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Since 1979...

Christmas 2011

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OLYMPIC FLAME TO LIGHT UP BALLYMENA Ballymena and North Antrim have been included in the Northern Ireland route for the Olympic Flame which was unveiled by Olympic organisers recently. And Mr Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman, and member of the Agriculture and Culture Committees, has appealed to all constituents for a “massive and magnificent turnout” to welcome the London Olympic Flame as it comes through the area. On Sunday 3 June, 2012, the Flame will come into Ballycastle from Cushendall, and then proceed to Dervock and Bushmills, before heading into Portrush. Then on Thursday 7 June, the Flame will enjoy its highlight of the nationwide tour when it comes to Ballymena and Moorfields on the final leg of its Northern Ireland route.

See page 2 for full story


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continued from front page Mr Swann added: “I am really pleased the organisers have included North Antrim in the London Olympic Torch relay through Northern Ireland. The Olympic Games is one of the world’s greatest sporting events and constituents will have a chance to be a part of those historic games by being present to cheer on the Flame as it makes its way, not just across Northern Ireland, but specifically through our own North Antrim.” Flaming history The association of a flame with the Olympics dates back to the games of Ancient Greece which began over 2700 years ago. Then a flame burned throughout the duration of the games in honour of the gods Zeus and Hera. Although the modern games began in 1896, the icon of the Olympic flame did not make a return until the Amsterdam games of 1928. The concept of a flame emanating from Greece reaching the destination of the games via a torch relay has darker and more

sinister roots. This was first conceived for the Berlin Olympics of 1936 and was utilised by the Nazis for propaganda purposes. The 1936 torch passed through Yugoslavia, Hungry, Czechoslovakia, and Austria – all countries that within three years the Nazis would occupy. Political controversy has continued to follow the torch, notably in 2008 when protesters used the procession to highlight Chinese human rights abuses. The torch also has a history of farce and mishap. In 1976 a Montreal runner simply brought out his cigarette-lighter when the flame went out. In 1956 a practical joker managed to join the route of the relay into Sydney carrying a torch made out of a chair leg and a plum pudding can. Burning in the can was a pair of the runner’s Y-fronts. Mistaking the clearly fraudulent torch as the real-deal, the police escorted the intruder into the city where the torch was solemnly collected by Sydney’s mayor in front of a cheering crowd. The creative joker made a quick exit before an embarrassed mayor noticed his mistake.

The Buick Memorial P2’s get into the Christmas spirit as they practise for their seasonal play ‘Santa’s Lost His Hat’

To showcase your community group, achievement, fundraiser or event email the details and/or pics to your community newspaper:

Entertainment at the Braid Arts Centre James Huish & The Michael Bublé Tribute Band

Robert Mizzell in Concert with Special Guest Lisa McHugh

An evening of the best of Michael Bublé with the fabulous James Huish – a talent to take your breath away! Book early to avoid disappointment.

Country singer Robert Mizzell has made Ireland his home for the past seventeen years. With his five-piece band, The Country Kings, he has risen to become the premier country music act in Ireland, regularly filling venues across the country.

Saturday 3rd December 2011 8.00pm Tickets £16

Pantomime Season - C21 Theatre Company Presents ‘Little Red Riding Hood’

Wednesday 7th December to Thursday 22nd December 2011 Tickets – Adults £12, Concession £10, Family £36 – 2 adults, 2 children

Christmas Presents at The Braid Arts Centre … January – Panto Season continues at The Braid with The Alternative Medicine Theatre Company presenting: Cinderella

5th to 8th January – Matinee Shows and Evening Shows A great night out for all the family

Wednesday 18th January 8.00pm Tickets £20

Conal Gallen – Comedy Night Friday 27th January 8.00pm Tickets £20

David Hull Promotions Presents Give My Head Peace Friday 4th and Saturday 5th May 8.00pm Tickets £20

The World’s Greatest Michael Jackson Tribute ……. Ever! Saturday 19th May 8.00pm Tickets £14

Spectacular costume changes and as close as you’ll get to the real thing – a fabulous non-stop music show

David Hull Promotions Presents Foster & Allen Saturday 24th March 8.00pm Tickets £20

For further information and to book tickets call the Braid Box Office on 2563 5900 Box Office Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am-10pm (Sept-June, close 5pm July and August) Saturday 9am-4pm Sunday CLOSED Tickets are non-refundable/ doors open 30 minutes before the show starts/ unreserved seating.

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Trust hosts Major Incident Exercise In order to be prepared for the unexpected the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) proactively plan and prepare for incidents that may result in large numbers of casualties, and they recently hosted a Major Incident Table-Top Exercise, which involved staff from both Antrim and Causeway Hospitals and representatives from external agencies

The scenario for the exercise was a road traffic accident between Ballymena and Ballymoney. Both Antrim Area and Causeway Hospitals had to declare a major incident and respond. The aim of this exercise was to test the communication process between both Antrim Area and Causeway Hospitals and the external agencies involved. Kellie Liddy, Northern Health and Social Care

Trust, Emergency Planning & Business Continuity Manager said: “The exercise proved to be a success and feedback from Trust staff and the external agencies involved has been positive”. “I would like to express my thanks to all who assisted with the planning of the exercise, and to all those who participated on the day,” she added.

Travelling abroad this winter? If you’re thinking about or have already booked a holiday abroad over Christmas or the New Year, whether it’s in the winter sun or to a ski resort, make sure you check that your passport won’t be out of date.

You need to ensure now that your passport will be valid at time of travel. Otherwise, you risk missing out on your trip. Renewing or getting a new passport now will help you avoid unnecessary worry and expense. Even if you still have up to six months validity left,

you should consider reapplying as this will be added to your new passport. If you need to apply for an adult passport for the first time, be mindful that the process can take around six weeks due to enhanced security checks and face-to-face interviews.

Council take initiative on Ballee Path Cllr Paul Frew MLA for North Antrim has thanked the Council for taking responsibility for cleaning and sweeping the Ballee Path which runs between Lettercreeve and the grounds of the old school. Frew stated: “I have spoken to a number of people who have to use this path and it was concerning to find out that a number of elderly

residents have fallen and slipped on the surface of the path because of the debris on it, items like leaves and mud, moss and dog foul. This can be very dangerous for people who are not too steady on their feet at the best of times who could have fallen and broken hips or limbs and could have spent weeks in hospital or care. “It was sorted out very

quickly with Council officials investigating the path and agreeing to sweep and clean the path, and to monitor the path over the coming months. Once the path is cleaned and swept I will check out what the surface is like and I might need to call on the Road Service to resurface parts if it’s needed,” he told the Doorstep Advertiser.

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Calls for clarity from DARD on EU fines Chair of the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee Paul Frew has said it is vital that DARD gives clarity and certainty to the public in Northern Ireland around the £100million in fines which are faced by the Department from the European Commission. The North Antrim MLA said: “Everyone in Northern Ireland would agree that the possibility of around £100million in fines being levied against the Department of Agriculture is very significant. Whilst £64 million of this relates to fines incurred during the period between 2005 and 2008, what is also concerning is that the rest of this relates to possible £15m per year between 2009 and this year. He added: “In these difficult economic circumstances there is an obvious pressure on all public finances so it is important to know as soon as possible exactly what the

final bill may be and when this will have to be paid. Whilst the minister herself has only been in office a relatively short period of time we must remember that the period covered by these fines does extend throughout the entire time of the previous minister, Michelle Gildernew. As well as bringing the issue to the floor of the house, the Agriculture Committee will continue to look at the situation in more detail over the coming weeks and seeking a degree of certainty for the future,” he added. And Mr Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assembly member, has warned that the province’s farmers must “not become convenient scapegoats for departmental blunders” He stated: “A bad misconception is being put out there that mismanagement of EU

funding by farmers has caused the fines. So, we need to ask how this has been allowed to happen”. “The countryside management scheme and delivery of EU funding programmes have been a steep learning curve. DARD has been doing it since 2005. I would have hoped that it would have got there by now. We talk about future fines that are coming.

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“What concerns me is that we are looking at further greening under the next CAP review. If DARD is not getting it right now, after six years, the Assembly has a lot to worry about and the farming industry has a lot to fear. “It is clear to people like myself on the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development that some DARD officials are not portrayed as being at all effective and competent,” said Assemblyman Swann.

