Cup Draws – Our Fixtures

We now know our opponents in the early rounds of the cup draws for:

  • Toals Steel & Sons Cup,
  • Border Regt. Cup and
  • The Tennent’s Irish Cup.

Steel & Sons Cup Draws

We will play Crewe United on Saturday 10 August at 2.30pm in the Toals Steel & Sons Cup, First Round. The tie will be played at Crewe Park.

On 2 July, the Second Round ties were also announced. The winners of our fixture against Crewe United will visit East Belfast FC or Bangor FC on 24 August at 2.30pm.

We’ve made it to the Second Round for six years in a row. Last season, we were knocked out of the Steel & Sons Cup in Round 2 when we lost 4-0 to St James’ Swifts at The Millbridge. While in 2013, we made it to Round 3 and lost to a strong Ballyclare Comrades side.

Border Regiment Cup

In the Border Regt Cup, we will play against NAFL Div 1B new boys, Aquinas FC.

We will play Aquinas FC on Saturday 31 August at Rathmore School and the match will kick off at 2pm.

In previous years, we have made it to the third round of the Border Cup, however in 1989/90, we won the winning the Amateur League’s Border Regiment Cup when the team beat British Telecom on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Tennent’s Irish Cup

Meanwhile, in the Tennent’s Irish Cup draw on 8 July, we were drawn another away tie – this time to Strabane FC on 17 August. Our kick off for Irish Cup games is at 1.30pm.

Our best run in the Irish Cup came in 2013 when we got to the 5th Round. On 9 January we traveled to the North Coast to face NIFL Premiership side, Coleraine FC. The score was 0-0 at half time, but finished 8-0 to the favourites. The aim will be to get to that stage again and further in the other Northern Ireland cup competitions.

We will keep you up to date on the next round of cup draws.

Irish Cup: Ballynahinch United 0 v 1 Sirocco Works

United entertained Sirocco Works in this second round Irish Cup tie and went down by a single goal following a fairly dour encounter in which both teams created few scoring opportunities. Long periods of play were centred on the middle of the park with both defences coping with whatever was thrown at them. United had Simon Jackson back up front and Gavin Crawford restored to the centre of midfield.

United’s best chance of the first half came following a shot from Jackson which was superbly saved by the Sirocco keeper while Brain McMullan in the home goal got his fingers to a shot which he managed to get over the bar.

Sirocco took the lead in the 40th minute from a free kick after a foul by Davy Boal. The kick from near the by-line evaded Brian McMullan and seemed to go into the net of a forward who would have known little about it.

In the second half United pressed forward but they were unable to create any real openings. In the closing stages of the game Ian Boal was set free on the right side of the penalty area and as the Sirocco keeper ran out to block his path he clipped to ball goal ward. The home crowd were ready to cheer as the effort looked for all in the world to be going into the net but it bounced agonisingly wide of the post and into the side netting.

This week United travel to play Sirocco in a league game at Ballyskeagh.

Ballynahinch United 1 v 2 Newcastle

United entertained Newcastle in this league game at the Millbridge last Saturday in the hope of exacting some revenge for a league defeat in the first few weeks of the season. The visitors have shown outstanding form during this campaign and are considered one of the potential title contenders.

It was Newcastle who showed the early initiative and they were rewarded as early as the fourth minute when Sexton fired in a tremendous free kick which gave Brian McMullan in the home goals no chance. Encouraged by the early lead the ‘Seasiders’ pushed on for more goals and it took a series of interventions by the United defence of JJ Carlisle, Ross Hayes, Davy Boal and Ethan Majury to keep them at bay. Newcastle were not to be denied and they increased their lead when Brannigan scored in the 25th minute.

United’s midfield of Aaron Cheevers, Lee Maxwell, Ian Boal, Scot Brashaw and Stuart McMullan were working overtime to cope with a fluent Newcastle team and Ian McMullan was getting very little service. Overall United were disappointed in the first half although they almost got a goal back after 35 minutes when Newcastle keeper Baker misdirected a clearance into the path of Cheevers who jinked his way into the penalty area only to see his shot sail over the cross bar.

It was inevitable that there would be a different United in the second half and so it was with the introduction of Johnny Gibson to the left wing and Gavin Crawford returning from injury into central midfield. United used the ball intelligently and Gibson gave the experienced Neill Corr a torrid time with his strong runs and accurate crosses. The pressure paid off when the two substitutes combined to get a goal back with Crawford heading home a Gibson corner.

