Institute 3-0 Loughgall
Institute made it nine league games unbeaten following a hard fought victory, over fifth placed Loughgall.
Skipper Michael McCrudden gave the home side the perfect start from the penalty spot, before midfielder Niall Grace netted a second half brace, to seal the points.
Played in difficult conditions at Wilton Park, the Villagers will feel the score line was a bit harsh on them, as they had big chances at crucial stages in the game.
After blasting over in the first couple of minutes, McCrudden made no mistake from 12 yards on three minutes, when Ronan Wilson was brought down inside the box by Paul Stretton, the captain fired the resulting spot-kick low into the bottom right hand corner.
Just after the midway point of the half, ’Stute’s Gareth Brown saw his left footed chip over Loughgall keeper Craig Robinson flash wide.
On 34 minutes the visitors would have levelled things but for Eamonn Seydak’s super block, which kept out Andrew Hoey’s close range goalbound strike.
That effort gave Dean Smith’s side more belief and they hit the post on 43 minutes as Peter Campbell’s shot from tight angle clipped the woodwork.
Right on the stroke of half-time Loughgall went even closer to levellings things but Mark Stewart’s header from six yards, hit the crossbar.
Institute upped the tempo more after the break and they doubled their lead on 51 minutes after Dean Curry’s centre found Grace inside the box, he took a touch before firing high in off the underside of the bar.
The game was ended as a contest on 70 minutes when Aaron Harkin’s right wing corner was headed down by Curry and Grace bundled the ball home at the second attempt from virtually on the goal-line.
Credit to Loughgall, who were missing a host of players through injury, never gave up and went close to pulling one back but Campbell’s right footed strike was kept out by ’Stute keeper Martin Gallagher.
Right at the death McCrudden should have doubled his tally for the day, but Loughgall net-minder Robinson did well to deny him, keeping out the strike.
Institute: Gallagher, Morrow, Bonner, D Curry, Seydak (Scoltock 78); Wilson, Grace, Harkin, Dunne (Morrow 71); McCrudden, Brown (Jarvis 62).
Loughgall: Buchanan (Robinson 15), Montgomery, Stretton, Copeland, Stewart, Crooks, Campbell, Douglas (Neill 60), Mullen, Hoey, McConnell.
Referee: Mr Ken Gibbons.