Sports

Europe here we come . . .

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Europe here we come . . . thumbnailJumping for joy! David Jeffrey shows his sheer delight at guiding Ballymena United into Europe. Assistant Bryan McLoughlin (right) and the United players and officials join the fun. GB2087DP56

SUPER-SUB striker Kevin Braniff smashed in the winner on Friday night - and secured a Europa League 200,000 pot of gold for Ballymena United.
The 34-year-old had only one thing on his mind when he cut across the Showgrounds pitch - and that was having a shot at glory.
Helped with a wicked deflection the well struck shot thundered off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net.
Key the celebrations for the packed house of home fans all eager to see the Sky Blues make history.
The supporters almost lifted the roof - a taster of what was to follow when Referee Arnold Hunter blew the final whistle.
At full time the stadium erupted. Young fans spilled on to the pitch. It was a night to remember for the faithful United followers, who until the arrival of David Jeffrey and Bryan McLaughlin, were starved of such occasions!
Fans cheered, jumped for joy, hugged each other and sang their hearts out - Jeffrey, too, marched proudly up and down the tarmac, signing and stopping along his route for keep sake selfies, on a night which was pure dreamland for the United supporters and backroom staff.
With 14 minutes gone Glenavon's Joel Cooper broke down the left and fired a shot just wide of the base of the postl.
At the other end United broke quickly, but as Cathair Friel was about to dart for goal he was flagged offside.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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