Clough Rangers v Glenravel

10.15am  6 February 2016

Ballymena Saturday Morning League, Division One
Clough Rangers 4 Glenravel 2 (att 15)

For me, the main attraction of the Ballymena Saturday Morning League is as an entertaining way to pass the time between an early morning arrival at Belfast International Airport and my main game in the afternoon.

But that's not to say it's a league that wouldn't be worth watching otherwise. The playing standard, especially in the top division, is decent, and while most clubs use parks pitches there are some reasonable venues to visit.

Landing in a wet and windy Northern Ireland I thought I might struggle to get a morning match, but the pitch at Clough's Cloughwater Road ground was in good condition so I needn't have worried.

The weather wasn't kind for watching football, but Clough and Glenravel provided enough entertainment to take my mind off being cold and wet. All the goals came in the second half, Clough scoring three times in the opening 15 minutes to take control.

They should have been ahead before half time, but missed chances and found Glenravel's keeper on fine form. Glenravel's hopes unravelled shortly before the break, when they had a man sent off for lashing out at an opponent.

The visitors pulled a goal back about 15 minutes from the end, after which there was time for Clough to score a fourth and, in the final minute, for Glenravel to get a second.

Cloughwater Road, south of the village of Clough (or Clogh, neither maps nor road signs seem to agree) is a new facility, and is above average for a Saturday Morning League ground. The single grass pitch is fully enclosed, with dugouts on the far side and the near side fenced off with hard standing for spectators.

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