Match Report: Ballykinlar Rec 2 v 3 Ballynahinch United 2nds

The Swifts continued their excellent unbeaten opening to the season with a hard fought victory away to Ballykinlar Rec.

Graeme McMullan gave the Swifts the lead with a superb drive from the edge of the penalty area after some hard work and an assist from Shaun Bonner.

Halfway through the first half the home side were reduced to ten men following a straight red card for a foul on Ross Bingham. However a resurgent Ballykinlar fought back to lead 2 – 1 at half time.

Playing against 10 men gave the Swifts the upper hand in the 2nd half and Gareth Bingham equalised with a header from an Alan Massey corner to make the score 2 – 2.

The hard working Ben Wilson continued his scoring run and made sure of the 3 points after a goalmouth scramble to fire the ball into the net.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 2nds 3 v 3 Kirkistown 2nds

The Swifts entertained a strong Kirkistown side at Millbridge in their first home game of the season. Conditions were excellent for free flowing football on a well-manicured pitch and the small band of spectators was well entertained.

It was the visitors who scored the first goal when their centre forward shot home after some good work to get ahead of the Swifts central defenders leaving Johnny McGreevy with no chance of saving a well struck shot.

The home side soon got into their stride and having missed a good opportunity in the 15th minute teenager Graeme McMullan didn’t miss in the 20th when he stroked the ball home after good work by Ross Bingham.

In the 25th minute another teenager Matthew Manly gave the Swifts the lead when he picked up a loose ball in the penalty area and shot home.

The Swifts defence of McNeill, King, Bonner and McMenamin were constantly under pressure with midfielders Wilson, Massey, Manly and McPhail combining with them to keep the Kirkistown attack at bay.

In the second half Kirkistown started strongly and equalised after 55 minutes and then went 3 – 2 ahead in the 70th minute. The Swifts introduced David Griffiths and Alan McMullan into the fry and from the right wing Graeme McMullan crossed for Matthew Manly to head home the equaliser.

This was a hard fought game with both teams intent on attack and a draw on this occasion was the fairest result.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 2nds 3 v 0 Tollymore 2nds

The Swifts welcomed Tollymore 2nds to Millbridge for this league encounter and the home side secured a valuable three points against a dogged team who scrapped throughout. Fielding only ten men in the opening half hour, Tollymore found themselves 2-0 down. The first goal came on twelve minutes through a converted penalty from Aaron McCaffrey following a hand ball in the penalty area. The second goal came on the half hour when teenager Graeme McMullan poked the ball home following a goal mouth scramble.

Tollymore were up to full strength after this and they came more into the game but the Swifts defence of Ross Bingham, Scott McNeill, Paul King and Shaun Bonner were able to hold firm to give keeper Johnny McGreevy a fairly easy afternoon.

The Swifts midfield quartet of Alan Massey, Gareth Bingham, Matthew Manley, Graeme McMullan and in the closing stages Stuart Wilcox saw plenty of the ball but failed to create opportunities for forwards Johnny Stevenson, until he came off injured, and Aaron McCaffrey who both worked hard.

The introduction of Jack Patterson before half time gave the Swifts a real impetus as the young player with pace to burn stretched the Tollymore defence. The Swifts third goal came midway through the second half when Patterson won a race for a loose ball and he flicked it past the on rushing keeper and into the net.

Banbridge YC 1 v 5 Ballynahinch United 2nds

The Swifts travelled to Banbridge for this league encounter with the local Youth Club team and they came away with an excellent victory.

Missing their strike force of Stevenson and McCaffrey through injury and suspension respectively manager Davy Teggarty was able to move the experienced Gareth Bingham forward to partner teenager Graeme McMullan and they provided three of the goals. Gareth Bingham opened the scoring on the half hour mark when he chipped the keeper after being put through by brother Ross who came into the team in place of McCaffrey. Graeme McMullan made it 2-0 before half time.

In the second half Alan Massey scored from the penalty spot after Stuart Wilcox had been fouled. Graeme McMullan got his second to make it 4-0 and Paul King scored the fifth while Banbridge managed a consolation.

The 2nds are at home this week to Tollymore in a league fixture.

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.