Causeway Chronicle

Mary Pat’s triumph in 55th James Balmer Memorial Cup

Hats off to Mary Pat’s who clinched their first Balmer Cup final triumph at the Village Grounds in Macosquin.

The final, which was well attended despite the more illustrious finals of the SuperCupNI taking place across the Province, was an evenly contested affair. Ian Parkhill slotted Mary Pats into a lead after they had squandered several good chances and were denied on a couple of occasions by Macosquin keeper Brandon Warke.

However, what this young Macosquin side lacked in experience and guile, they made up with individual flair and passion that saw them draw level before the break.

More of the same in he opening exchanges of the second half, Mary Pats pressing for a second goal with Macosquin dangerous on the break. However, as the game wore on, experience told and Mary Pats took the lead through Parkhill who went on to complete his hat-trick as Mary Pats eventually ran out 4-1 winners on the night.

Despite the scoreline, it was an excellent display from the young Macosquin team whom showed they can mix it with the best and on this performance, they should see a very much improved season ahead in the Coleraine and District League.

After the final whistle, Robert Downs and Barry White, one off the founder members of the James Balmer Memorial Cup made the presentations.

Both men made a presentation to Ivan McAfee, a local man who has been instrumental in preparing the grounds and clearing up after every tie and also to match official Alan McQuiston, who had an excellent gamer as referee, ably assisted by linesmen Stephen Blair and Nigel McVey.

The James Blamer Memorial Cup was presented to Mary Pats captain Mervyn McConaghie who received the prestigious trophy from Barry White and Robert Downes.

James Balmer Memorial Cup organisers Robert Downes (left) and founder member Barry White with the coveted James Balmer Memorial Cup, now in its 55th year.

Mary Pats, winners of the 2023 James Balmer Memorial Cup, defeating Macosquin 4-1 in the final.

James Balmer Memorial Cup founder member Barry White presents the Balmer Cup to Mary Pats captain Mervyn McConaghie watched by Robert Downes.

Clark and Lana Burton, grandchildren of tournament organiser Robert Downes presents the Man of the Match award to Mary Pats’ Ian Parkhill. Included is tournament founder Barry White.

Match officials from left Nigel McVey, Alan McQuiston, and Stephen Blair receive their officials’ awards from Barry White and Robert Downes.

Ivan McAfee receives a special award in recognition of his tremendous work preparing and clearing up before and after every Balmer Cup tie from organisers Robert Downes and Barry White.

Ivan McAfee with the local Chelsea Supporters Club(?)

Threee lovely ladies bringing a bit of glamour to the Balmer Cup final.

Robert Downes, organiser off the James Balmer Memorial Cup with grandchildren Clark and Lana Burton


Maurice Bradley