Glenmuir United got their U17 league campaign off to a flying start in midweek as they ran out comfortable 2-5 winners against Quay Celtic at Clancy Park.
Glenmuir were full value for their win and even though John McNally helped himself to a hat-trick he was outshone by John Byrne who turned in a fine performance and scored two himself. They opened their account in the 1st minute when a quick throw found the unmarked McNally who tore his way into the penalty area and was charged down; Byrne slotted home the resulting penalty kick.
The sides were level on eight minutes with a brilliant goal from Derek Ani who controlled and hit a 25-yard half volley that looped beyond John Burlingham and found the far top corner of the net.
And the home side went 2-1 ahead on 17 minutes with another brilliant goal when Anto Lines also found the corner with a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area.
Glenmuir then made it 2-2 when McNally’s persistence paid off; despite the attention of several defenders he still managed to find the net.
The home side had chances to go back in front before the break. Stephen Coleman volleyed over and Glenmuir ‘keeper John Burlingham produced a good save to deny Anto Lines.
The second-half saw both sides share the early possession.
Quay wasted two good free kick opportunities and their overall play began to get scrappy and they were duly punished in the 50th minute when John Byrne managed to scamper down the left flank before slipping the ball inside to the feet of McNally who drilled the ball past Chris Mullen.
Glenmuir were now playing with confidence and Byrne was in action again four minutes later when he made it 2-4 with a delightful chipped effort over the advancing Mullen.
And the Glenmuir striker was unlucky minutes later with a rasping shot but this time Mullen was equal to the task to deny Byrne a hat-trick.
John McNally did complete a hat-trick when his free kick flew in the Quay net soon after to make it 2-5.
The home side did stage a late rally and Darren Killeen and Ryan Washington both had chances but it was Glenmuir who created the final chance with an Oisin Murray shot that crashed off the Quay Celtic post.
Quay Celtic: Chris Mullen, Adam Mully, Adam Brannigan, Stephen Coleman, Dean O’Donnell, Ronan Cunningham, Josh Curtis Larkin, Ryan Washington, Derek Ani, Anto Lines, Tiernan Cronin, Dylan Curran, Kelvin Kelly, Luke McArdle, Darren Killeen, Dillon O’Callaghan.
Glenmuir United: John Burlingham, James Bellew, Jake Fannin, Adam Shields, Dylan Todd, Conor Richardson, Oisin Murray, Sean Caldwell, John Byrne, John McNally, Kulknu Akeroin, Sean Murray, Aaron Culligan, Michael Lambert, Dean Gull, Michael Byrne.