Match Report: BUFC 1 – 6 Aquinas FC

NAFL Div 1B new boys Aquinas visited The Millbridge for the last of our midweek start of season fixtures. The visitors were fresh off the back of an 8-0 victory vs fellow 1B side Dundonald in the Steel & Son’s Cup.

At The Millbridge, the sun shone down during the warm ups and the rain that caused havoc earlier in the day didn’t appear too much throughout the duration of the game.

Continue reading Match Report: BUFC 1 – 6 Aquinas FC

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 1 – 1 Portaferry Rovers

Ballynahinch United welcomed Portaferry Rovers to The Millbridge for the opening game of the Northern Amateur Football League Division 1B season.

Rain sprinkled over the freshly cut grass as teams prepared for kick-off. But it didn’t put off the spectators as fans from both sides lined the perimeter of the pitch, eagerly anticipating the start of the new season.

Continue reading Match Report: Ballynahinch United 1 – 1 Portaferry Rovers

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.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United Swifts 2 v 1 Kilmore Rec. 2nds

The Swifts met Kilmore Rec 2nds for the third time in relatively quick succession and this time in the Purdy Cup.

Due to first team call ups manager Alan Davis had to shuffle his team somewhat. There was a strong wind blowing across the Langley Road pitch which made conditions difficult and the Kilmore team settled the quicker of the two. They also took the lead from the penalty spot in the early minutes of the game which brought about a change of formation for the Swifts.

The visitors were calling the shots with the home defence and midfield having to work hard to keep them out however as the first half was nearing its end Graeme McMullan sent Aaron McCaffrey through only to see his shot go narrowly wide. Minutes later Ross Murray who was having a quiet half ran onto an Alex Burtney pass to slot the ball home.

In the second half the Swifts had a slight wind advantage but the overall conditions made flowing football almost impossible. The home defence of Onhua, Annett, Beattie and McMullan coped with Kilmore’s long ball strategy while in midfield King and Hunter started to get the upper hand. The winning goal came from a Hunter pass which found Ross Murray and his shot was parried by the Kilmore keeper however Gareth Bingham was on hand to bundle the ball into the net. In the closing minutes Blaine almost increased their lead but his shot sailed past the post.

In the end the Swifts were pleased to get into the second round of this competition.

Match Report: Ballyvea IIs 1 v 3 Ballynahinch United Swifts

The Swifts travelled to Kilkeel without last week’s match winner Lee Price and Ross Hayes who were both called up to the first team. With the poor weather conditions the teams had to play on a heavy pitch which deteriorated as the match went on.

In the early exchanges there was little between both sides with Paul King and John McMenamin holding firm at the centre of the Swifts defence, while at the other end Graeme McMullan and Aaron McCaffrey worked tirelessly to cause problems for the Ballyvea defence.

However, mid-way through the first half Ballynahinch took control of the game and, as they pushed forward, started to create chances. The opening goal came following a period of intense pressure on the home side. When Allan Massey rifled the ball into the box, McCaffrey reacted quickest with a powerful diving header that left the keeper with no chance.

It was McCaffrey again who caused problems leading up to the second goal. Clean through, he took the ball round the home keeper who was caught outside his penalty area, only to be sent sprawling. From the resulting free kick Matt Manley stepped up to curl the ball into the top corner of the net from at least 35 yards.

The Swifts were keen to add to their lead and managed to do so spectacularly early in the second half. With Ballyvea again forced to defend in numbers inside their own box the ball broke to Gareth Bingham 25 yards out. Taking a touch with his left foot and shooting with his right, he swept the ball over the defence and the keeper into the top of the net.

As the second half progressed Ballynahinch continued to maintain pressure on the home side until an unusual situation developed. Ballyvea 1sts were playing on an adjacent pitch with an early kick off in the Bobby Dalzell Cup. When their match finished two first team players joined their 2nds to come on as substitutes. While no rules were broken, it caused a distraction for the away side and gave Ballyvea a foothold in the game.

With Ballyvea pushing forward they started to get a few chances of their own, and forced a couple of saves from McGreevy in the Ballynahinch goal, before finally finding the net. A deflected pass from the left finding an unmarked forward in the box who was able to glance the ball home. With twenty minutes left the momentum shifted to the home side and the Swifts were indebted to Stewart Wilcox for a goal line clearance to keep their two goal cushion intact.

However, the game was to take another turn with Ballynahinch stepping up their game. Massey and Bingham dropped deep in midfield and stopped the Ballyvea advance, while Manley, McMullan and McCaffrey pushed further forward to put the home side on the back foot again. Only a goal line clearance from McCaffrey’s shot and the keeper’s save from Griffith’s effort prevented a wider winning margin.

A special mention must go to veteran Ian Blackwood who came on as a substitute only to dislocate one finger and break another. Epitomising the away side’s spirit he played on without complaint and helped Ballynahinch to an excellent away victory.

This week the Swifts travel to Killough for a league encounter.