IRISH LEAGUE: Warrenpoint secure rapid return to Premiership with dramatic win

Warrenpoint Town celebrate at the final whistle after defeating Institute to win the league title
Warrenpoint Town celebrate at the final whistle after defeating Institute to win the league title

Warrenpoint Town have clinched an immediate return to the Danske Bank Premiership by coming from 2-0 down to beat nearest rivals Institute 3-2.

Institute led through two quick goals midway through the first half scored by Niall Grace and Stephen Curry.

A fine strike by Conor McMenamin pulled one back and Town’s top scorer Stephen Murray equalised with a lob over keeper Marty Gallagher on 40 minutes.

Murray netted the winner in the 65th minute for Matt Tipton’s side.

Warrenpoint were relegated last season after a dramatic and controversial final day of the Premiership campaign.

They needed just one point against Institute - the only team who could mathematically catch them - to be sure of returning to the top flight.

n Armagh City’s struggles continued as they lost 3-0 at home to H&W Welders.

The home side dominated possession in the first half but caused no real threat to the Welder’s goal.

Their first shot on target didn’t arrive until the half hour mark when Sam Johnston parried away a long range Sean Mallon effort.

The second half was only seconds old when Harris fired an unstoppable effort past home keeper John Connolly to give the visitors the lead.

Before the home side had time to regain a foothold in the game David Rainey doubled the visitors lead when he tapped in at the back post. Rainey scored his second and his side’s third before the hour mark to seal the points for the Welders.

n At Newforge the PSNI edged out Ballyclare 1-0.

There was little to choose between the sides in the first half and the 0 – 0 scoreline at half time was a fair reflection on play.

On the 50th minute 18 year old Darius Roohi broke the deadlock when he beat the offside trap and latched onto a fine through ball from Johnny Courtney.

With Paddy Flood racing off his line Roohi took his time, picked his spot and sent the ball into the Comrades goal.

Only then did the Comrades throw caution to the wind and launched a much more attacking style of play.

The police midfield, defence and lady luck all played a part in helping the police keep a clean sheet, but none more so than Jordan Williamson in the police goal who made a number of stunning saves to seal the points.

n Andrew Hoey’s first-half penalty saw Loughgall beat Dergview 1-0 at Lakeview Park.

The three points means Loughgall have now leapfrogged their opponents Dergview, who had Jude Ballard sent off with 23 minutes remaining.

There was an early scare for Loughgall as in the first minute Tommy Wray found space to force ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan into a low, smart save. On 11 minutes Marcus Dallas floated a free-kick into the dangerous front-post area.

The goal came ten minutes before the break when Dergview captain Colin Robinson blocked Marc McConnell’s cross with his hand. From the resultant spot-kick Hoey stepped up and sent McCusker diving the wrong way.

Castlederg almost equalised three minutes later when Philip Wallace fired narrowly wide.

The second half produced little chances for either side as Loughgall comfortably saw out the game.