutions saw Dave Smith partner younger brother Gareth in defense, and Robert Cromie came on for his fourth appearance of the season. Steven McCollum refereed part of the half, before taking Ben Hanna’s place, leaving Robert McCaughan to referee until the end.

Would you mess with this man?

Within minutes of taking the whistle, the referee had a big call to make, with Robert Cromie through on goal after beating his marker, but then taking a tumble in the box. After considering it, play was allowed to continue, much to the Irishman’s dismay. Post match discussions concluded that the player had a right to feel aggrieved at the decision, as there was contact.

Now having the Smith brothers at the heart of defense, Northern Ireland were allowed very little time on the ball in the final third, and were kept to shooting from distance. It was noted that throughout the whole match, the only shot they were allowed inside the box was the goal that they scored.

Long balls…pfft..

In the closing minutes, Renwick won a corner, to be taken from the left. Philip Dunwoody swung it in, and Gareth Smith was there to send the ball into the back of the net. Protests from the NI players that the keeper had the ball under control were dismissed by the referee. Probably the goal we were made to work the hardest for all season, having gone for 60 minutes without scoring. At no point did Northern Ireland give up and worked very hard in midfield, but an inability to do the simple things well, particularly passing, cost them. This performance was matched and bettered by Renwick, with Andrew Lynch and Gavin Blackwell impressing as ever.

QUBNISA offered a strong challenge, and had they started playing at kick off, rather than 30 minutes in, the result might have been different. Noticeable Renwick trends from previous games were erased in this match, no late goals conceded, and a focused performance throughout.

Other results from today, or rather a lack of them, mean that Renwick sit top of the pile in the Belfast Super League. It should be noted that Renwick have played the most games in the league, having not had any free game weeks. This means that next semester there will be a greater number of free Wednesdays, but hopefully friendly matches can be organized for such occasions. After the Easter break, there may be a BSL cup, which Renwick could be involved in.

The next Renwick match may be the Jonny McCollum cup, now in it’s 4th year, and a date for this is currently being organised. Until then, here is a list of Renwick fixtures until Easter:

03/02/10 – Free week

10/02/10 – Derryvolgie

17/02/10 – Bayern Eunuchs

24/02/10 – Free week

03/03/10 – Law Society

10/03/10 – Donegal Rangers

17/03/10 – Belfast Bible College

24/03/10 – Free week

Finally, it is my great pleasure to congratulate Philip Dunwoody on not just his goal today, but what has been an excellent season for him so far. 10 starts, 6 goals, 10 assists and even 22 refereeing minutes, all adding up to a very valuable contribution. Dunwoody, the man who has been there since it started way back in 2006, may well have played his last game for the club, as next semester he will likely be tied up with other commitments. Renwick House have to date played 56 games, and Philip has featured in all but 3 of these games. Everyone involved with the club would like to thank Philip for all the effort he has put in and sincerely hope he can return for at least one game next year. If you want to read more about the early days, have a look at the SWS archives.

It all started here, with a 6-2 defeat of Church of Ireland. Some things never change!

52 games later, still leading the team.

The real question is of course, what will happen to the no. 7 shirt?

But as good as Phil was, for Man of the Match, there wasn’t really ever any contest. Gareth Smith was a rock in defence from start to finish, and contributed with two goals, making him equal second in the goalscoring charts for the season. The inclusion of Dave Smith in the second half seemed to only inspire him further and the possibility of this being a regularity next year is fantastic.


What is Ben so happy about?

“I have 2 men over here!!”, “But it’s ok Ben, you have them..”

Coming out on the 16th December – dedication. Excellent photography throughout as well!

Put a name on it!


Captions for this anyone?

Or indeed this?

A quiet day for McCavery

The sun sets on another year of Renwick Football.

Thanks to everyone who has played, watched, supported, bought the shirt and read the match reports. It’s great fun!

Sorry about the great delays in getting this report done!

Renwick House 11-1 Church of Ireland

3 Dec
  • Impressive scoreline, but room for improvement
  • Tim McCollum marks debut with a brace
  • Ben Hanna gets himself in a bit of a muddle*

Renwick returned to the Ozone this week with a very satisfying 11-1 victory over local rivals Church of Ireland. As usual COI managed to be late, leaving the Renwick squad with an extended warm up session. When the Anglicans eventually did arrive it was apparent that they were taking the match about as seriously as the pre-season encounter, a game which Renwick dominated throughout. A much brighter affair as well. While talk about drawing positions out of a hat was heard amongst the squad, the manager and captain were keen to stress the importance of not losing focus and shooting from anywhere before kickoff, as had happened the previous week.

