Annagh United kicked off the New Year’s league programme in the same winning form that closed the 2014 schedule at Tandragee Road.
A 3-2 success against Coagh United left Annagh with full points and family pride the rewards as Dean Smith enjoyed the upper hand over his brother, Andy.
The trip to Annagh proved a familiar one for Coagh manager Andy Smith due to long-standing family connections with the club covering multiple generations.
However, family affairs were shuffled to one side at the first whistle as Coagh attempted to gain a boost in the league standings with victory and Annagh’s aim was to regroup following a Boxing Day defeat in the Bob Radcliffe Cup final.
Shea Campbell, Raymond Harpur and Paul Stretton scored to seal the 3-2 win.
“Coagh proved hard to break down and caused us problems with one up top and a really hard-working team display,” said the Annagh boss. “But I always stress to the players that it is about our performance and, ultimately, we got the win thanks to real character.
“The fact that we finished with the points despite missing so many players is really encouraging and people like Raymond Harpur and Paul Stretton came in and displayed brilliant attitudes.
Philip Craig was very good at centre-back and Jaime Gardiner excellent overall.
“We wanted a win to get back on track in the league after the cup defeat.
“Now we can focus on the Irish Cup match at home to Ballyclare Comrades with confidence.”
Kick-off tomorrow (Saturday) will be 3 o’clock.