North Harford scored twice within three minutes midway of the first half and defeated Bel Air, 2-0, in a meeting of two of the four unbeaten teams in the Harford County League last night. Fallston stopped visiting C. Milton Wright in the other one, 2-0.
In each instance it was a case of an unranked team beating a ranked one. As a result, North Harford is 6-2-1 (5-0); No. 7 Bel Air 6-3-1 (4-1); unranked Fallston 7-3 (5-0); and No. 9 C. Milton Wright 5-2-2 (4-1).
This marked the beginning of a round-robin that will see the four teams play each other in their final three regular-season games. Wright will go to North Harford and Bel Air to Fallston Thursday night, and Fallston to North Harford and Bel Air to Wright next Tuesday night.
Ryan Renfrow took a feed from Garson Beers in the 20th minute, hit a chip shot high over defender Billy Nelson. The ball sailed under the crossbar and into the back of the net to get the visiting Hawks on the board.
The goal snapped a string of five straight shutouts by Bel Air goalkeepers. At the other end, it was the fourth shutout of the year for Brock Jourdan.
"We are developing, and right now I believe we are playing as well as we can," said North Harford coach Ed Zorn. "We work on a lot of set plays, and our speed has kept us in games."
Moments after the goal, Bel Air thwarted a North Harford scoring opportunity, but on the ensuing play, the ball came back at the Bobcats' goal quicker than it had gone out. Josh Waskey launched a rocket from 30 yards out on the left side and the ball was past the inside post before anyone reacted.
"After we stopped them the first time, we might have relaxed a little," Bel Air coach Bill Jefferson said.
Still, it is unlikely any defender could have done much about it.
"We only played one half," Jefferson added, "because we spent that first half standing around watching."
Bel Air had several scoring opportunities in the second half, but could not finish them.
* Fallston 2, C.M. Wright 0: Joe Ercolano headed in the game-winner at 19:43, as Fallston upset C.M. Wright. Nick Lattanzi added an insurance goal with one minute left in the game.
Wright outshot Fallston, 15-9, but the Cougars' Chuck Trunk did a solid job in goal, ending with 12 saves. Tim Hilyard had eight for the losers.