Lining up with a slightly altered starting 11, Renwick had plenty of reasons to be confident. Mark Porter kept his place in midfield, partnering Andrew Lynch with Ian Buchanan in his usual attacking role. Gavin Blackwell pulled out of the match day squad just hours before kick off, citing work commitments. Robert Cromie made his third appearance of the season in place of Robert McCaughan on the left wing, who was also unavailable to due to “work”. The priorities of the Pembroke residents has been called into questions, with rumours about events at the Odyssey swirling round..

Renwick finally got the match underway at around 2.30, playing into the “sun” in the first half. When you talk about making a strong start, it doesn’t get much stronger than scoring in your first attack and inside 30 seconds. From a COI goal kick, the ball came the left side of Renwick’s half, and Ben Hanna made his way to the byline before crossing the ball. What happened afterwards was the subject of great post-match discussion, but after much deliberation the official version of events** has been decided as the following: after leaving Hanna’s foot, the ball (which was making its way towards the goal) struck the defender, sending it into a slow looping arc over the keeper before dropping in the net at the back post, and thus the goal has been attributed to Hanna. As part of his celebration the defender dived in the puddle that had formed over the centre circle in a Klinsmann-esque fashion.Weird, but it would be a contender for celebration of the season, if such an award existed.

Seeing as there are no photos of what actually happened…

Following this Church of Ireland had a period of sustained period of pressure, with several corners which could have easily led to a goal. Renwick were losing the ball in midfield time after time and a COI goal did not seem far away. Renwick weathered the storm though and soon scored a second. Mark McCavery made space for himself on the right and the ball came into the box for Ian Buchanan to get a head on it. The ball came off the far post and rolled along the line before finally crossing it and confirming the goal. Even a second goal wasn’t enough to calm Renwick nerves and Church of Ireland still managed to dominate, winning every 50/50 ball and generally seeming to be in control. It was not until the third goal that Renwick finally settled into some sort of rhythm. From a Philip Dunwoody corner the ball dropped in the box and Gareth Smith was there to smash into the net from two yards. It was a very preventable goal from a COI perspective, and something their defence, which has conceded an average of over 6 goals per game, will need to address.

After this Renwick started to get the ball on the ground and pass it about, and as the half went on became increasingly dominant. Goals four and five came from Mark Porter and Robert Cromie. For Porter’s, Andrew Lynch found space on the left wing, cut inside, look up and saw Porter free, who hit a low drive in a crowded box into the back of the net. Towards the end of the half Ian Buchanan played a delightful ball into the winger’s path and without breaking stride, he took one touch and with an early right footed shot from the edge of the box made it five. Despite being more or less straight at the keeper he was beaten by the pace of the shot. Shortly afterward the “referee” blew for half time.

Like something out of Fifa

McCullough had a relatively quiet day as keeper, although did have to make a few saves from low hard shots near the posts. Because of Church of Ireland’s poor marking, McCullough was able to distribute from his hands more so than usual, and this aided the passing approach Renwick were aiming for. It was arguably the worst half of football Renwick have played this season, despite scoring five goals. A lack of communication between defence and midfield led to problems, but this was resolved at the interval.

Morrison had an unfamiliar looking bench to choose substitutes from, with the combined Belfast Super League experience of the three players amounting to 0 minutes. Tim McCollum and Michael Mitchell came on in place of Mark Porter and Robert Cromie. Both Cromie and Porter had pleasing first halves, getting amongst the goals and making a nuisence of themselves in the final third. With the match was effectively won by this stage, McCullough went outfield swapping places with the ever versitile Lynch to take up a midfield role. He was joined there by Tim McCollum, while Mitchell went out to the left wing. Go on Tim! Cromie officiated the second half.

