Saturday 21 August
United defeat Downshire
Match Sponsor: B.E.C. ELECTRICAL LTD
League action finally returned to The Millbridge with United hosting Downshire YM in what was dubbed in some quarters as â€˜Derby Dayâ€™
The away side lined up with a host of ex-Ballynahinch United members playing and on their coaching team.
The rain that fell throughout the day didnâ€™t dampen the occasion however Unitedâ€™s impressive start was for nothing when Downshire went ahead after a cross found an attacker who was able to tap home.
United battled back though with Stuart McMullan pulling the strings from midfield while Alan Dickson and Robbie Hagan harassed and harried the opposition with Taylor Graham providing width on the left.
Ballynahinch soon levelled the score when a cross into the box caused a mixup between the away teamâ€™s goalkeeper who collided with his own defender. The ball fell at the feet of Aaron Cheevers who was able to prod the ball into the empty net to poach the equaliser before half time.
Both teams fought bravely in what was an even contest but few opportunities fell either way. When an opportunity did arise, it fell to Ballynahinch.
Ross Murray, who had just replaced the injured Scott Cheevers, linked up with Jack Forbes on the right before dancing and swivelling his twinkle toes to make space to fire home from inside the box to put United ahead, much to the glee of the spectators.
The final 15 minutes were tense as Downshire piled on the pressure but Unitedâ€™s defence held strong. Scott Brashaw , Jordan Patterson and home debutant, Matthew Hall, stayed calm and pocketed the oppositionâ€™s attacks to keep them at bay. Gavin Crawford and Ronnie Johnston came off the bench to add extra energy and grit to the home side.
Downshire continued to look dangerous but Stefan Graham confidently claimed a cross to calm the crowds qualms before the ref blew for full time to confirm Unitedâ€™s victory and the first 3 points of the campaign for Dale Daivsion and Ricky Graham.
Player of the Match: Aaron Cheevers
Next Match: 28 August – Bangor Amateurs (Away)
Ballynahinch United 2 – 1 Downshire Young Men
|Player of the Match:
|NAFL – Division 1B
Saintfield United IIIs 0 – 2 B United Swifts
Swifts kick off with a win
Ballynahinch United Swifts started their league campaign with an away tie vs Saintfield in Killyleagh.
Despite the numerous challenges facing both teams just to get on the pitch and an array of golf balls littering the pitchâ€™s long grass, the Swifts confidently claimed victory with goals from midfield duo Ben Wilson and Adam McCaughtry, highlighting the mxiture of experience and youth in the Swiftâ€™s side.
Saintfield United III 0 – 2 B United Swifts
|NADAFL – Division 1
|Bridge Centre, Killyleagh