Wakehurst finish league campaign on high note

Conor Gregg scored a hat-trick as Wakehurst beat Ballymoney United 4-1 in their last game of the season.
Conor Gregg scored a hat-trick as Wakehurst beat Ballymoney United 4-1 in their last game of the season.

Wakehurst manager Ian Gregg was pleased as his side ended a largely forgettable season on a high note at the weekend.

The Ballymena men completed their Belfast Telegraph Championship Two campaign with a 4-1 win over already-relegated Ballymoney United on Friday night.

“It was a good way to sign off for the season, especially after losing five games in a row before that,” said Gregg.

“It was a fairly changed side so it was good to put together a decent performance and result - we created a bagful of chances apart from the ones we scored.”

Leading goalscorer Conor Gregg was once again the key figure for Wakehurst, scoring a hat-trick after setting up Andy Laughlin for his side’s opening goal.

Gregg scored a second for Wakehurst before half-time when he latched onto Douglas Stevenson’s free kick into the channel, nipped past a defender before hammering a shot across the keeper.

Gregg scored a similar type of goal - this time from the left side of the penalty area - after the break after being played in by Ryan Gregg and the striker completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after he had been hauled down by the goalkeeper, before Ballymoney scored a late consolation.

It brought some light for Wakehurst at the end of a difficult season in which they finished third from bottom in Championship Two and Gregg is all too aware that a similar performance next season will see Wakehurst lose their Irish League status as Championship Two is trimmed back to 12 teams from the 2016-17 season.

“We will be looking to bring players in to produce added competition for places because we know next year is going to be a big year.

“Some players will be stepping aside and we will look as improving all different aspects of the club.

“That goes from the coaching side of things to trying to source better training facilities. Eaton Park has been good for us in terms of giving us somewhere to train under lights but we don’t even have proper nets for training purposes.

“It won’t be easy getting players in because our situation of where we play at least partly deters local players from giving it a go at a higher level,” added Gregg.

Wakehurst: Swan, Ross, Stevenson, Colville, Price, Young, Gilmore, Laughlin, R Gregg, Foster, C Gregg. Subs: Erwin, Parker, Lemon, Millar, Alexander.