2nd Ballynahinch are Northern Ireland Champions
There was success for 2nd Ballynahinch Boys’ Brigade in the Northern Ireland District Junior Section 5-a-side tournament on April 13th at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt.
13 teams representing 13 Battalions took part in a round robin style competition of two groups to decide the four semi-finalists. Each of these teams taking part had won their local Battalion 5 a side competition earlier this year, so it paved the way for an array of talent and closely decided games.
2nd Ballynahinch, the Down Battalion representatives, were drawn in Group 2 with 5 other Battalion winners. In their first game of the day 2nd Ballynahinch narrowly beat 1st Pettigo from West Ulster 2-1, with both goals coming from Scott Hamilton. Goal keeper Kyle Steenson ensured this would be the last ball he would let past him for the remainder of the tournament.
The second match against a very disciplined 1st Milltown end in a 0-0 draw, however, the confidence gaining Ballynahinch boys went on to beat the eventual group runners-up, 1st Banagher from Londonderry 2-0 with a goal each from Scott Hamilton and Andrew Shannon. Andrew Shannon went on to score a double in the next match with Scott Hamilton scoring a third to beat 1st Muchamore 3-0 who were representing Antrim District.
A win in the final game of the group against 2nd Ballymena would ensure top spot and two goals from Scott Hamilton cemented this position. There was good competitive football on show in Group 2 and all of it was played in a great spirit.
After not getting beyond the group stage last year, 2nd Ballynahinch came into this tournament with some unfinished business to do. Strong defending and hard ‘box to box’ work from Aaron Murray and Benjamin McCarten kept the opposition teams at bay, whilst Dylan McCandless, in his first taste of this competition played some lovely balls through to Andrew Shannon and Scott Hamilton in front of goal.
In the other highly competitive Group 1 round robin, 2nd Ballynahinch were drawn against group runners-up 4th Newtownabbey BB Company. Following some good quick passing, it took less than two minutes for Scott Hamilton to find the net again before this game was sealed with a goal from Andrew Shannon to set up a clash with Group 1 winners 1st Ballyclare in the final.
The team were rewarded for all their hard work and patience in the final when the ball dropped nicely to Scott Hamilton to slot home into the corner of the goal with 90 seconds remaining on the clock. 2nd Ballynahinch held their nerve to see out the victory.
Congratulating the team, Company Captain, Mark Bell said: “The boys worked their socks off in every game and were absolutely brilliant. We couldn’t have asked any more of them. Our Company have never won this competition before and we are really proud of the effort every boy put in and their commitment to want to represent 2nd Ballynahinch Boys’ Brigade Company. Thank you to all the boys, officers and parents for coming along and supporting the boys, it has been well worth it”.
Top Goal Scorer Scott Hamilton with Trophy
Junior Section football team.
(Back row left to right) Andrew Shannon, Kyle Steenson and Benjamin McCarten.
(Front row left to right) Aaron Murray, Scott Hamilton and Dylan McCandless.
Jamie Graham, Battalion heat winner, missing from photo.