A quick review of the past decade at Ballynahinch United
In 2009, a new management team of Colin Murray and John Jones took over the managerial role from Steven Bell. Their first game in this decade came away to Donard Hospital on 16 January 2010. The game finished 1 – 0 to the home team. Colin and John guided the First Team to a fourth place finish on goal difference. Much to the club’s disappointment the Albion had to be withdrawn from the Newcastle League due to a reduction in the club’s player pool.
The following season the club finished sixth and scored the most goals they would in the NAFL 1B during the decade with 53 goals, with only 1 league draw all season, and a high of 13 wins.
In 2012, NIFL Championship side Loughgall FC visited The Millbridge in the third Round of the Coca-Cola Intermediate Cup, with former player Greg Hall among their ranks. Goals before half time saw us defeat our Championship visitors 2 – 1.
In the 2012/13 season the club embarked on its usual Irish Cup campaign little knowing that it would reach the fifth round for the first time and be drawn against Premier Division side Coleraine.
On their way to meeting Coleraine, the club beat Dromore Amateurs (2 – 1 at The Millbridge), Lisburn Rangers (3 -1 away), and Ballymoney United 4 – 3 on penalties (1 -1 away).
The match vs Coleraine brought about a wonderful adventure during which the club was able to garner a massive support which necessitated the ordering of two double decker buses for supporters as well as a bus for the team.
Everything was done as professionally as possible and despite a heavy defeat, although the score was 0 – 0 at half time, the players and their management gained enormous respect.
Keith Hamilton took the reigns from Colin Murray and guided the club to their highest finish in the decade in NAFL 1B, finishing in third place finish in 2015/16, with a high of 43 points, just two behind promotion. The team conceded just 26 goals in the league that season which was the least goals conceded in a season in the decade for the club. Unfortunately the following season the team couldn’t push on from the success of the previous year and Keith left in January 2017.
Scott Brashaw and Ross Hayes took over as caretaker managers until the end of the season and the club narrowly avoided relegation.
Swifts managers, Alan Davis and Paul Allison, were promoted to take on the First Team for the 2017/18 season and despite another year of struggling with a promising youthful side, the team avoided relegation again.
The following season former player, Glynn Robinson joined as manager and was assisted by Dale Davidson.
In October 2018, the club celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Ballynahinch United, founded in 1968, with a fancy black tie gala hosted by Liam Beckett MBE, at The Millbrook Lodge Hotel. Over 140 members and players, past and present, attended to celebrate the club in a brilliant evening.
By the end of the season Glynn and Dale managed to guide the club to a respectable ninth place finish in NAFL 1B. However, shortly into 2019/2020 season, Glynn stepped down while Dale has remained in charge.
He has been joined by Ricky Graham and they managed to pick up points in their first games, finishing the decade with a 2 – 2 draw at home to Dundonald.
We look forward to seeing how the next decade unfolds.