Saturday 18 November 2017 02:47:48 AM

Ballynahinch United Tidy Up For End of Season
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The Swifts cleared up their outstanding fixtures with two home games during the week writes Gilbert Cromie.

First up on Tuesday night was local rivals Saintfield United who they had played away on the previous Saturday in a game that ended in a 2-2 all draw. On this occasion both teams featured a number of first teamers in their line ups. However, it was the home side who were the winners with Darren Fitzsimons scoring goals in each half to give his team a 2-0 victory.
On the Thursday night, the visitors were Groomsport II’s and despite some very heavy rain showers in the late afternoon the game was able to go ahead. The hero of the evening was Ian Boal who ended with a personal tally of four goals in a comfortable 6-0 victory. The other goals came from Aaron McCaffrey and Scott McKibbin.
The Albion were scheduled to play Saintfield AYC II’s on Thursday night however the inclement weather put paid to that and the game has been rearranged for this coming Saturday 18 May.
On Saturday past the club held their annual Cup Final barbecue which was preceded by a friendly game against a Hockey Club eleven.
The United team was made up of a mixture of committee, supporters, managers and a dusting of players from each of the three teams.
The star man for them was Club Treasurer Johnny McGreevy who made some amazing saves before taking up a centre forward position. The big battle of the day was between the United management duo of Colin Murray, who switched allegiance at the last minute to help out the Hockey Club, and Keith Hamilton.
It would be fair to say that their tussle ended in somewhat of a stalemate with Murray celebrating a win while Hamilton prevented  his colleague from scoring. Others on show for United and with a combined age of some 230 years were Phil Kelso [2001 Donard Dairy Shield winner with the Albion], Eddie Millar [Bignian Cup winner with Albion ], Wilson ‘Chico’ Hamilton [Border Cup winner with United], Steven Jess [Donard Dairy Shield and Bignian Cup winner with Albion] and Gilbert Cromie [1977 Harry Clarke winner with Newcastle and Bignian Cup winner with Albion].
It was very much a case of their heads were willing but their legs were reluctant. Congratulations to the Hockey Club who were worthy winners for the second year running in what was a very enjoyable fun match with more laughs than skill, and by the way the writer of this article did indeed miss a sitter but then it was not the first time in six decade of playing but it might very well be the last.
Ballynahinch United would wish to send their condolences to the Bell Family and Rathfriland Football Club on the death of Gordon Bell a much loved and respected soccer administrator. For many years Gordon led the Newcastle and District Amateur Football League guiding it to a position of great respect within the game of association football in Northern Ireland. He was a tireless worker and office bearer in his local club and a friend to many other clubs of which Ballynahinch United was one and for which we were and will always be extremely grateful.