Ballynahinch Swifts Draw With Ballyvea 2s In League Clash
The NAFL League Division 1b
League Match report by Gilbert Cromie
Ballynahinch Utd Swifts 3 Ballyvea II’s 3
The Swifts entertained a strong Ballyvea II’s team who had recorded some decent results in recent times and it was they who took the initiative early on.
Stand-in goalkeeper Gareth Bingham produced several great saves, however, he could not prevent James Maginnis from opening the scoring after 15 minutes. The Swifts defence Conor Graham, Dylan Fitzpatrick, John McMenamin and Richard Annett, which had soaked up a fair bit of pressure in the early stages, soon got to grips with the Ballyvea forward line.
On 20 minutes the Swifts were level when Diarmuid Lavery ran onto a through ball to smash the ball into the net.
The midfield of Jamie McNeill, Ben Wilson, Glenn Bennett and Luke Curry took control of the game launching attack after attack leading to Diarmuid Lavery’s second which was almost a carbon copy of his first. Despite their dominance Ballyvea managed to get back into the game with a goal from Phillip McConnell.
Throughout the second half the majority of the play was in the Ballyvea half with Cameron McKissick and Luke Curry making constant runs down the wings and putting in dangerous crosses which Calum Ewart in the Ballyvea goal generally dealt with comfortably. He could not however prevent Diarmuid Lavery from completing his hat trick from the penalty spot.
Ballyvea came much more into the game in the closing stages as the Swifts introduced substitutes Matthew Lindsay, Jack Montgomery and Ben McGuigan to add energy into the team which had worked so hard.
The Swifts defence thwarted numerous forward surges with Gareth Bingham making a number of vital saves however they could not prevent the equaliser from Robert Stevenson and indeed in the final seconds were fortunate when a shot cannoned off the post and away to safety.
For the Swifts this was a battling display with outstanding performances all over the pitch.
The return to action of Richard Annett gave the defence that extra energy and allowed each of them at various times to support the midfield where veterans Ben Wilson and Gareth Bennett covered every blade of grass to give youngsters Jamie McNeill and Luke Curry a more attacking platform.
On the day the forward running of Diarmuid Lavery and Cameron McKissick proved too hot to handle and on another day might well have yielded more goals.