Match Report: Ballynahinch United 2nds 4 v 3 Killough 2nds (21/03/15)

The Swifts who were fresh from a rip roaring 4 – 4 draw the previous week produced something similar at Millbridge on Saturday however they had to come back from 1-0 and 3-2 down to a Killough side that battled throughout.

The visitors took the lead after ten minutes but Graeme McMullan got them back onto level terms with a shot across the keeper into the net after good work from Jaimie McPhail who had been on the score sheet the previous week.

Skipper Alan Massey gave the home team a 2-1 lead from the penalty spot when Craig McMullan was brought down however Killough struck two quick goals to take a 3-2 half time lead.

In the second half the Swifts looked much more settled and with defenders Bonner, King, McMenamin and Craig McMullan marking tightly they limited the Killough sides scoring opportunities while keeper Johnny McGreevy’s handling was excellent.

Midfielders Bingham, Massey, McPhail and Manley enjoyed greater possession giving forwards Graeme McMullan and David Griffiths a number of opportunities.

The Swifts got level when a long range cross from Shaun Bonner was mishandled by the Killough keeper into his own net.

In the last half hour manager Davy Teggarty introduced Scott McNeill at right back and moved Craig McMullan upfront along with cousin Graeme and it proved to be the decision that would secure his team maximum points. Minutes later the Swifts were ahead when Craig McMullan was upended by the Killough keeper and Alan Massey fired his second goal and his team’s winner into the net.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 2nds 7 – 1 Ballykinlar

The Swifts entertained Ballykinler on Saturday at a frosty Millbridge. In confident mood after last weeks’ result it was a bit of a shock when The Swifts went one nil down with ten minutes on the clock, however it was no less than their slow start deserved.

The Swifts realised they needed to earn the right to play and that they did. Massey whipped in a cross to the back post for Craig McMullan to control the ball on his chest and rifle the ball home into the roof of the net, proving to be a deserved equalizer.

The wave of attacks was sure to come good and Massey beat his man and dropped a cross over the keeper for Gareth Bingham to fire home, to put The Swifts in the lead.

The youthful Graeme McMullan and Matt Manley were causing havoc on the left wing with their neat passing and direct runs and it was McMullan who exchanged passes with Bingham, no less than twice, to find himself one on one with the keeper. He made no mistake with a neat finish to put The Swifts 3-1 up.

The Swifts went in at the break 3-1 and in a commanding position, but they were keen to grab another goal to widen the gap and found it early in the 2nd half when Massey’s corner went straight in.

Now in firm control The Swifts, with Johnny McGreevy having a comfortable afternoon in nets, helped by his defence of Paul King, John McMenamin and Shaun Bonner, kept the Ballykinler chances to a minimum. Jamie McPhail was a rock in midfield and broke up all that came in his path.

After Gareth Binghams harshly disallowed goal, The Swifts scored again through Craig McMullans finish after good work from McPhail to make it 5-1.

The introduction of Alan McMullan and Dave Griffiths just heightened Ballykinlers’ problems and Griffiths got himself on the score sheet with a close-range finish after good work from Alan McMullan to put him through on goal.

The game was nearing a close when Scott McNeil produced the goal of the game. He went on a mazy run from the right back position, beating no less than 3 opponents, and produced a finish that was out of the top drawer to make the final score 7-1.

The Swifts now go into the Xmas break in good form and undefeated in 9 games from the start of the season and will be surely looking forward to the restart of the league campaign.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 2nds 3 v 0 Ardglass Colts

The Swifts continued their unbeaten run with a victory over a hard working Ardglass side that never gave up but that failed to seriously threaten the home defence.

Matthew Manly opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he curled a great shot into the top corner of the net. Ben Wilson who has been one of the team’s hard working midfielders this season scored the second after 18 minutes when he was set up by Graham McMullan. Wilson’s curling shot gave the Ardglass keeper no chance.

For the remainder of the half Ardglass curtailed the Swifts attacking threat and defensively Craig McMullan, Ross Hayes, John McMenamin and Shaun Bonner had to be at their best while Jamie McPhail in front of the back four covered every blade of grass. Goalkeeper Johnny McGreevy’s handling had to be at its best as he faced a barrage of crosses mainly from a series of corners.

In the second half Ardglass had a lot more possession but again they never really created a clear cut opening while the Swifts were limited to breakaways prompted by Alan Massey in central midfield and on occasions they created openings with Gareth Bingham having the best opportunity when he shot over the cross bar when put through by Craig McMullan. Replacements Scott McNeill and Ross Bingham made a major impact when they came on.

The Swifts put the game out of Ardglass’s reach when Matthew Manly’s shot after great work by the teenage winger resulted in a defender and the goalkeeper combining to allow the ball to cross the line.

This was a decent performance from the Swifts who remain unbeaten however they will need to be more commanding next week when they travel to Ballykinlar.

Annual Dinner & Awards Night

Ballynahinch United held their annual dinner and awards nights in the Primrose Bar, Ballynahinch last Saturday night. There was an excellent attendance and everyone was welcomed by Club Treasurer Johnny McGreevy who performed the role of master of ceremonies superbly in place of the Club Chairman who was attending a family wedding.

In his remarks he thanked everyone for attending and thanked the staff of the Primrose Bar for the excellent meal and service on the night. He also offered the club’s best wishes to owner and former United player Ted McKibbin following his recent accident.

Commenting on the season which was almost at an end he praised the work of the club officials and committee, the commitment of the team managers and players throughout the year, the encouragement given by the clubs supporter’s week in week out and the financial support given by each and every one of the clubs sponsors.

The highlight of what has been a good season for the club overall was the first team reaching the 5th Round of the Irish Cup and being drawn against Premier League opposition in the form of Coleraine. Whilst the outcome was not by any means ideal the team had performed extremely well against a well drilled semi-professional side and the club had been able to take well over a hundred supporters with them to the game which was outstanding by any stretch of the imagination.

As always the awards were all closely contested throughout the season and the outcome was as follows:

Albion: Players Player and Top Scorer – Alan Massey, Managers Player – John McMenamin.

Swifts: Managers Player & Top Scorer – Aaron ‘Beattie’ McCaffrey, Players Player – Ethan Majury and Craig McMullan.

United: Managers Player – David Boal, Players Player – David Boal & Stuart McMullan.
Top Scorer – Johnny Hunter

Overall Club Top Scorer – Aaron ‘Beattie’ McCaffrey
Young Player of the Year – Aaron Cheevers
Supporter of the Year – Robert Creighton

The annual Golden Boot award went to David Boal who despite some strong competition throughout the year achieved it for his historic achievement of BUFCs first red card in the 5th round of the Irish Cup!

Club stalwart Jimmy Brown who was so disappointed to lose out yet again to Robert Creighton in the Supporter of the Year category scooped the Groundsman of the Year/Decade award. He was presented with an antique Ards F.C. shirt signed by the team that previously reached the top flight. Former United star Terry Luring came across it last year and Wilson ‘Chico’ Hamilton replaced the glass in the frame.