balmer cup could return next year

Gregory Campbell MP, Eleanor Cole, club treasurer, Des McAfee, club chairman, and Jackie McAfee, team manager, pictured at Macosquin FC Football Pitch.
Gregory Campbell MP, Eleanor Cole, club treasurer, Des McAfee, club chairman, and Jackie McAfee, team manager, pictured at Macosquin FC Football Pitch.

After years of campaigning, Macosquin Football Club, one of Coleraine’s longest established Clubs, will finally have a football pitch up to the standard of others in the Borough.

Work is currently under way on the pitch in the middle of the village, famous for the Balmer Cup, thanks to intervention by East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell.

And it is hoped that the Balmer Cup, named in memory of Jimmy Balmer a well known figure in the village, will return next summer after an absence of four years.

Speaking to Times Sport last week, Macosquin Chairman Dessie McAfee welcomed the improvements: “For many years we have been campaigning for a better playing surface, but we have had little or no support up until now.”

MP Gregory Campbell added: “Coleraine Borough Council has included Macosquin within Capital Pitch Improvements and a drainage works programme. I have been informed by the Council that the football pitch will be ready for playing on by Christmas. This is a good news story for the village and community of Macosquin.

Club Manager, Jackie McAfee said: “After thirty years of waiting, we will finally have a pitch that is up to scratch.

“This battle for better facilities dates back to the sixties when Jim Whyte put a team into the Intermediate League. But due to the size of the pitch, over hanging trees and other stipulations the team were unable to play at home, and that has been the case now for many years. It will be wonderful to have a home pitch in Macosquin.” SEE INSIDE.