U10s: Ballymackey went head-to-head against Knigh Utd. in the first game of the season for both teams. Knigh Utd. came out of the blocks quickly scoring a good team goal after 5 minutes. It was soon cancelled out with a brilliant goal by James Kenneally who shot high with his left foot into the top corner of the net. James added two more for a hat-rick giving Ballymackey a 3- 1 half-time lead. Knigh scored their second and put Ballymackey under pressure early into the second half but an excellent free kick from Colm Maher put Ballymackey further ahead. Dean Maloney ,Colm Maher and James Kenneally added more scores to give Ballymackey an unassailable lead and run out comfortable winners. There were great defensive displays from Taigh Gleeson, Ben o Dwyer ,Jack Halford, Matthew Coffey, Rory Kelly and Sean Cross. Both teams must be complimented for their great passing display.
U12s: Ballymackey were at home to Roscrea Utd. last Saturday and although they fought hard in every area of the pitch, they came away on the wrong end of a 3-1 result with Mickey Joe O’Dwyer on target for the Bally Boys.
U14s: Ballymackey U14s took on the might of Limerick FC in the SFAI National Cup on Saturday. Played in perfect conditions and on a pitch in immaculate condition, Ballymackey produced their best performance of the season and were very unlucky to lose 2-1. The game started brightly with Ballymackey producing the first few attacks and were unfortunate to go 1-0 down when a long range effort found its way to the net. Ballymackey responded positively with Eamonn White dominating the game from the midfield and David Haverty and Billy Moran working hard on the wings up and down the field. The back four of Eoin Healy, Darragh Spillane, Conor Grace and Conor Farrell were superb throughout the game. Ballymackey were very close to an equaliser with efforts from Kenneth Ryan and Ciaran Boyle just a touch away from finding the net. If Limerick’s first goal was a bit fortunate the second was a goal fit to grace any pitch, their left winger hit the ball from 30 yards out and curled into the top corner of the net. The half time score was 2-0 to Limerick. In the second half, Ballymackey threw everything they had at Limerick. Cathal Delaney began to assert his authority in the middle of the field and following a surging run from Stephen Cantwell where he beat three players, Ballymackey nearly pulled one back. At the other end, Eoghan Tinkler produced some fine saves to stop Limerick adding to their lead. The goal duly arrived for Ballymackey when good work by Eamonn White and Kenneth Ryan set up Ciaran Grace who produced a fine finish to score on his debut for the under 14’s. Soon afterwards, Adam Fitzgerald was very unlucky not to grab the equaliser and Kenneth Ryan was denied by a last ditch tackle. Try as they might, Ballymackey could not find the equaliser but can be very proud of their work rate and attitude while also playing some lovely football. Team: Eoghan Tinkler, Eoin Healy, Darragh Spillane (Capt), Conor Grace, Conor Farrell, Billy Moran, Eamonn White, Kenneth Ryan, Ciaran Grace, David Haverty, Kieran Boyle. Subs: Cathal Delaney, Stephen Cantwell and Adam Fitzgerald.
The U16s travelled to Aisling Annacotty for their National Cup clash and what an amazing game it was! Eoghan Tinkler arrived just before kick-off having started in Ballymackey’s U14 National Cup game against Limerick FC in Ballinree only two hours earlier. He was in the thick of it in the opening fifteen minutes making two fine saves. When Ballymackey found their rhythm, Tommy Teer opened the scoring but Annacotty pulled one back soon afterwards. With about fifteen minutes to go in the second half, Ballymackey were enjoying a 3-1 lead thanks to further long-range goals from Gearoid Murphy and team captain, Calvin O’Rourke. However, complacency crept in and Annacotty bounced back to make it 3-3 at the end of normal time. With five minutes remaining in extra-time, Ballymackey found themselves 5-3 behind and looked down and out. However, Alan Ryan was moved from central defence to the front position and Gearoid Murphy was pushed back as cover. This was a turning point in Ballymackey’s fortunes with Man-of-the-Match Alan Ryan scoring the fourth and creating the equaliser for Tommy Teer to score his second of the day. Jim Teer, Eddie Ryan and Ger Feighery had planned for the possibility of a penalty shoot-out and all 6ft2 of Alan Ryan swapped jersies with Eoghan Tinkler for the shoot-out. Leaning on his experience as a goalkeeper in his younger years, Alan saved the second penalty and did enough to put the Annacotty kicker off in their last kick which sailed over the bar. This was an incredible game which was full of mistakes on both sides but will long be remembered by all those in attendance. Dane Ryan had a good game and Aidan White had a perfectly good goal disallowed for offside. While all of the lads cannot be criticised for effort, they know they threw away a good lead and will no doubt be back at training this week to rectify matters. Decisive action on the line made the difference in this one and the lads march on.
