Border Cup 1st Round: Malachians 1 v Ballynahinch United 1 (United won 4 – 3 on penalties)

United travelled to NAFL Premier League side Malachians with a slighty weakened side due to holidays and injury. Into the line-up came Gareth Bingham and David Kelly.

The home side got off to a great start when they scored in the first few minutes however United played their way into the game and a brilliant strike by Johnny Gibson levelled the game just before half time.

The home team were a constant threat and Brian McMullan pulled off a number of excellent saves while in attack David Kelly went close with a header. In defence JJ Carlisle, Davy Boal and Scott Brashaw played out of their skins while midfielders Gavin Crawford, David Kelly, Ian Boal, Aaron Cheevers and Stuart McMullan covered every blade of grass.

Forwards Gareth Bingham, Johnny Gibson and Ian McMullan played their part throughout the match.

The two periods of extra time proved to be a bit of a non-event as each team became ever more cautious about making a mistake and soon it was time for the dreaded penalties.

After the first five had been taken by each team it was 3 each with Brian McMullan proving to be a major stumbling block. When a Malachians player missed their first kick in sudden death up stepped Scott Brashaw to cap a great personal performance and score the winner.

This was a spirited performance which will have given caretaker bosses Keith Hamilton and Davy Teggarty great encouragement as they go into two further cup ties next week and week after.

Results 4th Sept 2010

Iveagh 2-1 Ballynahinch United

The hosts progressed to the 3rd round of the Border Cup after a close game in Belfast. Iveagh led 1-0 at the break and extended their lead soon after. However, Ian McMullan’s overhead kick reduced the arrears leaving the 1C side under pressure until the final whistle.

Ballynahinch United II 3-2 Albion Star

The 2nds overcame Albion Star in their first league match of the new season. Having trailed 1-0 goals from Stevenson and Williams handed the lead to the home side, only for them to see the visitors grab an equaliser. The match was settled by McCracken’s goal which handed Ballynahinch United all three points.

Ballynahinch United III 1-6 Annalong Rangers

The 3rds endured a torrid time in their first match against one of the stronger teams in the division. A makeshift 3rd team, missing a number of players, initially traded attacks with Annalong before falling behind on the half hour mark with a second goal following soon after. The away side gained momentum and scored two further goals in the lead up to half time.

The second half was a more balanced affair and, after conceding a fifth soon into the half, the 3rds got a foothold in the game and pressed the visitors, reducing the deficit with a well taken goal from Stephen King. Despite further pressure from the home side it was Annalong who would score again.