The draw for the first round of this seasonâ€™s McCombâ€™s Coach Travel Intermediate Cup was made today, Friday 24 September. We were drawn againstâ€¦
Ballynahinch took a break from league action and made the short journey to face NAFL Div 1A neighbours, Kilmore Rec at Robert Adams Park.
With both teams struggling for results in their respective leagues, Intermediate Cup action was a welcome breather and both teams started well.
Intermediate Cup Round 1
Ballynahinch United fresh from their 50th anniversary dinner the previous night were perhaps not surprisingly a little jaded for this game and this showed in the first half when they found themselves 1 â€“ 0 down.
In the second half there was a much improved performance as they laid siege to the Seapatrick goal with wave after wave of attack. The visitors held on to late in the second half with veteran goalkeeper Alan Blackwood who played for United in the 1997 Clarence Cup Final in excellent form. Unitedâ€™s equaliser came from Gregg Allison whose powerful shot from outside the penalty area flew into the net. United were now on the ascendency but they took their eye of the game immediately after scoring and paid the penalty as a Seapatrick forward burst into the penalty area to rifle a shot past Coburn in the United goal. Despite a valiant effort United could not get a second equaliser.
This weekend United will return to league action with a home game against St. Lukeâ€™s with a 7.30pm kick off.
United entertained old rivals Orangefield OB who are now plying their trade in Division 1A of the NAFL in this Intermediate Cup tie. Despite Orangefieldâ€™s superior league status there was very little between the teams and the outcome eventually came down to who would convert the penalties that each would be awarded during the game.
The first half was end to end with Brian McMullan having to make a couple of saves while at the other end United went close on a few occasions through the efforts of Ian McMullan, Greg Allison and Dee Stewart. On the half hour mark United were awarded a penalty and up stepped Dalton Tate who had his spot kick saved.
The second half was much the same as the first with both teams sharing the possession. United introduced Ross Hayes for Scot Brashaw just before half time and Lee Price for Ian McMullan early in the second half.
On the hour mark Orangefield were awarded a penalty when Alex Millar was adjudged to have fouled an opponent in the penalty area. From the resulting kick Brian McMullan was unable to repeat the feat of his counterpart as the ball was dispatched high into the net. United pressed hard for an equaliser with Ben Wilson and David Kelly worked tirelessly in midfield along with Stuart McMullan to retrieve the situation.
This week United return to league action when they visit Rosario YC.
A packed Millbridge was treated to a real hum dinger of a cup tie at this 1st Round Intermediate Cup game.
In the early part of the match it was United who had the better of the exchanges however they were disrupted by the loss of midfielder David Kelly after only ten minutes with a dead leg sustained in the very first challenge. They should have been ahead too but Gareth McMullan and Greg Allison failed to capitalise on the openings created. As the first half progressed the visitors enjoyed a greater share of the possession and lone forward Matty Smith was proving hard to handle for defenders Boal, Hayes, Herron and Majury. It was Smith who opened the scoring for New Buildings when a misplaced pass was intercepted and a quick through ball saw the forward close in on Brian McMullan who made a valiant effort to save his shot but to no avail.
In the second half United had the strong wind in their backs and gradually as the half progressed they took control of the game creating quite a few openings. Dalton Tate who had been relatively quiet in the first half moved further forward and he got on the end of Gavin Crawford cross to volley a shot goal ward only to see the keeper get a fingertip to it and see it cannon off the crossbar. In the 60 minute United were level when an exchange of passes with JJ Carlisle saw Davy Boal venture forward and unleash an outstanding shot which whizzed into the net.
Minutes later United had a goal disallowed when the New Buildings keeper spilled a high cross from Stuart McMullan at the feet of Aaron McCaffrey who touched it over the line but the referee adjudged that the keeper had been fouled in the build-up. United pressed continually and Ross Hayes saw his downward header bounce of the crossbar to safety.
The game went into extra time with United again pressing however neither team created any clear cut chances and the game was settled minutes before the end of the first half of extra time when Wayne Glenn crossed a ball from the touchline some forty or fifty yards from goal and with Brian McMullan who had been a virtual spectator for the previous fifty odd minutes back pedalling furiously the ball dropped in under the crossbar.
The visitors put every man they could muster behind the ball to repel Unitedâ€™s vain attempt to equalise and they held out for a fortuitous win however they have to be congratulated for a good performance throughout for such a youthful team.