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Bus trip to Belfast Christmas Market A bus to the famous Belfast Continental Christmas Market will be leaving Portglenone Bank Square on Thursday 8 December at

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interested should contact Mary on 07968210640.

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Keep up anti-bullying campaign North Antrim Ulster Unionist Mr Robin Swann MLA, has congratulated all the schools and organisations who contributed to making November’s Anti-Bullying Week such a success. The UUP man called on the community to take the main theme of Anti Bullying Week and make combating bullying a yearlong campaign, such is the seriousness of the issue. Assemblyman Swann said: “In calling for the community to give its total backing to this very necessary initiative, I also thank the schools and the police in the constituency for all their efforts in stamping out the scourge

of bullying – and I certainly pledge our full support for this worthy campaign. “Bullying has become one of the great social evils of this new millennium and must be combated head-on in every forum. School bullying especially can never be justified under any circumstances. “The hard reality is that if bullying is not properly stamped out, it can leave lasting emotional, mental and even physical scars on the victims right through their adult lives. “Bullies themselves must be left in no doubt they could face the full rigours of the law if they do not desist from their heinous actions. I particularly call on all responsible parents

to support the themes of Anti-Bullying Week right throughout the entire year. If they find their child is the victim of bullying, it is their moral duty to seek as much assistance as possible in helping the child.” “Likewise, if they discover their child is involved in bullying, such parents have an equal moral imperative to take responsibility and prevent their child from further bullying activities. “I also urge the parents and relatives of victims of bullying to work closely with the schools and the police and not be tempted to take the law into their own hands,” added Assemblyman Swann.

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50% off your food bill at Pizza Hut, excluding drinks, buffet & meal deals. One voucher per table. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Original voucher to be shown at the time of ordering and presented on payment. Ballymena branch only. North Antrim UUP MLA Robin Swann and fellow Assembly members Jo-Anne Dobson and Dolores Kelly chat with pupils during a presentation on anti-bullying tactics

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Changes to MOT test New changes are proposed to the MOT test because of the increasing sophistication of modern vehicles and the need to standardise European vehicle testing standards. Montgomerys Hardware in Cullybackey has been trading for over 20 years taking pride in offering a friendly service to our customers. With competent staff and quality product range we strive to ensure customer care.

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Modern vehicles incorporate many more electrical safety systems and the European Commission has decided that these systems should now be included in the MOT test. These additional test requirements will ensure vehicles are properly maintained and tested and will also make a significant contribution to road safety and

environmental protection. To facilitate preparation by motorists and garages for the introduction of the changes, it is proposed that the new test will be carried out on an advisory basis from 1 February to 30 April 2012. If any of the new requirements are found to be defective, the customers will be advised of the issues but the vehicle will not be failed. The changes to the test will become fully effective on 1 May 2012. The new testable items will include headlamp main beam dashboard lights; electrical socket

The proposed changes to the various roadworthiness tests will not result in any direct fee increases.

Sean Kearney of St James’s Place Wealth Management Presents a cheque for £2,500 to Mrs Margaret Redmond of Portglenone Enterprise Group in support of the great work being done by volunteers in the area for young people with special needs

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for trailers, including the function of 13 pin sockets; steering, suspension, brake and transmission dust covers/gaiters; steering wheel locking mechanism; malfunction indicator lamps (MILs); steering and brake fluid levels including warning lamps; and an increase of brake efficiency for cars first used on or after 31 December 2011 (from 50% to 58%).


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Allister: ‘Enterprise Minister has no idea how many alleged jobs actually exist!’ Commenting on exchanges in the Assembly during Questions to the DETI Minister, TUV Leader Jim Allister expressed amazement that an Executive which likes to trumpet that Invest NI has ‘promoted’ 25,000 jobs since 2011, cannot say how many of those jobs actually came into existence and still exist.

“How is it that we have a DETI Minister who does not know how many jobs Invest NI – whose Chief Executive she rewarded with approval of a £35,000 performance bonus – has really created. She has been in office for years – did she never think to ask? How can you judge the latest promise of another 25,000 jobs without knowing

how the makers of that promise actually delivered in the last Programme for Government? “One reality we do know is that under this government unemployment has spiralled from 26,000 in 2007 to 61,000 today!”

Swann urges boiler scheme action Mr Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assembly member, has challenged the Stormont Executive to ensure the Boiler Replacement Scheme stays on course. Assemblyman Swann, who is also North Antrim UUP Chairman and Party Energy Spokesman, threw down the gauntlet to the Executive during ministerial questions in the Stormont Chamber.

Mr Swann said: “I asked the Executive minister if he could detail how many boilers he expected to have replaced at this point in time, and was he content with the current progress? “In his response to me, the minister said he estimated that the total amount of money would have assisted 1,300 households. The most recent figure he had was that there have been 500 successful applications. By the end of the year, he

hoped that we will be well up towards our target.” “As party energy spokesman, I fully intend to ensure I keep the minister to his schedule for the benefit of constituents. For many people, having their boiler replaced as soon as possible could well be the difference between deciding to keep warm or deciding to eat,” added Assemblyman Swann.

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Foxes: the farmer’s cunning foe Local farmers have been expressing dismay at the deadly affect of foxes on their livestock recently. Throughout the ages fox attacks have been a perennial problem for farmers seeking to defend their livelihood, but recent incidents have brought the issue back into focus. Alongside traditional measures against the menace, some farmers are considering more radical solutions.

The scale of the problem is difficult to quantify but fox attacks can wipe out entire stocks of poultry and cost sheep farmers dozens of lambs each year. Estimates indicate that the UK fox population has remained relatively stable over the last thirty years – at around 250,000. The difficulty in protecting stock against the fox is increased by the predator’s willingness to frequently travel more than twelve miles for an individual

attack. Furthermore, foxes can kill in a wanton fashion – leaving behind the remains of uneaten prey. The Ulster Farmers’ Union encourages farmers to use registered members of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation to deal with pest control on their land. If they contact the Association it will put farmers directly in contact with a registered marksman free of charge.

unattached to the pursuit, and some resent when hunts run their area. Outside of other traditional protections against the fox, such as electric fencing, some sheep farmers are importing fresh ideas from abroad. One such approach is to employ elaborate lighting systems. Utilising the fox’s fear of spotlighting, a system of different lights, triggered at irregular times, has dramatically decreased the number of newlyborn lambs killed in a

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The role of fox-hunting remains controversial. Banned in Great Britain, for the moment it remains legal in Northern Ireland. Many of its supporters would acknowledge that hunting is more about a culture cherished by a section of the rural population rather than an efficient method of managing foxes. Opinionpolls suggest that a majority of Northern Irish people would support banning of fox-hunting. Furthermore, a majority of farmers are

number of large Australian sheep farms. A more efficient and innovative idea is to place llamas with flocks of sheep. Popular in North America these “Guard Llamas” have become increasingly common in the UK and Ireland in recent years. One advocate of the llama, Lydna Snell, has noted that “the llama is unlikely to kill the fox but will chase it out of the flock and the fox will look for easier pickings elsewhere!”

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Mayor drives first new bus for London off production line

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, drove the first new bus for London off the production line at Wrightbus in November in a major step towards the commitment made in his last election manifesto. The New Bus for London is the first bus designed specifically for the streets of London in more than 50 years and has been built by specialist engineers at the Wrightbus factory. In just under two years the bus has gone from the drawing board to a fully functioning prototype.

The new bus incorporates the most innovative and cutting edge hybrid technology and will be the most environmentally friendly bus of its kind when it enters passenger service.

