Local Ballynahinch Derby Draws The Crowds To Millbridge

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Ballynahinch United 0  Ballynahinch Olympic 2

Goals in each half from Stephen Megoran and Niall Walsh secured three points and the bragging rights in the early part of the season from this exciting derby game at the Millbridge last Saturday writes Gilbert Cromie.

Millbridge was packed by supporters from both sides each keen to encourage their side on to victory and in the early exchanges it was the home team who did most of the attacking with Johnny Stevenson going close in the opening minutes.

Greg Allison caused the Olympic defence considerable trouble in the early stages of the game putting in a succession of crosses that lead to several corners one of which led to a Matty Shaw header being cleared off the goal line.

Olympic took the lead after ten minutes when Megoran’s left wing cross from thirty odd yards looped high over United keeper Bryan McMullan’s to drop under the cross bar into the net. This was a very lucky break for the visitors which gave them an advantage in the game which they worked tirelessly to hold onto. It was a cruel blow to United’s defence of Alex Miller, Davy Boal, Matty Shaw and Stuart McMullan who had restricted Olympics’ forward threat.

On the half hour mark United had a genuine claim for a penalty when Alan Patterson was bundled over from behind in the act of shooting for goal however referee Mark Domican did not share the United supporter’s opinion.

In the second half United pressed for an equaliser with Dalton Tate, Stuart Hunter and JJ Carlisle prominent however Olympic worked tirelessly to reduce the number of scoring opportunities with their goal keeper in superb form.

Olympic got their second midway through the second half when Niall Walsh rose above the United defence to head home a superb right wing cross past Bryan McMullan. They could well have been three up when they missed a penalty after Boal, who was sent off for a second bookable offence, had brought down an attacker however the spot kick came back off the crossbar.

United introduced Gareth McMullan and Dee Stewart to the fray and they combined very well when Stewarts shot was headed goal wards by McMullan only for the Olympic keeper to miraculously palm it over the bar.

This was an encouraging start from Olympic who have high hopes for the season ahead while the United supporters will have been encouraged by a battling performance from a team that was missing six players through injury.

United now have a succession of away games against Rathfern Rangers [last night], Ballywalter [Saturday] and next week against opponents who have to be confirmed before they meet Valley Rangers in the Irish Cup on Saturday 22nd August.

BUFC NOTES On Saturday the club hosted local rivals Olympic in the first league match of the season. There was an excellent crowd at the game and the committee members present did an outstanding job with car parking, providing food and the other tasks that are vital to the efficient running of the club facilities on a big match day.

The seconds entertained Killyleagh YC 2nds on Friday night past and while they lost 3-0 to an experienced side it was nevertheless an encouraging performance.

Club members and players are reminded that membership fees should be paid to Gareth Bingham as soon as possible.

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