Ballymoney United boss Peter Cairns said he was ‘thrilled’ for his players after they won the Intermediate League after a 3-3 draw with Trojans on Saturday.
“I am so delighted for the players and everyone involved with the Club,” he said.
The celebrations went long into the night, but Saturday’s league win came down to the final kick of the game. “It’s a tight league,” said Cairns. “We didn’t start the season well, but for everything to come down to the last match of the season, and for the players put on a great display, it just makes it all worth while,” said Cairns.
United started the decider on the front foot attacking Trojans from the word go.
McLaughlin came close for the home side, but at the other end McCarron brought a scrambled save from Coyle pushing the ball into the path of McFadden whose shot was cleared of the line by Dempsey.
Ballymoney soaked up a period of Trojans pressure and a long clearance by Gault put in Lyons, who sized up his options to calmly shot wide of McCrudden to give Ballymoney the lead on 25 minutes. Ballymoney went further ahead ten minutes later when a McLaughlin corner found McClelland who hit home from close range.
Trojans responded, McFadden found himself in space and fired a great shot goalward for Coyle to bring off a great great save. He pushing the ball into the path of McDonald, who fired in an equally good goalward shot only to see Coyle, who was still regaining composure, launching himself across goal to bring of a fantastic save. With half time approaching a speculative cross from McCarron was turned into his own net by McClelland who was trying to clear the danger to let Trojans back into the game.
Trojans started the second half the more competitive of the two teams and equalised on 50 minutes through McCarron. This was a good period of play by Trojans. McFadden put the visitors in front on 54 minutes, but this proved to be the shake up that Ballymoney needed and they sprung into action.
Lyons and Mark Gillan combined well to see Lyons levelling the scores again.
Ballymoney continued to press but the resilient McClean cleared up any danger from the home attacks. On a counter attack McCarron broke clear and fired in a brilliant shot. In the final moments, Ballymoney showed some resilient defending themselves and held on to get the draw and subsequently win the league title by two points.