Ballynahinch Utd Exit Steel and Sons But Swifts Flying
Steel and Sons Cup Exit
Ballyclare Comrades 6 Ballynahinch United 1
United’s run in the Steel and Sons Cup came to an abrupt halt when they were well defeated by an excellent Ballyclare Comrades side last Saturday.
They found themselves two down midway through the half and four down at half time. A spirited second half saw them get a goal back though Ian McMullan but a further two goals were conceded.
This week United play their first home match at Millbridge for well over a month when they entertain NAFL Premier League side Dunmurry Rec in the Border Cup.
Tollymore Forest 1 Ballynahinch Swifts 3
The Swifts travelled to Bear Park, Newcastle for this league encounter against Tollymore seconds. It was the visitors who enjoyed the majority of the opening exchanges controlling play for long periods of time with Johnny Stevenson holding the ball up well for strike partner Aaron McCaffrey while the midfield of Graeme McMullan, Gareth Bingham, Alan Massey and Greg Allison worked tireless in both attack and defence. The Swifts lost defender Shaun Bonner with an ankle injury on the half hour mark and he was replaced by Jamie McPhail.
The Swifts took the lead after thirty five minutes when a long free kick from Glynn Robinson flew over the heads of the Tollymore defence into the path of the Aaron McCaffrey who controlled the ball before gliding it into the net.
In the closing period of the half McMullan, McCaffrey, Stevenson, Allison and Bingham all had got efforts either saved or go wide of goal.
In the second half Tollymore started brightly causing the Swifts defence of Ethan Majury, Scott McNeill , Glynn Robinson and Jamie McPhail lots of problems however they held them at bay and slowly played their way back into the game.
Aaron McCaffrey gave his team a 2-0 lead after fifty minutes when he converted a loose ball after great work from Stevenson. Indeed Stevenson should have been awarded a penalty after he was bundled over from behind inside the six yard area.
The two goal lead was never going to be enough and when Tollymore scored on the hour mark the alarm bells started to ring and never more so when they hit the post with a header that looked for all the world as if it was going in. A few saves from Johnny McGreevy were required as well before the two goal margin was restored when Johnny Stevenson crashed the ball home after great interplay between Bingham, Massey and Allison.
This was a very good display against a workmanlike Tollymore side that were well served by veterans Ray Kendall and Mark Hughes and a number of young players who displayed excellent ball skills. Swifts manager Davy Teggarty will be happy with the result and a lot of the general play however he will know that his team were wasteful in front of goal.
A few weeks ago there was doubts regarding whether the Albion would have enough players to compete this season so when they took the field last Saturday it was a relief to everyone at the club. When they returned from Ballyvea on Saturday after securing a 1 – 0 win and all three points everyone at the club was delighted and full of praise for the team that made the trip.
The Albion’s first goal of the season was scored by Lewis Lowey and the team management were full of praise for each and every one of the players in the team that was captained by veteran Ian Blackwood.
Everyone in both the youth and senior sections of the club would like to express their sincere thanks to those who either supported or were centrally involved in the organisation of the Let Us Entertain You night which passed off so successfully last Saturday night.
The attention to detail and organisation was exceptional and the feedback on the event has been very positive indeed. Special thanks go to Roz Steenson who organised the barbecue and food part of the night and to the Ballynahinch Lions Club who provided the marquees and the expertise to erect them.
And special thanks go to Ross Hayes and Scott Brashaw for all the repair work that they have undertaken within the club house in recent weeks in preparation for both this event and the youth tournament at the end of August. The proceeds were in aid of the levelling, repair and reseeding of the training area and everyone at the club is very grateful for the support we have been given to this project.