In December the prototype driven by the Mayor will make its way across the Irish Sea to London, where it will be put through its paces on the capital’s streets in preparation for entering passenger service next year. In the course of the first half of 2012 it will be joined by

seven more prototypes to be tested in passenger service, which will lead to the establishment of a full production line. A team of 25 engineers and a 40 strong production team at the Wrightbus factory in Ballymena have worked on the first prototypes. But in a difficult economic climate Boris Johnson is confident investment will be made in hundreds more buses that will support many more jobs. He said: “This fantastic machine is chock full with the latest technology

and London buses will be world leaders once again. Our new bus is an improvement on standard double decks in every respect and has been designed with this city and its wonderful population in mind. It showcases the very best of British manufacturing and design and simply oozes with quality.” Mark Nodder, Wright Group Managing Director, said: “Today sees another milestone along the way to delivering what we hope will be the best bus

in the world. It is very exciting to see Mayor Boris Johnson at the wheel of the first complete vehicle to emerge from the production line. We are all looking forward to the New Bus for London entering service in the nation’s Capital, representing as it does the culmination of almost two years’ work in design and development. Wrightbus is immensely proud to be at the centre of this unique and innovative project.”

Paterson MP, said: “This is a bus which means business for Northern Ireland. Built in collaboration with companies across the UK, it is already a huge success and represents a fantastic long term export opportunity. London buses are iconic the world over and one in every four of them is built in Northern Ireland. I am delighted that the streets of London will be showcasing some of Northern Ireland’s finest manufacturing for years to come.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen

Left: Mayor of London Boris Johnson drives the first new bus specifically designed for the streets of London in over 50 years off the production line at Wrtghtbus Ballymena Right: Mark Nodder, Wright Group Managing Director; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson; and Boris Johnson stand on the rear platform of the new London bus

Mid-Antrim Memories

by James Greer

Paisley makes his mark: the crossroads election of 1969 Rev Ian Paisley has announced his imminent retirement from the pulpit. After sixty years at the forefront of religious and political life, the 85 year-old is to concentrate on writing his memoirs. This potential bestseller will detail the extraordinary life of a man who became synonymous with this district. Pivotal to his career was the historic election of February 1969... With Northern Ireland on the verge of the abyss, Paisley challenged the Prime Minister in a contest that captivated and divided the area.

The ability of Paisley to challenge the authority of the established order was to become a broader theme in his rise to power. Paisley condemned the elites of Ulster with a message that saw no separation between religion and politics. According to Paisley, church leaders and Unionist Prime Ministers were both guilty of betrayal in the face of what his newspaper, The Protestant Telegraph, called “the hordes of Romanism and the compromises of O’Neillism”.

By 1969, with the wider political situation deteriorating, a beleaguered O’Neill appealed over the heads of his divided Party directly to the electorate. He said that Ulster was “at a crossroads” and he hoped an election would confirm that the country was turning in his moderate direction. Paisley immediately announced a challenge to the Prime Minister in his own backyard. The stage was set for an election which would shape the future of Northern Ireland.

O’Neill had been MP for Bannside since 1946 and Prime Minister from 1963. A shy man, he was a Unionist leader from the old mould with a landed-gentry background and schooling at Eton, followed by a military career and then a quick ascent up the political ladder.

Also contesting the election was a young Marxist from Magherafelt, the People’s Democracy candidate Michael Farrell. Recalling the campaign, Farrell told me that his team initially believed that O’Neill would win the seat easily, but they quickly realised that the Unionist Party was “very far removed from the ordinary population.” This separation was to prove vital to Paisley’s long-term success, because alongside hard-line opposition to nationalism and Catholicism, Paisley’s campaign also raised bread and butter concerns that resonated with the electorate. Farrell was “absolutely shocked by the poverty in the area”, and notes that both his campaign and Paisley’s quoted the same damning statistics on the poor state of housing in the area.

Paisley’s background was very different. His father was a Baptist pastor working in Armagh when Ian was born in 1926. Soon his father moved to Hill Street Baptist church in Ballymena, before establishing the Independent Waveney Road Tabernacle. Educated at the local Model School the young Paisley followed in his father’s evangelical footsteps: studying theology in south Wales and then at the Belfast Reformed Presbyterian College.

When declared, the result sent shockwaves throughout Ulster. O’Neill had defeated Paisley, but only by a majority of 1,414 votes. Despite good results for his supporters elsewhere the election had not given O’Neill’s reforms the clear support that the Prime Minister required. Following more political infighting, and a series of bombings by loyalists hoping to depose him, O’Neill resigned in April 1969.

The election to the old Stormont Parliament was called by a Prime Minister who led a divided Unionist Party and a country sliding towards conflict. Despite this context, Captain Terrence O’Neill was expected to comfortably defeat the troublesome young cleric and re-assert the traditional dominance of the Unionist Party in the area.

Paisley’s charismatic oratory quickly had an impact within the orbit of Ulster evangelicalism. In 1945 he began his ministry at a mission hall on the Ravenhill Road in Belfast – it was to be his church throughout his career. In 1951 Paisley became the leader of his own denomination, the Free Presbyterian Church, formed after a dispute within a Presbyterian congregation in Crossgar.

As the Sixties progressed Paisley’s message increasingly struck a chord with a section of the unionist community uneasy at the gradual reforms being introduced by O’Neill and at the increase in dialogue between Catholic and Protestant churches. Paisley’s involvement in street protests against Irish republican flags, the Presbyterian Church, and the civil rights movement made him a focal point for international notoriety, but within Ballymena the growing influence of his movement also came up against opposition. For example, following Paisley’s imprisonment in 1966, the Council voted to ban his supporters from using the town hall for a rally.

When the result had been declared in Ballymena a senior O’Neill supporter was asked to explain why so many local unionists had deserted his Party. He replied that: “Tonight I am simply at a loss to know what to think.” Asked about his future plans Ian Paisley stated that: “I don’t think I will stand again… My pulpit is my throne and I would not put Parliament on the same level.”

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Closure of police stations can produce better policing SDLP Councillor Declan O’Loan has called for a calm assessment of the proposal to close 35 of the existing 82 police stations across Northern Ireland including Portglenone and Broughshane. Councillor O’Loan is Chair of the Ballymena District Policing Partnership but stressed that he was speaking in a personal capacity. Declan O’Loan said: “We need to get rid of the idea that we necessarily get better policing because we have lots of small local police stations. I don’t believe that this is the case. The questions that we need to ask are about the quality of policing service

that we get in all areas. That involves police officers out on the ground doing intelligent things. Local police stations have costs in themselves including the costs of security and maintenance. They tie up officers just maintaining the station’s presence.” “We are at a time when money is scarce and reducing. What money we have has to be used in the best way possible. It may well be that the Ballymena area can be best served by a central high quality police station. There needs to be fresh debate about how to solve problems that come to the police but that they are poorly equipped to deal with. Antisocial behaviour is an excellent

example. We need much more community-based approaches to these issues with a focus on prevention of problems and mediated restorative approaches when they occur. That may require shifting budgets away from traditional policing based on criminal justice solutions.” “This is a very serious and complex debate. It must not be prevented by simplistic calls to ‘save’ particular police stations. In particular, the future of police stations cannot be determined by the strength of the voice of the immediate local community articulated by local politicians.”

Use antibiotics wisely Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections, including colds and flu. Antibiotic overuse is a serious problem and a potentially a threat to everyone’s health. You should be guided by your GP as to whether or not you need an antibiotic, as many minor illnesses

will get better without one. If you have a cold or flu, antibiotics will not work. Instead, rest, fluids, paracetamol and if necessary a decongestant and/ or cough bottle, should relieve the symptoms. You should always follow your doctor’s advice

when taking antibiotics and where possible, prevent infection through appropriate vaccination. Wash your hands regularly, for instance after sneezing or coughing, and always use antibiotics under medical prescription – do not use ‘leftovers’ leftover medicines.

Light up your Christmas with this fantastic giveaway at Wellington Lighting. To be in with a chance of winning this beautiful Montana Uplighter simply answer the following question: On which famous shopping street in Ballymena would you find Wellington Lighting? Answer: Name: Number: Address:

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NRC celebrates Higher Education success with prestigious graduation ceremonies More than 400 higher education students at Northern Regional College graduated at the end of November in ceremonies held at the Tullyglass Hotel in Ballymena. The graduating students completed courses in areas including, Social Care, Counselling, Engineering, IT, Business, Management and the Built Environment and Design. Celebrating alongside students, NRC director Trevor Neilands, speaking at this year’s college graduation ceremony

in Ballymena, says enrolment statistics at NRC demonstrate the pressure on places this year. Mr Neilands said: “Across the UK, university intake has dropped by nine percent. “But in Northern Ireland the competition for university places is set to be intense with the freeze on fees. NRC full time higher education courses quickly reached their cap of 252 students with a further 986 part time students enrolling to provide a 20 percent increase in numbers.”

