Two well-taken second-half goals from Aaron Hawley helped Rushen United secure a hard-fought 2-0 victory over old rivals St George’s at Croit Lowey on Saturday.

But it was the visitors from the capital that created the first real chance when the lively Ciaran McNulty raced clear of the home defence, only to see his well-struck effort smartly saved by goalkeeper Tony Harris.

This appeared to rouse the Spaniards into action and, together with the introduction of Stephen Riding, the hosts gradually took control of midfield.

The Rushen front line of Eddie Kangah, Christos Loizides and Hawley then produced a series of chances, testing Geordies keeper Chris Kelly.

It looked certain that the home side would break the deadlock but a determined Saints defence, well organised by veteran Sean Quaye, held out bravely to the interval. Soon after the restart chances were created at either end as a Hawley free-kick skimmed the Geordies crossbar and at the other end a Johnny Quirk effort drew another fine save from Harris.

But the home side then stepped up the pressure with Jack Gilbert delivering a series of pin-point crosses into the visitors’ box.

The deadlock was finally broken after 69 minutes when a mix-up in the visitors’ area allowed Hawley the opportunity to produce a well-placed finish.

The Glencrutchery Road side did their best to respond and Quirk went close to an equaliser with a superb effort that rebounded off a Rushen upright.

In the closing stages, the Saints were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Carl Henson before another peach of a cross from Gilbert allowed Hawley to head home to complete a comfortable 2-0 win.