Ballymena & Provincial League toasts season of success

Assistant secretary Jane McIlrath presents the Sportsperson of the Year award to Keith Thompson of Ballymoney United Reserves (Junior Division 1), Lee Barr of Rasharkin United (Intermediate) and Joe Ward of Encore FC (Junior Division 3). INBT 24-188CS
Assistant secretary Jane McIlrath presents the Sportsperson of the Year award to Keith Thompson of Ballymoney United Reserves (Junior Division 1), Lee Barr of Rasharkin United (Intermediate) and Joe Ward of Encore FC (Junior Division 3). INBT 24-188CS

ANOTHER successful season in the history of the Ballymena & Provincial League was reviewed on Friday evening as the league held its annual dinner.

Pride of place at the function, held as always at the home of the league sponsors, Michelin Athletic Club, went to Raceview, who secured a fabulous league championship and O’Gorman Cup double.

Those exploits also earned Raceview boss Jason Cairns the Manager of the Year accolade to complete a memorable evening for the Broughshane club.

However, despite a staggering array of silverware on show, it wasn’t all about the winners, with league secretary Billy McIlroy thanking everyone who helped make it a successful season across its intermediate and three junior divisions.

“The club officials and committee members who are always there carrying out the chores required and raising funds are certainly worth their weight in gold.

“To them all I say a very big thank you as without them football would die.”

Billy also thanked a number of other people, including the league’s office-bearers who, between them have chalked up an amazing 100 years’ service, Michelin Athletic Club for continuing to host the league’s annual dinner and monthly meetings and various local councils for providing facilities.

In typical fashion, Billy is already looking ahead to the next campaign, adding: “The new season ahead will certainly be another challenge for us all particularly on the administration front and will require the commitment of everyone to make it a success. “

Other speakers at the function included Councillor Tommy Nicholl, representing Ballymena Borough Council; Norman Kerr (Michelin Athletic Club); Robert Fenton; and Don Stirling (Ballymena United).

The following prizes were awarded:

League championships (sponsored by Michelin Athletic Club):

Junior Division Three: winners - 1st Mossley YM; runners-up - Carnmoney FC; Junior Division Two: winners - 3rd Ballyclare Old Boys; runners-up - Cookstown Olympic; Junior Division One: winners - Ballyclare Comrades Res; runners-up - Killymoon Rangers Res; Intermediate division: winners – Raceview; runners-up – Newtowne.

Canada Trophy (sponsored by Presentation Trophies) - 3rd Ballyclare Old Boys.

Linda Welshman Memorial Cup - Killymoon Rangers Res.

McReynolds Cup (sponsored by Ballymena United FC) – Newtowne.

Crawford Cup – Brantwood.

O’Gorman Cup (sponsored by Robert Fenton) – Raceview.

Fair Play Team of Year: Junior Division 3 - 14th Newtownabbey; Junior Division 2 - Cookstown Olympic; Junior Division 1 - Moyola Park Olympic; Intermediate – Newtowne.

Manager of the Year: Junior Division 3 - Stephen Brown (1st Mossley YM); Junior Division 2 - Ricky Brewster (3rd Ballyclare OB); Junior Division 1 - Jonathan Watson (Ballyclare Com Res); Intermediate - Jason Cairns (Raceview).

Leading Goalscorer: Junior Division 3 - Ricky Thompson (Carnmoney FC, 26 goals); Division 2 - Jon Davey (3rd Ballyclare OB, 30); Junior Division 1 - Gareth Henry (Glebe Rangers Res, 33); Intermediate - Gary Moore (Newtowne, 39).

Sportsperson of Year (sponsored by Jackie Peacock): Junior Division 3 - Joe Ward (Encore FC); Junior Division 2 - Maurice Taggart (Woodlands); Junior Division 1 - Keith Thompson (Ballymoney Utd Res); Intermediate - Lee Barr (Rasharkin United).

Young Player of Year (sponsored by Jackie Peacock): Junior Division 3 - Alan McQuitty (1st Mossley YM); Junior Division 2 - Michael Plant (Ballyclare North End); Junior Division 1 - Mark McAllister (Ballyclare Com Res); Intermediate - Jonny Robinson (Ballynure Old Boys).

Player of Year (sponsored by Jackie Peacock): Junior Division 3 - Stephen Boyles (1st Mossley YM); Junior Division 2 - David Brown (3rd Ballyclare OB); Junior Division 1 - Conor Reid (Ballymoney Utd Res); Intermediate - Gary Moore (Newtowne).