Mr Neilands called for a greater role for all regional colleges in providing high quality, relevant and flexible HE programmes and said: “At NRC we are very proud of our contribution to making quality, higher education more accessible both in terms of location and cost. The graduation was particularly special for local student Paula Brett, who overcame huge challenges in the last few years to complete her qualification. Paula graduated with a HNC in Business and Finance despite going

into premature labour at just 25 weeks whilst she was completing her National Diploma. Paula’s baby Grace was born on the 22 March 2008 in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast weighing just 1lb 8oz, only the size of her daddy’s hand. Being born at such an early age came with lots of complications. Grace had chronic lung disease and was on a ventilator for three and a half months. She also had to fight through many other complications such as laser surgery on her eyes, cists in her brain and

suspected cereable palsey, but the cists dispersed. Paula explained: “During this time I forced myself to go into college to finish my course. It started at 9am and finished at 12.30pm. Straight after this I would make my way to the Royal Hospital and spend the rest of the day by my tiny daughter’s bedside. I completed my diploma with the help and support of my family, fiancé and lecturers. I also had another daughter Summer who is now 2 years old. It was hard work achieving my goals,

but I want to create the best life for myself and my daughters and realise I need qualifications behind me to do so. On July 29 2011 Darren and I got married and Grace and Summer were our flower girls. Graduating was the icing on the cake for me, all my hard work has paid off and I now have recognisable qualification to show for it. I hope to go back to NRC next year to start a degree in Business and Finance.”

Left: Paula Brett who graduated with a HNC in Business and Finance from the Trostan Avenue Campus Above (L-R): Eddie Hamilton; Barbara Thompson who graduated with a Executive Secretarial Diploma; Geff Thompson; Irene Hamilton

Above Left (L-R): Amanda Maginty; Mark Maginty who graduated with a HND in Electrical/Electronic Engineering; Jackie Maginty; Cecil Maginty; Dr Brian Hill (Head of School) Above Right (L-R): Jean Simpson; Laura Simpson (HND Health & Social Care Ballymena); Robert Simpson

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FLOOR Depot’s Crazy Sale Now In Full Swing! Located at Logans Shopping Centre, Cloughmills, and Pates Lane, Coleraine these ‘one-stop’ floor shops have everything from laminate to solid flooring and carpets to vinyls. And what’s more it’s all reduced by up to 60% during the sale. Floor Depot has been established for over 10 years and prides itself in providing quality products and service to every one of their customers. Their expert team is also on hand to answer questions and queries no matter how big or how small. Measuring, fitting and delivery can also be organised on request - simply ask one of their friendly staff who will be happy to help. Floor Depot can be found at Logans Shopping Centre, Cloughmills 028 276 37979 and 3 Pates Lane Coleraine, 028 703 21595, beside N.B. Autoparts.

Cloughmills is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm and Coleraine Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm.

So why not pop in now and pick up a bargain - this Crazy Sale won’t be on for long! Ryan McIntyre of Floor De flooring on sa pot displaying the large se le at Coleraine lec and Cloughmi tion of lls Stores.


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Christmas Gifts


Christmas Gifts Galore in Ballymena It’s Christmas! And Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without giving and receiving a present or too. But we all know gift giving is tough. So we are here to help you select great Christmas gifts with our Christmas Gift Guide 2011. Not only does the giving of gifts convey friendship, love and goodwill, present giving at Christmas time is symbolic of the three wise men giving the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It truly is one of the special festive activities and one of the few where you get to add that personal touch. Let’s face it, when someone puts a little thought into a gift, it shows. So this year don’t leave it to the last minute, picking up random items here and there, rushing around on Christmas Eve... be thoughtful. Your loved ones will appreciate it. And that’s where our gift guide comes in. Ballymena town centre and the surrounding areas have a multitude of great shops and outlets where you can get those special Christmas gifts. From fine bespoke jewellery to ornamental, decorative and household gifts, and from musical instruments and sewing machines to male

grooming. It’s all on your doorstep. The best places to purchase gifts in the borough are highlighted here. Think quality, choice and friendly helpful staff who can help if needed to advise on those special gifts. Never mind the fact that with so much choice available it is a giftbuying must to hit the streets of the borough, remember that shopping locally also helps the local economy and keeps the Christmas cheer within Ballymena.

when you’ve got millions. Smaller budgets call for clever thinking (in so many areas of life). If the budget is small, you’re not going to feel great about giving a bigger gift than you can afford. So create a budget for each person and stick to it. It can be done. 2. Buy for the recipient Try not to buy something just because it appeals to you. We all fall into this trap sometimes. Think before you shop. What are the person’s hobbies, likes, needs, wants? If you don’t know the answer, choose a generic gift.

Ballymena’s best, Wellington Gifts, Nik Naks, Fiona Kerr Jewellery, Glad Tidings, Trevor Keys Music and Jacqueline Kennedy have a huge selection of presents for the entire family. Full of seasonal inspiration to make it easy to get the perfect gift this year.

3. Stay calm and enjoy it Remember it’s Christmas, so enjoy buying gifts for your loved ones. It’s all part of the festivities. Plan ahead and don’t leave it to the last minute. Less stress equals more fun!

Top Gift Buying Tips

So what are you waiting for... make your way to Ballymena’s great gift outlets for some serious Christmas shopping!

1. Budget Tough one. It’s easy to give a good gift

With Gold and Silver Designer Jewellery

A sewing machine The IDEAL Christmas Present! Tel: 028 2564 0034 Mob: 077 7465 5313 11 Wellington Street, Ballymena 12 Main Street, Portglenone Co.Antrim BT44 8AB 07527 417025

Beautiful, Contemporary Hand Made Jewellery

Truely delightful gifts to inspire you this Christmas Glad Tidings is a little haven of gems and treasures on the doorstep of Portglenone awaiting to be explored. Both mum and daughter thriving in finding exquiste gifts that are unique to Northern Ireland, at affordable prices to suit everyone. When you take a little step inside you will find an abundance of home accessories, local handcrafted products and personalised gifts to add that special touch for a truely delightful and unique gift.

We believe that there is something for everyone at Glad Tidings - Hope to see you there!

Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser


5-7 Society Street, Coleraine. Tel: 028 7044 0333 2 Wellington Street, Ballymena. Tel: 028 2565 0057

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MORE GIFT PACKAGES TAILORED TO INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AVAILABLE Wishing our customers a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year

A Truly Modern Shopping Experience At The Gift Box THE Giftbox at Wellington Gifts is celebrating its ongoing retail success with the launch of an exciting new image - both inside and out! One of Ballymena’s best known town centre shops and a leading local ‘independent’ outlet, The Giftbox at Wellington Gifts is delighted to offer its ever growing clientele a truly modern shopping experience coupled with outstanding choice and supported by traditional customer service. The shop, which is situated at 14-16 Church Street, is renowned in the borough and wider province for its huge range of gifts and collectibles by such famous names as Lladro, Royal Doulton, Border Fine Arts, Belleek Living, Royal Crown Derby, and Aynsley. Its array of crystal is just as breathtaking and includes Tipperary, Rockingham, Galway and a particularly impressive range of Waterford. As well as the traditional favourites, fresh new gift ideas are regularly - and seasonally - being added to The Giftbox mix such

as the absolutely stunning collection of Newbridge Silverware Christmas decorations which really have to be seen to be appreciated. It’s a family business and is owned and run by William and Joan Alexander, ably assisted by their son, Gareth, and daughter-inlaw Orlagh. With so many exciting gift ideas to choose from, it’s hardly surprising that Wedding Lists are a big speciality of The Giftbox at Wellington Gifts. Just recently, the gift box have opened a clearance shop next door – first class discontinued stock at half the price! And to complete the transformation,

the exterior of the shop has seen a massive transformation with a brand new refurbished shop front. William Alexander says: “This investment has been worthwhile because it will give our customers a more conducive and modern style of shopping in a department store that prides itself on good value, quality and service. If you would like to see inside The Giftbox at Wellington Gifts it’s open Monday to Saturday from 9am-5.30pm and will be open every Thursday night until 9pm from now until Christmas. You can also visit Wellington Gifts’ eshop by logging on to www.