Rolleston and Mitchell, both graduates from the Regent House soccer acadmey

The order in which the second half goals were scored is far from clear in my head, so if anyone knows any better please comment. Tim McCollum managed to score two goals, one with each foot. The first was from an corner floated in by Ian Buchanan which nobody dealt with, leaving McCollum the easy task of slotting home from inside the box. The second came in similar circumstances, the ball falling at his feet and allowing him to shoot low and hard from about 20 yards. The ball went just inside the post, leaving the keeper with no chance of getting to it. McCavery’s only goal of the game came via a long sweeping cross from the left by debutant Michael Mitchell. McCavery managed a diving header at the back post which just about creeped in. A very quiet day for McCavery who will surely have a bigger role to play in future games. Steve McCollum took his tally for the season to two with a cheeky poke from inside a conjested box that squeezed past the post. His younger brother Tim got the assist on that one. Ian Buchanan was on the scoresheet again with a simple looking goal, a low curling shot that was probably harder than it looked. Finally, Michael Mitchell latched on to a through ball from James McCullough and with the keeper rushing out to meet him calmly finished from wide on the left.

With about 20 minutes to go in the half Ian Buchanan came off for Mark Porter, and Alistair Rolleston jogged on to become Renwick’s 22nd player this season, with Hanna giving way. With the light quickly fading Renwick were keen to get the match over with and concentration levels dropped slightly. To their credit Church of Ireland stuck to their task until the end and were rewarded for their hard work with a goal. Coming from their right winger, the ball made its way into the centre of the pitch where two COI players were left unmarked and despite the best efforts of the defence, managed to score. Most of the Renwick team were still at the other end of a pitch from a previous attack, and for the second week running, Renwick have conceded a clean sheet late late on. As disappointing as this is, it hardly matters when you have scored 11.

Cromie has a relatively uneventful time as referee, giving out a few free kicks for some fairly shocking tackles from Renwick, particularly against Porter and McCullough who should both be glad this league has yet to issue the referees with cards. COI survived a penalty claim, when McCullough was brought down on the edge of the box, but the tackle was adjudged to have been just outside. Mitchell was agonisingly close to scoring from the free kick, hitting the bit that holds the net up behind the far post. Strong performances were noted throughout the team, although we collectively were made to look very good by our opponents.

Cromie ref and crummy ref. Boo.

Church of Ireland had very little to offer throughout, and a scoreline like this is what was expected of Renwick. COI are the weakest team in the league and Renwick still have hard games to come. Next week it is the Bar Staff, who Renwick overcame in a tough match last year. Gavin Absentwell scored two in that game, and will be seeking to repeat this on his anticipated return to the action.

A quick round of of other events in the BSL: Donegal Rangers beat World XI 6-4, MGT narrowly defeated QUBNISA 2-1, Derry had their game cancelled yet again, so that sadly means to Pie action this week. It has transpired that the result from the Derry game was merely late, and the result was a 7-0 win for the team from Londonderry. Still no Pie cam though. Law Society impressed again with a 9-0 thumping of next week’s oponents Bar Staff. DV beat the Eunuchs 6-3, and on the adjacent pitch BBC crushed Union 8 goals to nil. So all that leaves the table looking something like this. Renwick sit 3rd, three points off top spot. However the teams behind have games in hand, so that may alter things. All we can do is beat what is put in front of us and get on with it. Next week will mark the season being more than half over, in terms of the league anyway.

There’s only one team in Elmwood!

The goalmouths were in very poor condition

A rare COI attack

Man of the Match

Very very hard to pick a winner this week, but after much agonising the author has decided to award it to Mark Porter this week. Scored a goal and was generally impressive in midfield, making good runs at defender, and causing the defence all sorts of problems.

The conditions were not great for photography


McCullough, Morrison, G.Smith, S.McCollum, Hanna, Dunwoody, Porter, Lynch, Buchanan, Cromie, McCavery. Subs: Mitchell, T.McCollum, Rolleston

* Muddy Puddle

** The unofficial version of events states that it was clearly an own goal and Ben had little to do with it. Some doubt whether he was actually anywhere near it. Go on Tim.

Update: 50 Games commemerative shirts

For those who ordered the 50 games shirts, there have now dispatched from the supplier and should be available for collection from early next week. If you haven’t yet paid they cost £21, to be paid to Andrew Morrison. Thanks.

Why are the Athiest Kids Smiling?

28 Nov

Because they aren’t athiests, they’re actually being brought up in an Evangelical Christian home!

The Humanists’ latest poster campaign
The billboard in Belfast

“It is quite funny, because obviously they were searching for images of children that looked happy and free. They happened to choose children who are Christian. It is ironic. The humanists obviously did not know the background of these children.” Brad Mason (the childrens’ father in The Times)

Read more from The Times or the Christian Institute.