Newbuildings United regained some momentum for their Northern Ireland Intermediate league campaign on Saturday with a comfortable 5-1 victory over local rivals Ardstraw.
Played in difficult weather conditions, both teams made significant changes to personnel.
It was Newbuildings’ Nathan Robinson who repaid his manager’s faith by putting him in the starting with a well taken hat-trick.
Ardstraw actually took the lead after the early exchanges when Burke controlled a long ball and lobbed a fine effort over Newbuildings goalkeeper Matty McClelland.
This seemed to ignite the Newbuildings attack and they soon equalised when the ageless Ryan Semple beat the Ardstraw full-back for pace and calmly picked out Steven Wallace inside the 18 yard box, who controlled the ball and despatched a volley past the Ardstraw keeper.
The Newbuildings midfield exerted more pressure with McDermott, Wallace and Semple controlling proceedings although Ardstraw were always a threat on the counter attack.
The pressure told when ex-Institute man Semple again dribbled beyond the defender and crossed for Robinson to head in from close range.
As the wind and rain increased, both teams were glad to hear the half-time whistle.
The second half started with a midfield battle ensuring, with young Jamie Adams determined to made his mark on his Ardstraw debut but despite Ardstraw’s best efforts, Watson and Buchanan held firm at the Newbuildings rear-guard.
The home side began to exert more pressure again and when debutant David Dougherty played a long free-kick into the box, Robinson scored his second header of the game to make it 3-1.
The game was over as a contest on 71 minutes when Semple capped a man of the match performance by scoring direct from a corner.
Ardstraw tried in vain to attempt a comeback but found young McClelland in fine form in the Newbuildings goal.
Then after a long ball to Ricky-Lee Dougherty from Semple, the Donemana man turned his defender and played in Robinson who coolly finished past the advancing Ardstraw keeper to complete his hat-trick and make it 5-1 to the home side.
Semple and Robinson were excellent on the day and Steven Wallace showed again why he is currently involved with the Northern Ireland Western Regional squad.
Newbuildings United manager Darryl Wallace can be pleased with his sides progress and hope they can mount a serious challenge throughout the remainder of the league campaign.