A bright new look at The giftbox at Wellington Gifts

Beautiful Gifts

- for your home - for your friends This Christmas Gifts • Cookware • Bakeware Original Art & Prints Wellington Gifts | 14-16 Church Street | Ballymena | 028 2563 0853


Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

What’s on over Christmas & New Year The Braid Arts Centre

(See page 2 for full details of the upcoming shows and events at the Braid).

Braid Comedy Club

Date: Friday 2 December Time: 8.30pm Admission: £5 in advance or £7 on the door Come along to the monthly Comedy Club for a good laugh!

Film At The Braid - It’s A Wonderful Life Date: Thursday 22 December Times: 2pm, 4.30pm & 7pm Admission: £4

examines how museums can be a unique resource for those seeking to find out more about their family history. A free exhibition guide is also available. The guide has been produced in association with the Ulster Historical Foundation and includes a detailed section on local sources for family history research. To complement the exhibition MAMS is offering an extensive series of talks, workshops and tours. Please phone 028 256 35977 or visit our website ( for further details on the family history exhibition and programme of events. There is free admission to the exhibition and to the associated programme of events. t

The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain Inter-Federation Print Exhibition 2011 Date: 10 Nov 2011 – 26 Feb 2012

Come along for this special Christmas screening of everyone’s favourite Christmas movie. Mince pies and a festive tipple will be served to fill you with Christmas cheer!

Mid-Antrim Museum Museums – A Treasure Trove for Family History Enthusiasts Date: 10 November 2011 – 6 January 2012

The Mid-Antrim Museum is hosting The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain Inter-Federation Print Exhibition 2011 between 10 November and 26 February 2012. The exhibition is made up of 71 monochrome and 81 colour photographs that represent a diversity of both subject matter and style and were selected from 643 photographs submitted by 15 photographic federations, including the Northern Ireland Photographic Association. These annual exhibitions are highly prestigious; the Mid-Antrim Museum is one of only five venues in the UK, and the only venue in Northern Ireland, hosting this exhibition.

An exciting new exhibition by the Mid-Antrim Museums Service opens on Thursday 10 November and runs until the 6 January 2012. Entitled ‘Exploring Your Roots’ it

Viva Las Vegas Jar gazing locals often lament that there is nowhere to go out in Ballymena. Scores of taxi’s and buses leave the town every week as punters embark on their idea of a big night out and little do they know it’s on their doorstep! Pat’s Bar and 71 North in Portglenone have built a massive reputation in the past three years as the place to be on a Sunday night. Not content with offering an eclectic mix of live music and dj’s on a Sunday night, they have cranked it up

another notch. On Saturday nights between 8pm and 11pm with every vodka purchased punters will be entered into a draw to win a five night 5 star trip to LAS VEGAS. So your typical night out would go something like this. Get ready, pay for a bus to your destination and back, pay into a night club and then pay through the roof for drinks all night. Forget it! Contact local firm Etherson Travel who are offering special rates on commuting between the busy Portglenone nightspot.

The Christmas classic is showing at the Braid 22nd December

Don’t pay in, get there early and drink for next to nothing for three hours. Also, run yourself the awful risk of winning a free trip to Las Vegas. Enjoy live acoustic music in the front bar between 8pm and 11pm and then dance the night away in the newly refurbished 71 North nightclub to some of the country’s finest dj’s.

All the trimmings of a night out that you’d usually travel far and wide for and pay a fortune for. Get down this Saturday night when the last two finalists will be drawn. Follow us on Facebook where our exciting Christmas nights will be released soon. ‘What happens in Vegas starts at Pats!’

Dermot O’Kane of Pat’s Bar 71 North with a representative from Absolut Vodka at the launch of the Las Vegas Giveaway

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Coming this December to IMC Cinema Booking Line - 028 2563 1111


PUSS IN BOOTS 3D Starts 9/12/11

3D animated adventure ‘Puss In Boots’ takes us to a time long before the feisty feline first appeared in the Shrek Universe. This time, we follow him on a heroic journey alongside fairytale favourites including Humpty Dumpty. Helped by love interest Kitty Softpaws, he hatches a plan to steal the famous golden egglaying goose and save the world from two murderous outlaws known as Jack and Jill.

ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS 3 Starts 16/12/11

On vacation aboard a luxury cruise ship, Alvin, Simon, Theodore and the Chipettes are up to their usual antics, turning the ship into their personal playground, until they become ‘chipwrecked’ on a desert island. As Dave Seville frantically searches for his AWOL charges, the ‘Munks and Chipettes do what they do best – sing, dance and wreak havoc. But they’re in for the biggest surprises and lessons of their lives when they embark on an island adventure with their new friend – a castaway who’s more than a match for Alvin and the Chipmunks.


The new film in the series, which has grossed 2 billion dollars worldwide, will feature a new team: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg. The IMF is shut down when it‘s implicated in a global terrorist bombing plot. Ghost Protocol is initiated and Ethan Hunt and his rogue new team must go undercover to clear their organisation‘s name. No help, no contact, off the grid. You have never seen a mission grittier and more intense than this.

Starts 2/12/11

The sequel to the Academy Award– winning animated smash hit, Happy Feet 2 returns audiences to the magnificent landscape of Antarctica, reuniting us with the world‘s most famous tap-dancing penguin, Mumble (Elijah Wood), the love of his life, Gloria (Alecia Moore aka Pink) and their old friends Ramon and Lovelace (Robin Williams). Mumble and Gloria now have a son of their own, Erik (EG Daly), who is struggling to find his own particular talents in the Emperor Penguin world. But new dangers are threatening the penguin nation, and it‘s going to take everyone working – and dancing – together to save them.

W in 2 tickets to any fil m of your choice at Bal lymena IM C Cinema Which Hong Kong director, directed Mission Impossible II? Send your entries to: Tickets Competition, Elbowroom Media, Unit 48 Ballymena Business Centre, Fenaghy Road, Ballymena, BT42 1FL (Closing date 16/12/11)

Lighting up for Christmas and Multiple Sclerosis You can tell it’s getting near to Christmas when the lights go on, on the Ballywatermoy Road... Every year Ivan and Helen Spence put on a fantastic festive lightshow in the run up to Christmas to raise money for the Ballymena MS group with visitors coming from far and wide to see the lights, and hopefully make a donation to the charity. And Christmas 2011 sees the lights go on for charity for the eleventh year at the Spences’ home outside Cullybackey. “Last year we were hit badly by the snow and donations were down, but we’re hoping people will once again show their support this year as Multiple Sclerosis is actually an increasing problem, especially among the young,” says Helen.

Ivan Spence prepares for the big switch on to raise money for the Ballymena Multiple Sclerosis Group

While all the money raised by the light show goes to the charity, the electric bill is paid out of the Spences’ own pocket, and with ever rising costs it gets harder each

year, but Ivan is determined to keep the lights on. “I have a bit less up this year,” he says. “But off the top of my head, I’d say there’s between 5,000 and 6,000 bulbs.” Around in the

100,000 people UK have MS.

It’s normally diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40 MS is complex, and has many symptoms. Most people won’t experience them all, certainly not at the same time. Symptoms might include fatigue, vision problems and difficulties with walking, but MS is different for everyone. If you’re passing you certainly won’t miss the Spences’ lightshow. All donations are gratefully accepted and will go to this worthwhile cause.

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Open night of antiques and art On Thursday night 8th December, Braid Antiques are planning a special open night of antiques and art with Nigel Allison, a well known local landscape artist from Kells.

along and meet the man in person.

