Wellington Rec produced one of the performances of the week with a 2-1 victory at Bellsbridge against a Ballynahinch Olympic side who had won nine out of nine at the top of Division 1B.
The gap is now cut to six points with Wellington a game in hand and ‘Hinch still to visit Brookvale.
Rec boss Stephen Donald agreed: “It opens things up again – it was one we just couldn’t afford to lose. We played really well and we needed to because Ballynahinch are a good side; you can see how they’ve won all their league matches and the two up front have the pace to worry most teams.
“1b is by no means easy. Some of the teams we’re coming across would hold their own in the Premier League. It’s harder than I thought; every game is like a cup final. It’s a new challenge for me but if we can keep up the performances of the last few weeks, we’ll be hard to beat!”
A ‘Hinch penalty just before the break cancelled out Josh McAllister’s 15th-minute opener, but Wellington won it through a stirring strike from Christopher Morton 18 minutes from time. Andy Waide could have sealed it with an effort that pinged off the post.
Meanwhile, Andy Kane was the match-winner as Barn United grabbed their first league victory beating Dromara Village in the battle of the bottom two at Haslett Park.
Manager Jim Pherson classed it as ‘a tough but well-deserved win’. “I’m happy with the structure of the team; we kept our shape and our discipline. A few years ago, our frustration would have got the better of us and we would have lost this one. Now it’s a matter of stringing a few results together!”
Also in 1A, Larne Tech made it four home league wins on the bounce, with a 5-1 victory over Border Cup semi-finalists Dundonald.
The Tech’s marksmen were Niall McAllister (2), Lee Thompson (2) and Ciaran Kelly.
There was a home win for Rathfern Rangers against Donard, courtesy of Carl Murray and Craig McMurdie, while Mossley coasted to a 7-1 success over Bangor Swifts. Stevie Bell (3), Lee Graham (2), Ben Fletcher and Chris Proctor were on target.
Premier Division Islandmagee had a Halloween howler as they were hammered 8-0 at Shankill United.
A Tiago Leite double helped Grange Rangers see off Suffolk Swifts 4-0 in 2C. Matti King and Phil Gregg also scored.