Ballynahinch United Awards 2022/23

Ballynahinch United held their Awards Dinner at the weekend at Spa Golf Club. The club celebrated another year, focusing on the positives and a bright future ahead with a number of youth team players making the breakthrough into the senior team appearing for the Swifts and Firsts and the recent approval of plans to develop the facilities at The Millbridge.

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New Management Announced

Ballynahinch United F.C. is delighted to advise that the new first team manager will be Alan Davis who will be assisted by Paul Allison. Both have been involved with the club’s Youth side for some years and last year stepped up to take on the Swifts team which made excellent strides in Division 1 of the Newcastle League.

The Swifts will be managed by club stalwart Gareth Bingham assisted by Davy Teggarty.

The club would also like to send its best wishes to Jimmy Brown who is currently recovering after knee surgery.

Ballynahinch United 2nds 2 v 0 Annalong 2nds

The Swifts continued their return to form with a win at Millbridge last Saturday against a workmanlike Annalong 2nds who played good football throughout.

The side were missing a number of regulars due to first team call ups and injury however those players who came in gave good accounts of themselves.

The game was very close in the first half with the best effort being a long range shot from Jay Smyth which was well saved while Johnny McGreevy had to twice palm shots away for corners. The Swifts had the best opportunity to take the lead when the ever reliable spot kick taker Alan Massey hit the cross bar from a penalty kick awarded by referee Alan McAvoy after Aaron McCaffrey had been upended by the Annalong keeper. Annalong almost took the lead themselves in the final minute of the first half when the ball rebounded off the Swifts cross bar with Johnny McGreevy well beaten.

In the second half the Swifts came out with a lot more purpose and they took the lead when Alan Massey’s 50th minute corner was side footed into the net by central defender Scott McNeill. Defensively the Swifts tightened up considerably with Greg Allison, Paul King, McNeill and Shaun Bonner decisive when called upon.

Jay Smyth in central midfield was ever lively and again brought a great save from the Annalong keeper with a second long range drive. Ross Bingham and Matthew Manly were causing a lot of problems on the wings while the hard running of Graeme McMullan and McCaffrey up front kept the Annalong defence busy. It was teenager Graeme McMullan who made it 2-0 when he ran onto a through pass to slot the ball under the advancing keeper.

The same player had another great opportunity late in the game but he placed the ball wide and his strike partner McCaffrey should have opened his account late on.

Substitutes Stuart Wilcox, John McMenamin and Lewis Lowey came on for the last quarter and they gave good accounts of themselves in what was a very good team performance which will have pleased manager Davy Teggarty.

Rossglass 1 v 2 Ballynahinch Swifts

The Swifts claimed a debut victory in this their first game on their return to the Newcastle League.

Manager Davy Teggarty was in a position to field a strong team with a number of the first team squad being available for duty following holiday.

Playing some neat football from the start the Swifts created several good scoring opportunities and took the lead when Stevenson slotted home after rounding the keeper.

Rossglass equalised from the penalty spot to level the game before Alan Massey scored from the penalty spot to give the Swifts a half time lead.

In the second half Rossglass fought strongly to get back on even terms but the Swifts defence remained resolute while Bingham, Allison and McCaffrey all went close to increasing their lead.

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.