There will also be a wide selection of antiques to view on the night, including antique oil lamps, clocks, barometers, “We have been stocking small furniture, ruby glass, some of Nigel’s paintings silver, jewellery, porcelain since we opened and they’ve and pottery – including been very popular,” said many well-known names Audrey Johnston, one of the such as Moorcroft, Royal proprietors of Braid Antiques. Worcester and Royal Doulton. You may be able It is for that reason that the to solve a few Christmas management have decided Shopping dilemma’s at upon this informal open Braid Antiques! evening where the artist will be there in person to talk about his work. “We believe that Nigel’s work is of such a high quality that it is a profitable investment and that he is in a similar league to the many irish artists whose work now sells in auctions and galleries for thousands of pounds,” commented Audrey. The former Irish President, Mary McAleese, was recently presented with a painting of Slemish by Nigel to mark her official visit to Ballymena. Despite the quality, Nigel’s paintings can actually be purchased from as little as £175 for 12”x10” and larger canvases are priced accordingly. Better than that though, why not come

The open night is from 7.30pm-10pm and light refreshments will be served. If you would like to attend please let us know in advance to facilitate catering arrangements. So step one give us a call to let us know you’re attending this fantastic event and step 2 get the date in your diary – Thursday 8th December, an open night at Braid Antiques 122 Main Street, Broughshane. Tel 028 2586 2488.

Braid Antiques Tel: 028 2586 2488

A wide range of antiques, collectables and fine art. We specialise in sourcing that elusive item for your collection and are delighted to be of service

Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment. No Sunday business. Audrey Johnston - 07821675716 James Hutchinson - 07540827225 122 Main Street, Broughshane Co.Antrim BT42 4JA


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Coffee Cup Conundrums Across 6. Trousers that end above the knee (6) 7. Stop sleeping (6) 9. Crustlike surface of a healing skin lesion (4) 10. Sound made by a mobile phone to indicate an incoming call (8) 11. Relating to swine (7) 14. Be in accord (5) 16. Use again after processing (5) 17. A building where theatrical performances can be presented (7) 19. Having great beauty and splendour (8) 20. Tailless amphibian with long hind limbs for leaping (4) 22. Fictional Collie dog (6) 23. The act of equipping with weapons in preparation for war (6)


14 15


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Scores: 0-2 Complete idiot; 3-5 Getting there; 6-10 Ask the Beeb for a Mastermind application form

Crossword: Ann Dickey Cinema: Melanie Mahaffy Where’s Sean: Frederick Jones Miami Showband: Angella McKay; Roberta Alexander; Heather Michael; Isobel McCormick; Evelyn Allen

Coffee Cup Solutions

Cranium Crunchers

1. October (31 days plus one hour when clocks go back) 2. Malta 3. Alibi 4. Barcelona 5. K2 6. Damascus 7. The Parthenon 8. Angela Merkel 9. Rhythmix 10. Neon

Send completed crosswords to: Competitions Elbowroom Media Unit 48 Ballymena Business Centre Fenaghy Road, Galgorm, BT42 1FL


8 7 3 2 1 9 5 4 6

4 6

First correct solution picked at random receives £10 Prize

Tel No:


1. What is the longest month of the year in most areas of North America and Europe? 2. Which holiday isle has an airport called Luqa? 3. What is the commonly used Latin word meaning ‘Elsewhere’? 4. Which city’s airport code is BCN? 5. What is the second highest mountain in the world? 6. What is the capital of Syria? 7. What famous building stands on top of the Acropolis? 8. Who is the current Chancellor of Germany? 9. What was X Factor group Little Mix called previously? 10. What element is represented by Ne?

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The Picture Round 1









What did the bald man say when he got a comb for Christmas?

Where’s Sean?

I‛ll never part with it

Last month Sean was at Machu Picchu, well done to Frederick Jones

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I don‛t care Hilarious

Picture Round Solutions

Answer: _____________________________________________________ Name: ___________________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ Tel: _______________________________________________________________ Send your entries to: Where is Sean? Elbowroom Media, Unit 48 Ballymena Business Centre, Fenaghy Road, Ballymena, BT42 1FL (Closing date 16/12/11)

1. Bing Crosby 2. Chevy Chase 3. Chris Rea 4. Cliff Richard 5. James Stewart 6. Zooey Deschannel 7. Mariah Carey 8. Tim Allen


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Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

Walford residents won’t be having a merry Christmas

Clooney’s movie daughter insists star would make a bad dad

Robert Pattinson didn’t have a girlfriend until he was 18

EastEnders is famous for its miserable Christmas episodes... and this year will be no different.

George Clooney’s new movie daughter has slammed the movie hunk’s parenting skills, insisting the actor would make a terrible dad.

Twilight star Robert Pattinson has thousands of fans worldwide who’d like to be bitten by vampire Edward Cullen.

Amara Miller, who plays the star’s youngest daughter in new film The Descendants, can understand why Clooney, 50, doesn’t want to have kids.

But the hot actor hasn’t always been a babe magnet. “I was a bit of a loner at school,” admits Rob. “My first kiss was when I was 12, but I didn’t have a girlfriend until I was 18.

She told Us Weekly magazine:“Let me just say, he wouldn’t be good as a father. George likes being an adult. George has fun being an adult, and I don’t think he would like having kids. I know that he’s not planning on having kids anytime soon.”

It was only in 2001, when Rob was 14, that his dad set the ball to stardom rolling by paying him to join a drama club.

Adding: “He’s really amazing. So fun and playing and fooling around and joking... He was just a really phenomenal person to work with.”

“The girls said they’d been to the local acting school. I never did any acting at school, I was quite shy, but after that day my dad nagged me about attending.”

The soap is said to be killing off a character and leaving three others fighting for their lives after a huge fire at the B&B over the festive period. “This is the biggest fire EastEnders has ever seen and there will be casualties,” says a TV insider. ‘It is such a huge disaster that it will affect most of the families on the show in one way or another.’ Phil Mitchell, Masood Ahmed and Tamwar Masood are reportedly all left with severe injuries while another leading character dies in the inferno, which starts during a festive party at the B&B.

December Competition

12 Mill Street, Ballymena BT43 5AE T: 028 2565 6614 M: 077 5974 3030

Christmas Packages Gold Package - Spray tan, file & polish (toes) party hair, acrylic extensions or gel polish

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Silver Package - Spray tan, acrylic extensions, file & polish on toes

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Golden Girls (over 65) From... Dry Trim Sets Blowdrys Cut & Blowdry Perms Colours

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“My dad and I were in a restaurant one day and noticed this group of pretty girls,” says Robert.

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To Celebrate the addition of The Nail Bar to the Hairways’ family, they are offering a free cut and colour and set of acrylic nails to one lucky reader of the Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser who can answer the following question:

Where is Hairways/The Nail Bar situated? Answer Your Details Please include mobile number

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Please send all entries to Ballymena Women Elbowroom Media, Unit 22 Ballymena Business Centre 62 Fenaghy Road, Ballymena, BT42 1FL Closing Date 16th December 2011

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Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser


Give the gift of warmth this Christmas

Faux fur earmuffs

Pom Pom gloves

Sometimes your hairstyle is just too nice to hide under a woolly hat. Thank goodness, then, for Uniqlo’s faux-fur earmuffs. Keep those extremities warm and in style!

All gloves should have pom poms! Bright and funky gloves will go a long way to help hold off the winter chill whilst staying bang on trend this Chrsitmas.

Buy online at

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Faux Fur and Knit Cossack Hat

Wesna Velvet Quilted Panel Boots

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Festive scarf

Buy online at missguided.

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Salon 61 - hair and beauty haven

Eimhear O’Neill (Proprietor) opened the Salon in July 2011. And she and her team of stylists, Joanne Hutchinson and Ailise McKay (Junior Stylist) cut their teeth in some of Ballymena’s and Belfast’s top salons before moving into the newly refurbished

Staying warm is not always about style. You might not be seen dead in patterns like these normally. But when it comes to keeping your feet warm in bed, anything goes.

Long leather look boots with velvet quilted panel detail and inner zip detail.

Cossack style hat by ASOS Collection. Featuring a chunky knit design with a tonal faux fur trim.

It has all the traits of a top London salon with its warehouse feel and chic interior decor, yet Salon 61 with all its aesthetic pleasure can be found just minutes away from Ballymena in the quaint little village of Martinstown.

Turkish socks

salon in Martinstown village, and both Eimhear and Joanne each have over 10 years experience in hairdressing.

on the morning of the wedding with a free bottle of champagne included! Birthday and hen party packages can also be arranged at the Martinstown venue.

