Ballynure Old Boys took their winning run into double figures when they saw off the challenge of Killymoon Rangers at Mossley.
Following a drab and dreary scoreless first-half, strikes by Robert Watson, Barry Penny and Simon McGreevy secured the 3-1 win and the Ballymena Intermediate Division points.
Veteran McGreevy’s left-wing attacks were a feature of the afternoon, but his crosses in to the danger area bore no fruit in the opening 45 minutes.
He did eventually initiate the breakthrough in the 65th minute, when he again made ground before setting it up for Watson to score his first goal for the club from close range.
Moments later the scores were level again, when the home defence was undone by a long ball through the middle, but shrewd substitutions by manager Gary Burns regained the initiative, when Josh McIlroy, Michael Duff and Ronald Burns replaced Sammy Duff, David Officer and Watson.
In the 80th minute the ‘Nure lads were back in front, when right back Barry Penny’s dash up-field ended with his cross-shot drifting into the far top corner of the net.
McGreevy’s man of the match performance was duly rewarded in the closing stages when he finished off a move involving Ricky Higgins and McIlroy.
“That was our tenth win on the trot, but we have been grinding out results rather than winning with style,” cautioned Gary Burns (inset).
“With several players missing we had to make changes, but with Andy Forsythe dominant at centre-half, our stand-in keeper, Ryan Stewart, was not overworked, while left-sided midfielder Simon McGreevy was the best player on the park by a mile.”
Continuing, Burns admitted: “I don’t usually rant at half-time, but after a lack lustre first-half I let them have both barrels, and it paid off.”
The win enhanced Nure’s pole position, seven points clear of Magherafelt Sky Blues, but Newtowne and Brantwood with games in hand are a major threat.
Ballynure Old Boys: Stewart; Penny, Leckey, Forsythe, M Curlett; S Duff, Officer, Robinson, McGreevy; Higgins, Watson. Subs: McIlroy, M Duff, R Burns.
This Saturday, Ballyure entertain Championship Two title-chasers Sport & Leisure in the third round of the IFA Intermediate Cup.