TOMORROW we are preparing to welcome Harry McConkey and his Ballinamallard side to Inver Park on what has the potential to be very special day in the life of our club.
It’s well documented that one point will secure the Bluefin Sports Championship for the club, our first league title in 47 years, which would be a fantastic feat given that we haven’t yet reached the middle of March.
The players and management team have worked so hard to put us into this position, and it would be very special to do it at Inver Park, in front of what will no doubt be another very healthy crowd.
However, this doesn’t mean that we are taking anything for granted. Our last game against Harry’s boys ended in a well deserved victory for the Mallards and we were pushed all the way to win the corresponding game at Inver Park, 1-0 back in August. Not to mention the fact that they come into this game having just reached the semi-final of the Tennent’s Irish Cup – a brilliant achievement.
The challenge will be considerable, but let’s hope we can get over the line and celebrate as one club and one town.
Should all go to plan, we have been informed by NIFL that the trophy will be presented after the Portadown game at Inver Park on Saturday April 6th, with a special ‘trophy day’ planned for the last home game of the season, against the Welders on Saturday 20th April.
As the manager has said in the press this week, the opportunity to clinch the title tomorrow would be the perfect pick-me-up after the disappointment of last Friday evening’s defeat to Coleraine in the Irish Cup.
To be in the positions we were, at 2-0 and 3-2 up, it was a real blow to lose the tie, but we can take consolation from the spectacle and entertainment that we contributed massively towards. We have received such warm plaudits for the way we approached the game, for the football the players produced and many have said it was the Irish League game of the season.
The fact that the game was a sell out and live on BBC television it contributed massively to this and I believe it was glimpse of what this club has got to offer in the seasons ahead. While disappointed in defeat, we can be hugely proud together of what we put on show to the viewing public. It certainly whets the appetite for more big occasions.
It is hard to believe that after tomorrow we will have just two home games left at Inver Park before the curtain comes down on the season. It’s been a hugely memorable campaign to date, and I would once again urge you to keep on turning up in your numbers from tomorrow onwards.
Come and be the 12th man for us tomorrow and hopefully see us over the line and then we can have a lot to celebrate together in those final two outings at Inver.
As ever, we are deeply grateful for the support from our sponsors ahead of tomorrow. FP McCann are with us as Match Sponsor and we welcome Councillors Greg McKeen and Paul Reid as our Ball Sponsors. Thanks also to the Curran Court Hotel who provide our pre-match preparation, Graham’s Pizzas who look after the post match food and Classic Drinks for sponsoring our Man of the Match award throughout the season.