Ballyvea top of the tree

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Ballyvea top of the tree thumbnailAlan Chambers powers his way past the outstretched leg of a Killough defender.

BALLYVEA stay top of the tree for Christmas thanks to a 2-1 home win over Killough at Carginagh Road on Saturday.

It was a tight game that was in stark contrast to the previous week, when Killough failed to field a team against Annalong.

In fact for long periods of time Killough were the better side and looked like getting a surprise three points from a game that should have been plain sailing for the Mourne men.

However, Killough made Ballyvea fight all the way for the points that separates them from second-placed Newcastle, who lost out surprisingly to Carryduff Colts who are on a good run of form at present.

On target for Ballyvea was Geoffrey Bennett and the help of an own goal, while Richie Fryer replied for Killough.


Swifts tune up for big day

Annalong Swifts tuned up for their Boxing Day final in the Bobby Dalzell Cup thanks to a solid 5-0 win over a game Rossglass outfit at Hillmount Park, winning easily 5-0.

It was a game that Rossglass never were allowed to get a foothold in as the cup holders were on the offensive from the first whistle, not letting County settle on the ball and taking their created chances with aplomb through Stephen Burden (2), Ryan McMurray, Jonny McCulla and Jonny Gilchrist.


Seasiders slip up on eve of final

Newcastle Swifts slipped up badly on the eve of their Dalzell Cup final appearance on Boxing Day when they lost 4-0 to the in-form Carryduff Colts on Saturday afternoon at Lough Moss.

This was a game that Newcastle will want to forget and was certainly not the ideal warm up for the Seasiders.

Maybe they had the final weighing heavily on their minds and it certainly looked so. They were heavy-legged and slow to move the ball, while Carryduff, who had surprised Celtic Bhoys a couple of weeks ago, caused the seaside team all kinds of trouble. Goals flowed from Ferguson McBride, Darragh Brownlee and Stevie Doherty (2).


Dalzell Cup preview

Newcastle Swifts will take on cup holders and favourites, Annalong Swifts at Meadowvale, Drumaness on Boxing Day with a 1.30pm kick off in their first Dalzell final for 20 years.

They are hoping they can cause an upset on the day and lift the Toals Bobby Dalzell Cuo on Boxing evening.

If they are to do so they will have to be prepared for the strong running front men of Annalong in Ryan McMurray and Stephen Burden, who can on their day cause any defence major problems as both are strong finishers and have lots of class to go hand-in-hand with the polished finishing they provide.

Annalong are very strong at the back with their ace defender being John Sloan, their penalty saving goalkeeper in the semi-final, who made the man of the match award easily his own with two penalty saves and an equal number of fine saves during actual play.

In their back line they have the luxury of having player-manager Alan Henning who, if he plays himself, will add stability to an already tight defensive unit.

They will have their afternoon's work cut out for them though as Newcastle have their own pair of strong front runners in James Magee and Donal Acton, who never given defenders a minute's peace.

They are ably prompted from midfield by the stylish Neill Corr, whose clever play and final ball make it easy for Magee and Acton.

Annalong will start strong favourites for the cup, especially with the width provided by Leslie Maybin on the right wing.

All-in-all it should be a good game with Annalong for my money holding too many aces for the Seasiders, who may have to wait a while longer for a cup success.


Man in the middle

The game will be refereed by Ballynahinch man Damian Laverty, assisted on the lines by William McConnell from Kilkeel and James McCreesh from Downpatrick.


Free date next week

There will be no games played next Saturday, Christmas Eve with football returning on Saturday, 31 December with a full programme.


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