Ballynahinch United 2nds 3 v 1 Bryansburn Rangers 2nds

The Swifts continued their recent resurgence with an excellent home win against a good Bryansburn Rangers side who played good football throughout. With 20 minutes played, United were unlucky not to go ahead when a shot hit the crossbar.

They took the lead on the half hour mark when Ethan Majury headed home from a cross from ‘Beattie’ McCaffrey. Soon after it was 2-0 when Gray dived to convert another cross.

The visitors hit back just after half time to make it 2-1 however another header from Gray secured the three points.

Downshire YM 0 v 1 Ballynahinch United

United travelled to Hillsborough for this league fixture against local rivals Downshire YM.

The game was quite tight throughout with the home side giving United little time on the ball whilst they were particularly well set up defensively making them hard to break down.

The home side had the ball in the net midway through the first but the Downshire player was adjudged to have fouled United keeper Brian McMullan.
In the second half United upped their game and when Downshire had a player dismissed they took advantage with Aaron Cheever’s being rewarded for his hard running with a goal in the early stages of the second half.

This was a vital three points as United keep in contention in the top four although the remainder of the half is strewn with numerous difficult fixtures.

This week United travel to Irish League Championship 2 side Ballymoney United in the third round of the Irish Cup.

Ballynahinch United 2nds 2 v 2 1st Bangor OB 2nds

The Swifts have been having a difficult season so far however this was a game that will have pleased manager Johnny Reid even though he was laid up at home with a serious achilles injury.

It was the Swifts who had the better of the exchanges but just when they were getting on top up popped a 1st Bangor midfielder to shot home from 20 yards past keeper Jason Stafford.

Undaunted the home side kept up their good work and they were rewarded when an excellent move involving Davy Dunlop and Greg Allison was finished off by Aaron McCaffrey with a rasping shot fro the edge of the penalty area which went in off the inside of the post.
The Swifts defensive failings came back to haunt them when 1st Bangor took advantage of a poor clearance to score after 35 minutes.

For the remainder of the half it was the home side who dominated and it was no surprise that they equalised when Ethan Majury rose to head home Allison’s pin point cross.

The second half was a fairly tight affair with the visitors testing Stafford with a few long range efforts.

The Swifts best chance came in the 70th minute when Alan McMullan broke through and was fouled by the 1st Bangor keeper. Had he have been able to keep his feet he would surly have scored. The keeper was set off for his troubles and Majury’s free kick was scrambled away.

This was a much improved performance and while there is much work still to be done they will take a lot of heart from their efforts.

The Albion 2 v 2 Dromara Village 3rds

The Albion entertained high flying Dromara Village 3rds in this league fixture at Drumaness Council pitch and they continued their excellent form.

They were the first on the score sheet with a goal from Steven Bridges who is getting on the score sheet more regularly these days.

The visitors equalised but The Albion were back in front with a penalty from Alan Massey and as it went into its dying moments it looked like they would hold on for all three points but a late Dromara equaliser meant they had to share the points.

Another great performance with teenage keeper John McMenamin, a regular centre back this season, deputising for the injured Johnny McGreevy while defensively McNeill, Murnin and Paul King were strong and resolute. In midfield Bingham, Bonner, Steven King and Wilcox are willing workers while Graeme McMullan and Steven Bridges are willing runners up front. The team is supported by Blackwood, Scott and Hayes with others unavailable or injured having to fight for their places.

Lisburn Rangers 1 v 3 Ballynahinch United


United returned to play Lisburn Rangers for the second week running having been defeated in a league match the previous week. This time it was in the 3rd Round of the Irish Cup and what a difference a week makes because when United came out onto the pitch they were in very determined mood.

The opening half hour was fairly even but it was the home team who took the lead from a corner when a forward nipped in at the near post to head past a helpless Brian McMullan.

This set back would not last for long because in the 40th minute Stuart McMullan fired in the equaliser from a free kick which gave the home keeper no chance.

In the second half United came out ‘full of beans’ playing fluent attacking football which the home side struggled to deal with. In the 55th minute they went ahead when Scot Brashaw’s shot, which was going wide, was intercepted by Craig Bowman who crashed it into the net. On the hour mark it was 3-1 when a surging run from Bowman ended with Aaron Cheevers getting on the end of the resulting cross to fire the ball into the net despite the efforts of the Lisburn Rangers keeper.

For the final half hour the home team pushed to get back into the game but in defence Ross Hayes led his comrades Herron, Brashaw and David Boal with typical determination while in midfield Hunter, Smyth, Stuart McMullan and JJ Carlisle worked hard to stem the tide. Up front Ian McMullan, an early substitute for the unfortunate Scot McKibbin who was injured in the first half, worked tirelessly causing major problems with his decisive running.

This week United are at home to Bloomfield in a league match.