A hat trick from teenager Ross Murray was the highlight of this game which was abandoned in the 78th minute following a serious leg injury to Swifts striker David Griffith’s.
Despite having to survive constant pressure in the opening ten minutes it was Ballynagross who took the lead when an attacker shot home from outside the penalty area giving Swifts keeper John McMenamin no chance. The lead however did not last long as Aaron Cheevers burst through on the right following good work from Ben Wilson and shot home to equalise.
The Swifts had several other scoring opportunities with Simon Wishart causing mayhem around the penalty area but it was from the penalty area that they took the lead after he was held back during a goal mouth scramble. Up stepped Dylan Fitzpatrick to rifle the spot kick into the net. Ballynagross continued to cause the Swifts trouble with their rampaging breaks with Wilson, Fitzpatrick, Onhua and Burtney working hard to contain them.
The strong midfield of Murray, Crawford, Hunter and Aaron Cheevers were tenacious in the tackle and worked the ball extremely well and in the 35th minute they went 3 – 1 up when Aaron Cheevers raced to the bye line and fired in a superb cross which was met by Ross Murray who shot into the net.
In the second half the home team started lively lunching a number of attacks but within ten minutes Scott Cheevers who had been prominent in nearly every one of Swifts attacks scored when the ball broke free in the six yard box. Not long after Ross Murray had doubled his tally when he shot home to make it 5 – 1.
The Swifts were dominant throughout the second half creating numerous scoring chances with Ballynagross defending resolutely and manager Alan Davis introduced substitutes Craig Tate and David Griffiths with both players adding additional pace to an already rampant attack.
In the 78th minute David Griffiths was injured in a 50/50 challenge with the ball falling to Ross Murray who slammed it into the net. The celebrations that followed were brief when the seriousness of David’s leg injury became clear with players and officials from both sides coming to his aid immediately. Referee Colin Dickson abandoned the game as there was no appetite on either side to continue and he was unstinting in his efforts to ensure that David was as comfortable and warm as possible on what was a very cold day indeed.
The officials and players of BUFC would wish David a speedy recovery from his injury and would like to pay tribute to referee Colin Dickson, the players and officials of Ballynagross and the ambulance staff for their assistance.