Delight for Ballycastle with Steele and Sons Shield win

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BALLYCASTLE United picked up their first silverware in 20 years after defeating Kilrea 2-1 in the Steele and Sons Shield final at Coleraine Showgrounds on Saturday night.

The win was a personal triumph for manager, Lee Watterson and his assistant, Daniel Mooney. For fans and management it was also a night to remember as they embraced each other at the end of an exciting game.

Manager Watterson admitted he was lost for words afterwards.

He said: “I have played for the club for 10 years and it was amazing to see the flawless support shown on the night of the final and I feel we couldn’t have done it without them.

“In our amazing cup run we beat Aghadowey, Garvagh, UUC, Portrush and then Kilrea in the big night at Coleraine Showgrounds. That’s four afternoon league teams.

“The squad of players at BUFC are all my friends and that’s what makes my job easier and extra special to share such an achievement with them. The extra training has paid off, beach runs over Christmas and new year kept everyone focused.

“Massive praise has to go to the running of the club with Paul Fitzpatrick (sectary) and (Chairman) Billy Watson who has waited a long time for success.

“For now it’s back to the drawing board with two massive league games needing two wins to win the Coleraine Morning District League, meaning by this Saturday we could have a cup double in our hands.

“With another semi final to play against Portstewart on Saturday 4th May it could be nothing short of historic to lift three cups (Steele and Sons), (Chronicle cup) along with the Coleraine league title.

“A remarkable treble winning season for Ballycastle in my first year in management. But it’s one game at a time and we’ve made our priority to win our domestic league. The squad of players have been outstanding this season and without them it wouldn’t be worth it. Have nothing but praise for the entire squad.”

Ballycastle’s triumph met with approval from other neighbouring teams with one – Balymoney Olympic – posting their congratulations on Facebook.

“Well done Ballycastle from all at Ballymoney Olympic. Worthy winners last night and seem a worthy team to take the league title,” the message said.