IRISH LEAGUE: Comrades easily see off United

Ballyclare Comrades Adam Gray (red) scored a brace at Limavady United.
Ballyclare Comrades Adam Gray (red) scored a brace at Limavady United.
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Limavady United 3-5 Ballyclare Comrades

Bluefin Sport Championship leaders Ballyclare Comrades cruised to a deserved win, despite Robbie Hume's hat-trick.

Clifford Adams' side were always in control and in truth could have won by a bigger margin, as attacked minded players Adam Gray, Adam McCart and Jason Johnston tormented the United back-line all day.

Limavady suffered an injury set-back just before the kick-off with Lee Harkin having to replace Ryan Logue in the warm-up, but it wouldn't have mattered who the Roesiders selected, as it was a terrible day at the office.

United took the lead on three minutes as Graham Crown's pass released Joel Bradley down the left, his low centre wasn't the best, but the ball caught out Comrades keeper Paddy Flood and fell kindly for Hume, who gleefully turned home his 14th goal of the season.

Soon after Comrades should have levelled things as Johnston's close range side footed effort deflected off Johnny Watt and came back off the post.

In an action packed opening ten minutes United went close again but Gerard Gill blasted over Hume's right wing corner.

United's terrible run of injuries continued as Graham Crown injured his hamstring and was replaced by Hugh Carlin.

The visitors equalised on 24 minutes as Gray made no mistake with a low left footed strike from 20 yards, which found the bottom corner.

The Roesiders' 3-5-2 formation wasn't working in the first half, as Comrades continued to pile forward, as they were afforded too much space especially in midfield.

Comrades deservedly took the lead on 48 minutes as Gray's left wing cross found an unmarked Stewart Nixon, who headed home from six yards.

Minutes later the visitors added a third as Thomas Robinson's delivery found Johnston and he headed home, giving United keeper Paul Wells no chance.

On 55 minutes another delivery into the United box caused problems but this time Nixon somehow headed wide from six yards.

Soon after United pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, as Hume slotted the ball low into Flood's bottom right hand corner, after Adam McCart handled Lee Harkin's initial effort.

The comeback didn't last long as Comrades added a fourth when Gray volleyed home from the edge of the box and they netted a fifth thanks to McCart's powerful header.

United's miserable day continued on 67 minutes as Watt was rightfully sent-off after picking up a second yellow card for a late challenge on Gary Brown.

In the closing stages Hume completed his hat-trick, side footing home low into the bottom left hand corner, but this was scant consolation for what was a shocking performance by the Rathmore Road men.

Limavady United: Wells, Devlin, Crown (Carlin 14), Watt; Harkin, Gill, Law, King, Owens; Hume, Bradley.

Ballyclare Comrades: Flood, Youle, McCart, McQuitty (Chalmers 73), Dobbin, McIlveen, Brown (Parker 68), Gray, Robinson (Woods 73), Nixon, Johnston.

Referee: Ken Gibbons