SENIOR A: The Senior A team went top of the table with a fantastic 3-1 win over league leaders BT Harps B last Sunday. The first half was dominated by the Harps but they failed to convert their chances, hitting the crossbar on one occasion. With the score 0-0 at half-time, Ballymackey were much the happier at the interval and there was considerable optimism on the line that a result could be achieved. On the tenth minute, Timmy Fleming got himself on the end of a fantastic cross and headed the ball back across the goalkeeper in to the net. Ten minutes later, Ballymackey were awarded a penalty and Timmy Fleming scored from the rebound after the Harps goalkeeper had saved the penalty. With Denis Haverty, Niall McDonnell, Shaun Kevin and Timmy Fleming increasingly dominating the ball, super-sub Marty Flynn scored a trademark cracker to make it 3-0. BT Harps pulled one back late on but the result was never in doubt after the third goal and Ballymackey took the three points. A super effort from the team who are determined to seek promotion this year.
SENIOR B: Ballymackey B were away to Streamstown Celtic B on Sunday and lost 4-2. Streamstown went 2-0 up in first half. The second half started better for the away side and after ten minutes, the Streamstown goalkeeper got sent off. But they then caught Ballymackey on the break to go 3-0 up. Ballymackey got one back with a penalty from Marty Flynn. Again Streamstown responded with a goal from sloppy defending to go 4-1 up. Damien Walsh got a consolation for Ballymackey late on but the damaged was done. The game finished 4-2. Streamstown deserved the 3 points but Ballymackey will rue the fact that they were missing seven of their starting team through hurling and injuries.
ASTRO ARENA FLOODLIGHTS TURNED ON:
Last Friday evening was a seminal moment in the history of Ballymackey FC when the the floodlights around the new 60x40m 3G Astro Turf Arena were switched on for the first time. A significant number of members, supporters and players turned out for the occasion. This marks the end of phase two of a three phase development of the site at Ballinree with the building of a new clubhouse now firmly in the sights of everyone at the club. The new arena has been booked by several other sporting organisations in North Tipperary for training purposes already and next week will see North Tipperary Emerging Talent squads come to Ballinree to use the facility. Ballymackey FC welcomes James Scott (Regional Development Officer, FAI), all his coaching staff and all of the North Tipperary players to Ballinree and wish them well this season. Training for our own teams under floodlights begins this week, coaches will inform players by text of time slots.
NORTH TIPPERARY ETP SQUADS: Ballymackey FC was proud to receive official confirmation of the inclusion of a number of players to various North Tipperary squads this week. Cathal Spillane has been called up to the U12s, Eamonn White and Cathal Delaney were drafted to the U13s and Eoghan Tinkler flys the club flag on the U14 squad this year. Congratulations to all the boys and good luck to all concerned.
FAI NATIONAL DRAW: Coaches are asked to remind all players to return their FAI National Draw tickets this week. Any parents/members can alternatively hand their tickets and monies to any of the following – George Haverty, Tommy Burns, Eddie Ryan, Michelle White, Gerard Hogan or Brian Bergin. Parents should note that 100% of the sales will go towards the development of facilities for their children and their support is greatly appreciated.
CLUB HISTORY BOOK: Work is on-going in putting a book together documenting the club’s history. It had been planned to have this finished for the end of this year but with an official opening of the Astro Arena due in April with John Delaney of the FAI in attendance and the possibility of work commencing on a new clubhouse in the latter half of next year, it has been decided to extend the deadline in order for these major landmarks in the club’s history to be recorded. Anyone with any photographs or articles can submit them on the club’s website (www.ballymackeyfc.com) or e-mail them firstname.lastname@example.org or hand them in person to any committee member or coach.
CLUB WEBSITE: The Club wishes to extend its gratitude to all those who are regularly logging on to our website (www.ballymackeyfc.com) and in particular those who have been relaying compliments to the Club for the its efforts in promoting our players talents and commitment. There is still much work left to be done on the website, particularly with the younger boys and girls teams, but we will get to them all in the coming months. Ballymackey FC also welcomes the opposition players who log on to view the up-to-date photographs of our games and engage with us through our Facebook page. Bígí linn!