Newcastle were completely overwhelmed at this stage and United should have scored when Maxwell was put through but Baker did well to save his shot and the keeper distinguished himself when he got his finger tips to an Ian McMullan header which looked a certain goal.

United continued to press and should have had a penalty when a defender clearly handled the ball but the referee obviously did not see it. United introduced the rangy Paul King to the action and he had a long range shot which went narrowly wide.

Newcastle to their credit managed to survive the United onslaught and in the closing period of the game they managed to retain sufficient possession to stifle United’s aspirations to get an equaliser which their second half efforts probably deserved.

Newcastle moved into pole position in Division 1B with a four point advantage over their nearest rivals and this week they travel to play Bloomfield in a league fixture. United on the other hand are in ninth position however it’s back to cup action this week with an Irish Cup tie at home to Sirocco Works. The kick-off is 1.30pm.

IRISH CUP ROUND 1: Bangor Amateurs 2 v 3 Ballynahinch United

United continued their cup exploits with the third victory in a row in recent weeks.

For the management team and supporters this time it did not go to penalties although it was a late goal that decided the game.

United took the lead early in the first half when Simon Jackson scored however they found themselves behind by half time thanks to a flurry of goals from the home side.

Early in the second half United were level thanks again to Simon Jackson.

United created a number of opportunities in the second half however anxiety was creeping into the game for both sides as the game looked as if it was going into extra time. Thankfully the Ballynahinch contingent of supporters were spared further anxiety when new signing Lee Maxwell on his debut scored in the 87th minute to take United into the 2nd Round of the Irish Cup.

Thanks & Appreciation

The committee and members of Ballynahinch United would like to express their thanks to the large numbers who travelled to Coleraine to support the team either by the supporters bus or other means. Special thanks go to Hannah Majury who looked after the supporters bus.

The stand fills up for kick off
The stand fills up for kick off

On the day the team looked splendid in a new red and black strip which was very generously sponsored by NFU Mutual. BEC Electrical and Bartley Murphy Construction supplied the new training tops while GML Electrical sponsored the tee shirts worn by the young mascots.

Squad and mascots
Squad and mascots

The Ballynahinch Lions who are great supporters of local sport again came to the rescue this time providing a full medical kit while Mark Murnin of Paddy Kelly’s provided generous sponsorship to cover other sports gear which ensured that the team were well turned out.

Johnny Hunter warms up
Johnny Hunter warms up

Additional sponsorship for match balls was provided by Charles Newsagents, Morrisons Vivoxtra, Down Satellite Aerial Services, Ian Blackwood Electrical and the Rowallane Neighbourhood Team PSNI.

Special thanks to Lorraine McMullan for her help in securing funding for the club.

Many thanks also goes to club man and Albion Left-Back Maestro Shaun Bonner who as well as running the club website was responsible for creating a massive amount of interest through social media specifically Twitter. Any local businesses who would like to advertise on this site and take advantage of the wide coverage that Shaun has garnered should contact the club for more details. On the day of the match he was in the Coleraine Press Box along with the local media including the BBC Radio Ulster presenter Alan Simpson providing a blow by blow account of the match to those who were unable to be present.

Club Treasurer and Veteran Albion Goalkeeper Johnny McGreevy also took some real quality photographs which can be viewed here.

The officers, directors and supporters of Coleraine F.C. were outstanding hosts throughout the day and they complimented the performance of the team and the way in which its management team had organised them. They also paid glowing tributes to the professionalism of the club and its committee and made particular mention of the large support that had come along which was considerably more than what many Premier League teams bring with them. At an informal function in the Coleraine Board Room Club Chairman Gilbert Cromie thanked everyone associated with the Coleraine Club for their cooperation and assistance in the run up to and on the day of the match.

Robert Creighton one of the club’s most loyal of supporters was the receipient of a signed Coleriane shirt courtesy of Coleraine Club President Andy Magowan a Ballynahinch man born and bred who’s loyalties on the day were definitely split.

Supporter of the Year Robert received a signed Coleraine shirt
Supporter of the Year Robert received a signed Coleraine shirt

Ballynahinch United memories of their trip to Coleraine will live long but it also gives everyone a thirst for more glory in the future.