Eimhear is a wella colour specialist whilst Joanne specialises in bridal hair. Formal and Bridal packages are available in both hair and make-up so you can take the hassle of running round the country between different salons.

Quite simply, you will be in the hands of a specialist no matter what service you decide to avail of at Salon 61. Perhaps you’re tired of going to one Salon for a treatment and another for something different.

At Salon 61 they also cater for children and gents too, and the salon can be hired out to brides

Take a look at what they have on offer, pick up the phone and get booked in. Perhaps you’re a client of

Less in your face than its bigger cousin the Christmas jumper. A scarf with reindeer is more subtle and stylish. Buy online at

some of their team and you’re wondering where they’ve disappeared to? You’ll find them by first telephoning 028 2175 8204 and then visiting 61 Glenravel Road, Martinstown. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm. Thursday 9.30am to 8pm. Saturday 9am to 3pm. L-R: Joanne Hutchinson, Senior Stylist; Eimhear O’Neill, Owner; Ailise McKay, Junior Stylist


Back, neck & shoulders massage, facial & blowdry Hair & makeup

(upstyle and extensions £3 extra, eyelash application £2 extra or £6 if you haven’t got own eyelashes)

Limited edition GHD’s in stock

(join our Christmas Club, £30 deposit secures stylers and pay the rest in installments before Christmas

61 Glenravel Road, Martinstown | 028 2175 8204

£27 £20


Property & Finance

Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

Ulster Property Sales Reaps Coveted UK Property Awards at London Ceremony The Lancaster Hotel in London on 28 October 2011 was the date and venue for an important evening when leading property professionals gathered for the presentations of the UK Property Awards in association with Google and Bloomberg Television. One of these rightly proud winners was Ulster Property Sales which won awards in the category of Best Real Estate Agency and Best Lettings Agency. The judging panel consists of more than 80 professionals whose collective knowledge of the property industry is unsurpassed by any other property awards. This year’s judges include James Bacon, UK Account Manager of Google; Peter Bolton King, Group Chief Executive of the National Federation of Property Professionals; David Dalby of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); and Mike McNamara of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Gareth Dallas, Partner, Ulster Property Sales Ballymena commented: “It is great news to win these two awards again this year. There is no doubt it is reward for the effort and commitment displayed by all the offices in our network but we take great pride in the part we play in Ballymena.” Local Market Comment On the local market Gareth said: “In summarising property sales activity in the Ballymena area for the fourth quarter of 2011, I would say the year has ended with a bit of a flurry. October and November have seen a high volume of sales compared to the summer months. The gradual erosion of house prices since the peak in 2007 has now brought us to the point where values for a lot of properties are now affordable to a greater number of buyers. I’ll not suggest that we have hit the bottom but it would appear that more buyers have the confidence to ‘take

the plunge’ at this level. From our point of view the majority of sales are still to first time buyers but that has allowed chains to develop with ‘movers’ able to buy at a more affordable level as well. Investors also seem to have regained a bit of confidence at the lower end of the market. Many vendors have now come to terms with the reality of the decline in property values and those who are prepared to market their property at the right level are definitely getting viewers, offers and sales. I hope this momentum continues in the new year. In October and November we actually sale agreed more houses than we listed and whilst this is a welcome scenario, I would encourage those contemplating a move to take advantage of our free, no obligation valuation service. If you would like to discuss market activity, our services and property values please call us on 028 2565 7700.”

Prime Properties To enquire about these properties please contact Ulster Property Sales: 028 2565 7700 16 Rosedermot Road, Cloughmills BT44 9PG Offers Around £159,950 • Detached House • Four bedrooms • Detached garage • Two reception rooms • Oil fired central heating

26 Larne Street, Ballymena BT42 3AL Offers Around £80,000 • Mid Terrace House • Three bedrooms • New kitchen and bathroom • Oil fired central heating • Off street parking

94 Sandhurst Manor, Ballymena BT42 1FG Offers Around £182,950 • Detached House • Four bedrooms • Integrated garage • Two reception rooms • Large rear garden

Network Strength - Local Knowledge

AwardWinning Local Estate Agency^ BALLYMENA BRANCH 21-23 Church Street Ballymena

Tel: 028 2565 7700



UPS sell ONE in FOUR homes in Northern Ireland* ^The UK Property Awards 2011 in association with Bloomberg Television. *Based on University of Ulster House Price Index Samples (Last 4 quarters).

Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

The Great Pension Shocker Personal Pensions are not what they used to be. It was stated in the Daily Telegraph 31 October 2011that the UK’s Public Sector Pension Shortfall is in Excess of £1.3 Trillion. It is stated that the average worker contributing to a pension would need to work an extra seven years to make up for the shortfall. Locally it has been reported that The NIE pension scheme has a shortfall in excess of £55 million.The horror stories continue to appear now on a daily basis .

Basically the pension industry is in a mess Do you have the following? • A Pension Fund that is dormant and you are not paying into it anymore? • A Pension that is active and you are contributing regularly to? • An Under Performing Pension Fund? • A Contracted out of SERPS Scheme? • An Old Company Pension Scheme?


What is a SIPP?

A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is the name given to the type of FSA & UK-government-approved personal pension scheme, which allows individuals to make their own investment decisions from the full range of investments approved by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Don’t sit on the fence and watch your pension pot disappear Sitting on the fence could be hazardous to your retirement plans. Take control of your own future today. Plan A A pension fund of £100,000 on retirement at age 65 would provide a pension income of only £67 per week.

Plan B Take a fund of £100,000 & Transfer it to a working SIPP. This could provide an income at retirement of £400 per week.

Don’t bury your head in the sand... Take control of your future with a SIPP Funded Purchase

Which Option Would You prefer A or B?

The pensions market has been undoubtedly in decline, with many people suffering a shrinking pension value and continuing concerns over its future performance. Many have a pension frozen where they are no longer contributing and the fund is being eaten up by yearly charges or even worse some people have multiple pension funds sitting doing absolutely nothing. But not all is doom and gloom, a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) is an excellent alternative to a shrinking pension pot. The good news is you can transfer your pension fund and get it working for you without having to contribute any more money yourself.

The Alternative Pension Group (TAP) will be holding Information Seminars and Presentations locally in Ballymena over December and January introducing a concept that may be able to significantly enhance your income on retirement.

The above figures are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice in any manner, full financial advice will be given via our panel of (IFA’s) Independent Financial Advisers. The TAP Group is responsible for the marketing of the concept above.

If you are interested in finding out How to Boost Your Pension Fund Without Paying Anymore into it... Call: 028 2500 2000 Or Email: for your FREE Information Pack.


Tel: 028 2565 2222


Judy Conway Proprietor

The Mortgage Shop 29-31 Mill Street Ballymena BT43 5AA

‘Merry Christmas to all of our customers’

Ryan O’Neill

Mortgage & Protection Advisor

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Typically we do not charge a fee, however if we do, depending on your circumstances, it will be a maximum of £300. The Mortgage Shop is a trading name of The Mortgage Shop (NI) Limited, which is an appointed representative of Legal & General Partnership Services Limited for advising on and arranging mortgages and insurance and an introducer appointed representative of Legal & General (Portfolio Management Services) Limited for introducing life assurance, pensions and investments. Both Legal & General companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. The Mortgage Shop is registered in Northern Ireland under registered No. NI26842. Reg Office 132 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7BG.


Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

Debut for Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with innovative folding roof On sale in March 2012, the new Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet offers sporting drivers the option to enjoy the renowned dynamic qualities and iconic design of the 911 Coupe combined with the added versatility and driving pleasure offered by its folding convertible roof. The 911 Cabriolet naturally shares its new, high tech aluminium-steel body with the Coupe, and the convertible extends this innovation to its all-new, unique hood. When raised, the design of the hood ensures the iconic 911 roof line is retained in its entirety.

