Ballynahinch United Bow Out of Clarence Cup

NORTHERN AMATEUR FOOTBALL LEAGUE – CLARENCE CUP Ballynahinch United  0  Abbey Villa  2 United’s interest in the cup competitions ended at the weekend with this 2 – 0 defeat against Premier Division side Abbey Villa at the Millbridge writes Gilbert Cromie. Like in so many cup games it is a goalkeeping performance that stands out and on this occasion the accolade goes to Abbey Villa goal keeper Jon Munn who managed to get every part of his body in the way of numerous efforts from United. United in front of another good attendance played reasonably well throughout causing the visitors a number of anxious moments. United’s Russian striker Roman Gugulev was unfortunate on two occasions not to give them the lead when he went one on one with the Abbey Villa keeper who distinguished himself with two fine saves. The game was scoreless at half time but there was a feeling of apprehension amongst the home fans that if some of the chances that were coming United’s way weren’t taken the visitors might steal it. Alas this proved to be the case when Ryan Curdy took his goal scoring chance in the 75 minute despite the efforts of Brian McMullan to save it. United pressed for an equaliser with Ian McMullan going close with an effort but it was not to be as the visitors got a second through Gary Sharratt to make the game safe. This week United are at home to Division 1B league leaders Orangefield Old Boys kick off 2pm. NORTHERN AMATEUR FOOTBALL LEAGUE – TEMPLETON CUP SAINTFIELD UNITED II’s 5   BALLYNAHINCH UNITED II’s 5 [United II’s win 5 v after penalties] If any soccer fan was a looking for drama and excitement then the place to be was the School Grounds at Saintfield last Saturday. If either manager has any finger nails left it will be a miracle as this game ebbed and flowed for over 110 minutes. It was the visitors who led the way in the opening period but they failed to capitalise on a number of openings by trying to walk the ball into the net. Saintfield took the lead against the run of play when former United player Terry Finney ran onto a long ball to shoot past Jason Stafford from the edge of the penalty area. The Swifts were back in the game when Johnny Stevenson scored from the penalty spot after he was fouled. Saintfield went into the half time break 2 – 1 up after Scott again breached the visitor’s rearguard after the Swifts had botched a corner. The Swifts equalised when Gareth Bingham’s swerving cross deceived the Saintfield keeper and dropped into the net. They should have been ahead after 60 minutes when Matty Shaw ran through the Saintfield defence to head home but the referee inexplicably decided he was offside. Saintfield took the lead again for the third time when David Scott rifled a shot into the roof of the net during a breakaway. The visitors enjoyed a fair big of possession in the final quarter of the second half as they searched for an equaliser which they got when Johnny Stevenson scored from the penalty spot after Ethan Majury was fouled going for Jamie McPhail’s cross. The match went into extra time during which Saintfield seemed to have the game won when they scored two goals late in the first period through Andy Curran and Steven Ogden. The visitors rallied in the closing period with Mark McConnell and Alan Stephens controlling in midfield and they pulled the game out of the fire with two late goals from Johnny Stevenson to take his personal tally to four in the match. In the penalty shoot out Johnny Stevenson, Alan Stevens, Scot McKibbin, Sam Annett and Mark McConnell converted their spot kicks while a Sainfield player fired over the bar with their third. This week the Swifts travel to Groomsport for a league match. BUFC NOTES Congratulations to the Youth Section on their arrangements for what was a very enjoyable and well attended quiz in Rockmount Golf Club last Saturday night. Congratulations go to Helena Majury who was outstanding in the performance of the role of compere and despite quite a few challenges to her authority remained totally unflappable throughout. A job well done.]]>