Ballynure Old Boys’ winning streak of 10 on the trot came to an end when they were knocked out of the Intermediate Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Championship 2 side Sport & Leisure Swifts were the visitors at Mossley and they advanced to round four on a 2-1 scoreline.
With several regulars missing, Ballynure manager Gary Burns had to recruit Luke Armstrong, Johnny Kane, Conor Graham and Phil Moreland from the 2nd XI, but they gave the favourites a run for their money.
Striker Ricky Higgins played a major role in central midfield, while stand-in ‘keeper Ryan Stewart was named Man of the Match.
He had to retrieve the ball from the net twice in the first half. Former Larne centre-back Liam Carland gave the Swifts the lead and James McGrogan doubled their advantage. After the interval only three stunning saves kept the score down.
Ballynure’s best scoring chances fell to Josh McIlroy, Robert Watson and Kane, while Sammy Duff starred on the right wing with his darting runs up-field.
Substitute Ronnie Burns secured a late consolation score when his cross-shot crept in at the back post.
“Inexperience cost us in this one; if we had been at full strength I think that we would have been in the next round,” said manager Gary Burns.