The Gaffer Keith Hamilton on the Official IFA Volunteer Team

The Irish FA have recently established an Official IFA Volunteer Team to encourage volunteering within different areas of the Irish FA and provide exciting opportunities for many committed and enthusiastic individuals. Opportunities have been established within various strands of the local game including Grassroots, Disability, Women’s and Schools football.

Each month speaks to a current member of the IFA Volunteer Team, taking a snapshot of their volunteering experiences within the Irish FA and this month the volunteer focus spotlight shines on our 1st team manager Keith Hamilton who is an Irish FA Volunteer Match Monitor and has been involved within various other volunteer roles at the Irish FA.

Keith Hamilton who is an Irish FA Volunteer Match Monitor and has been involved within various other volunteer roles at the Irish FA.
Keith Hamilton who is an Irish FA Volunteer Match Monitor and has been involved within various other volunteer roles at the Irish FA.

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.

Ballynahinch United 1 v 1st Bangor O.B. 1

United entertained newly promoted 1st Bangor O.B. at the Millbridge last Tuesday (20th Aug) in their final mid-week fixture. A poor showing the weekend before coupled with the unexpected resignation of first team manager Colin Murray was expected to unsettle the team however this was not to be the case.

Caretaker Manager Keith Hamilton was assisted by the experienced club man Davy Teggarty and the attacking line up that they sent out certainly rose to the occasion.

Right from the kick off they were on the attack with Johnny Gibson and Ian McMullan attacking down both flanks with Simon Jackson proving to be a real handful with his physicality and speed through the middle.

United took the lead after twenty five minutes when they were awarded a penalty which was converted by Ian Boal. There followed wave after wave of attack with Ian McMullan going close with an effort and Jackson shooting over the bar.

In the 40th minute a defensive error allowed 1st Bangor to equalise against the run of play.

In the second half United pressed hard for a winner with Cheevers a constant menace to the 1st Bangor defence.

Midfielders Gavin Crawford, Ian Boal, Stuart McMullan worked tirelessly to create opening but they and the forward line could not find a way through a stubborn defence.

Defensively United were strong with JJ Carlisle, Davy Boal and Scott Brashaw providing excellent cover for goal keeper Brian McMullan who dealt with everything that came his way.

Club Notes

Both the Swifts and Albion’s league games were postponed due to waterlogged pitches at Civil Service and Drumaness respectively which means that neither will be back into action until Saturday 5th January 2013.

Everyone at the club – be they committee, managers, players and supporters are looking forward with anticipation to the forthcoming Irish Cup 5th Round Cup tie against
Danske Bank Premier League side Coleraine. The game takes place on Saturday 12th January 2013 and while United were drawn out of the hat first the cup rules mean that they must travel to their more illustrious opposition.

This has been a fantastic achievement by Colin Murray, his assistant Keith Hamilton and their squad of players who all work fantastically hard week in and week out in training and on the pitch. They are under no illusions that the task they face will be anything other than a David and Goliath struggle however each and every one of them will do their level best.

Every week both home and away the team are privileged to have an enthusiastic group of supporters who encourage them along and this will also be something very special for them to look forward to and enjoy no matter what the result is.

Club Chairman Gilbert Cromie who was present at the Cup Draw event joked afterwards that ‘he had been sent specifically to get a top Premier League side and that he had delivered’ however such an outcome has been almost unbelievable and many folk around the club are still in a state of shock. This is the third big success that the club have achieved in the second half of 2012 which has seen club man Jimmy Brown win the Hughes Insurance Volunteer of the Year followed up quickly by Hannah Majury recently winning a Female Coach of the Year award.

The Club Committee are now working hard to make arrangements for the big day and details will be made available shortly however anyone who would be interested in travelling with the club to this big match should contact a member of committed as soon as possible to book a place. Any local businesses or individuals who would be interested in sponsoring the club for match balls, training gear or the like thus taking advantage of the publicity that this game will attract should also contact the club as soon as possible.

The Committee, Managers and Players of Ballynahinch United would take this opportunity of wishing all of its supporters, sponsors as well as the local media a Very Happy Christmas and Happy New Year and our thanks for everything that you do for us.