New signings on show at Ferney Park
Craig Hill in action in the Gary Bownes cup game between Ballinamallard Utd and Dungannon Swifts
Ballinamallard Utd 0 Dungannon Swifts 1
A number of Ballinamallard's new signings were on show at Ferney Park this afternoon when the home side came up against Dungannon Swifts in the Gary Bownes Memorial Cup.
The game is played annually between Gary's two former clubs. It's seven years since the mercurial and stylish player passed away, and after the match members of his family, including his dad Ken presented the trophy to the Swifts who won the match 1-0 thanks to a second half strike by Michael McKerr.
He had cut in from the left and bypassed full back Craig Hill before lashing in a strike at keeper James McGrath's near post.
The result at a sunny Ferney Park, however, was almost incidental.
For as well as the main purpose of remembering Gary Bownes, the sides used the match as a good workout ahead of their meeting on August 11 at the same venue, which will mark Mallards debut in the Irish Premier League.
Manager Whitey Anderson introduced several of his new signings. Most prominent was ex-Southampton player Ciaran Harpur, who lined out at centre-half in a defensive partnership with Mark Stafford.
Ryan Campbell came on up front, while the home crowd also got a glimpse of Liam Martin and in midfield Conor O'Grady got his first serious run-out for 10 months.
New keeper Alvin Rouse played the first half.
In all Anderson used 16 players, and stated he is looking to press on with the team's match fitness preparation ahead of the big August kick-off.
Off the pitch, preparations are also taking shape, with the two new stands now in place, albeit awaiting the seating.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 14 Jul 12