United travelled to 1C title challengers Tullycarnet, ready to make amends for last week’s performance.
An even game eventually saw Ballynahinch take the lead when Sam Lurring smashed home a screamer from outside the box. An assist credited to Dad, Michael’s retro Adidas Predators.
United continued with a structured defence, marshalled by the returning Greg Hall, to keep the home side at bay.
Stuart McMullan also made a welcome return to the side after injury for just his second appearance of the season and produced a typical Steady Stu performance in midfield and defence.
With United under pressure, a Tullycarnet goalmouth scramble was turned home to even the score.
Tullycarnet found a second from a fortunate deflection forcing an own goal.
Undeterred, United fought back. A well worked move found Robbie Lurring on the left, his cutback created the equaliser for Gregg Allison, who was incredible all day.
In the second half, United forced a corner from Tullycarnet’s kick off. Greg Hall got on the end of Sam Lurring’s set piece to give United the lead again, kickstarting a frantic next fifteen minutes.
Robbie Lurring made it four just minutes later scoring from point-blank range after the ‘keeper parried Gregg Allison’s low cross.
The home side reduced the deficit after a forward broke the offside trap to finish.
But Ballynahinch restored their two-goal lead when Naseem Ouldhamlat converted a delightfully, delicate dink on the counter attack.
Gavin Crawford had a chance to make it six but it was Tullycarnet who scored the ninth of the game with a deflected goal late in injury time.
An excellent performance from all in Ballynahinch Blue before the international break.
Apache Pizza Ballynahinch Player of the Match: Gregg Allison
Line Up: Stefan Graham [C], Greg Hall, Sam Lurring, Jamie McNeill (Naseem Ouldhamlat), Ethan Majury, Thomas Rodgers, Stuart McMullan (Graeme McMullan), Gavin Crawford, Gregg Alisson, David Kelly, Robbie Lurring.
Unused Sub: Luke Craig
Match report: B Swifts 1 – 0 Strangford
The Swifts took control of this game early on dominating possession without really creating a lot of chances, but limiting Strangford to the odd counter attack.
This would be a consistent pattern of the game as the home struggled to break down a stubborn and well organised Strangford team.
As the first half wore on they started to get in behind with John Stevenson producing a good save from the impressive Strangford ‘keeper after being played through by Gareth Bingham.
The Swifts lost Keith Hamilton to injury early on but he was replaced by Andrew Shannon, nearly 30 years his junior, returning after an injury lay-off. The young midfielder would turn in an impressive performance.
Further chances fell to Allan Massey, Cameron McKissick and Patrick Harkin but they were limited to long range efforts.
The best chance of the half came when a corner found the head of Bingham but the Strangford ‘keeper produced another excellent save.
The second half started similar to the first with Ballynahinch looking for the opener but the defence of Stephen McNair, Will McNeill, John McMenamin and Ryan Rooney as well as ‘keeper Michael Vladenau had to be on their toes when Strangford almost hit on the break.
The breakthrough came on 65 minutes after a goalmouth scramble when the ball fell to Paddy Harkin on his weaker right foot but he made no mistake burying it in the bottom corner.
The Swifts would continue to push but again a combination of good goalkeeping and wayward finishing meant they couldn’t add to their tally.
Strangford almost grabbed an equaliser on the break only for a last ditch tackle from McNair prevented the striker getting a clean effort on goal.
Ballynahinch introduced Liam Rodgers and Matthew Lindsay to see out the win.
Apache Pizza Ballynahinch Player of the Match: Stephen McNair
Line Up: Michael Vladeanu, Ryan Rooney (Liam Rodgers), Stephen McNair, Will McNeill, John McMenamin [C], Keith Hamilton (Andrew Shannon), Allan Massey, Gareth Bingham, John Stevenson, Cameron McKissick, Patrick Harkin (Matthew Lindsay).