Intelligent lightweight design, including the use of magnesium in the hood frame, ensures reduced weight for increased responsiveness, lower fuel consumption and greater comfort. As is the case with the Coupe model, the new 911 Cabriolet is significantly lighter overall than its predecessor. Combined with lower weight, the new 911 Cabriolet models share the longer wheelbase, wider front track and the new electro-mechanical power steering of their Coupe siblings, ensuring the open-roofed models offer more sporting driving

characteristics, greater precision and agility compared to the prior model. Likewise, front and rear overhangs are shorter, maintaining the compact footprint that has been a longstanding 911 attribute. In addition, there are further standard or optional active control systems available that further enhance the driving dynamics. The new 911 Cabriolet models offer the same charismatic line-up of rearmounted, flat-six engines as the Coupe equivalents of the benchmark sportscar. The 911 Carrera Cabriolet features a 3.4-litre engine generating 350 hp (257 kW ), driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed manual transmission. The Carrera S Cabriolet offers a 3.8-litre engine developing 400 hp (294 kW ), also coupled to a seven-speed manual transmission as standard. Consequently, the open-top 911 models share the characteristic efficiency for which the

911 is renowned; both models return over 28.0 mpg Combined (NEDC). The 911 Carrera Cabriolet offers the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch transmission as an option, delivering even lower fuel consumption and shorter acceleration times. The 911 Carrera Cabriolet models go on sale in the UK on March 3 2012. The 911 Carrera Cabriolet is priced from £79,947, the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet from £89,740. Fitted to every 911 Carrera Cabriolet is a Porsche Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), a sophisticated vehicle security package approved to Thatcham Category 5 standard, and customers will also be able to explore the potential of their new car by participating in a complimentary course at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.


Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient New Cars Car Combined cycle economy Kia Rio Ecodynamics 88.3mpg Smart ForTwo CDI 85.6mpg Citroen C3 e-HDI Airdream 83.1mpg Skoda Fabia Greenline II 83.1mpg SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive 80.7mpg Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex 80.7mpg Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion 80.7mpg Alfa Romeo MiTo JTDm-2 78.5mpg Citroen DS3 e-HDI Airdream 78.5mpg Ford Fiesta Econetic 78.5mpg Source

Winter Tyres

Motorists are being advised to think about the colder months ahead. Winter tyres are designed to enhanced performance and improve grip during the winter months. Whilst producers are increasing production levels to manage a surge in demand, stocks are still predicted to run low before any significant snowfall arrives.

Audi grants easier access with new five-door A1 Sportback New five-door Sportback version of Audi premium subcompact further enhances appeal with five seats and greater versatility. Five-door, five-seat versatility meets exemplary quality, efficiency and technological sophistication in the new A1 Sportback, an even more user-friendly addition to the acclaimed premium subcompact range that will become available in the UK later this month and will reach its first customers here in the spring of 2012. Carrying a modest £560 premium over each equivalent three-door A1 in exchange for greater convenience and five-seat capability, the A1 Sportback will be priced from £13,980 OTR. Although its compact, city-friendly dimensions very closely follow those of the three-door A1, the A1 Sportback is actually six millimetres taller and six millimetres wider, and inside offers slightly more head room and shoulder room as a result. It also makes provision for an extra passenger – up to three can pass through its rear doors and take a seat, each of them protected by a headrest and full three-point seatbelt. Luggage compartment

capacity is on a par with the three-door A1 at 270 litres with the backrests of the standard split/folding rear seat in place or 920 litres with the seat folded. The L-shaped, retractable head restraints do not have to be removed to do this. The loading lip is a comfortably low 66 centimetres, and stowage can be further simplified by an optional luggage package featuring usefully divided storage compartments under the loading floor and other amenities. Features common to the SE, Sport and S line options available for UK A1 Sportback models include alloy wheels, remote central locking, air conditioning, electric front and rear windows and mirrors, split folding rear seat and a sixspeaker single CD Concert audio system linked to a 6.5-inch retractable display. Sport model additions include larger 16-inch wheels, sports suspension, sports seats, Bluetooth mobile phone preparation and a Driver’s Information System, while S line versions upgrade with extras such as an exclusive S line exterior treatment including larger 17-inch alloy wheels, S line sports suspension

and leather combination

and cloth upholstery.

The A1 Sportback range will initially feature a choice of three TFSI petrol engines and one TDI diesel producing between 86PS and 185PS. All bar the 185PS unit will have their impressive efficiency further enhanced by an engine start-stop system. The 1.2-litre TFSI (86PS), 1.4-litre TFSI (122PS), 1.4-litre twin-charge TFSI (185PS) and 1.6-litre TDI (105PS) line-up will be joined in the summer of 2012 by a fifth member – the

2.0-litre TDI with 143PS. Just introduced into the threedoor A1 line-up, it will power the A1 Sportback 2.0 TDI to 62mph in 8.5 seconds, and has the potential for 68.9mpg according to the combined cycle test. In line with the three-door A1 range, the 1.6-litre TDI model will again be the efficiency standard-bearer for the Sportback, combining its 105PS output with the potential for 74.3mpg and a congestion charge and VED-eliminating 99 gram CO2 output per kilometre.

The performance flagship – the turbocharged and supercharged 1.4 TFSI 185PS – will feature the seven-speed S tronic twinclutch gearbox with its exceptionally rapid shifts as standard, helping it to sprint to 62mph from rest in 7.0 seconds on the way to a top speed of 141mph. This much-praised, performance-oriented transmission will also be available as an option for the 1.4 TFSI with 122PS. All other versions use quick and smooth-shifting manual transmissions. Thanks in part to these

relatively light, compact engines, weight distribution in the A1 Sportback is remarkably even front-torear. Combined with short overhangs, sophisticated front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension and the latest generation Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with electronic axle differential, this makes for a compliant ride and wellbalanced handling that is also nimble and fun. This is especially true of the Sport models with their tauter setup, and even more so with the S line-specific settings.


Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

Trades, Services and Offers

Accident Repairs






4 Tavnaghmore Road, Antrim Northern Ireland BT41 2LB Tel: 028 2589 8123

Dog Grooming

Home Improvements

Bicycle Sales Bicycle Repairs and Servicing Clothing Parts & Accessories

Domestic Improvements


Christmas Club Now Open!

Alan McClintock M: 07927 944 354 T: 028 2589 1930

Fax: 028 2589 8123


Home Heating



Mid Antrim Guttering Services


Winter Savings


We have relocated...


To contact us please call 07802 634 247 for FREE delivery


Keenest prices in town for bottled gas

SUPPLY & FITTING OF • uPVC Fascia & Soffits • Seamless Aluminium Guttering • Domestic & Commerical • New Alternative to uPVC for Fascia’s in a choice of colours Contact William

Tel: 028 258 22123


Greens 2 Go

Piano Tuition

Dry Stored Firewood Ready to Burn Ideal for Open Fires & Woodburning Stoves Delivered to you


028 2563 1880

Experienced Piano teacher

Play for pleasure. Learn musical theory. Work towards exams. All lessons £9.50. Grade 1–3: 30 minutes. Grade 4+: 45 minutes. All ages welcome. Tel. 07814 650 216.

£3 a Bag Buy 10 and get 1 FREE Bulk 1 Tonne Bags £50

Call Alan Gregg








Driving Lessons

Attention Lady Learners

D B Plumbing & Heating

(and gentlemen too)

Total Bathroom Refurbishments


ALL DRIVING LESSONS from £20 per hr with this voucher

Tel - 07729209832 (anytime)

Tel: 07540610455

Oven Cleaning

SIMPLY CLEAN OVENS A sparkling Oven at an affordable price

Offer valid until 30th December 2011 T&C’s apply

Car Dismantlers

Boiler Services

For a free quotation contact Seamus


Mob: 079 7065 4417 - Office: 028 8673 7105 Using our Special dip tank and professional cleaning solutions, we leave your oven in a near new condition in around 2 hours

Prop: Freddie Fleck

P ut t h e W o w ! B a c k i n t o y o ur o v e n a n d t ra n s f o rm y o ur o v e n f ro m G ri m e t o S h i n e

107 Lisnamurrican Road, Broughshane, Ballymena Tel: 028 2586 1217 Mobile: 07711 673 638


Playground Systems

Braid Antiques Tel: 028 2586 2488

A wide range of antiques, collectables and fine art. We specialise in sourcing that elusive item for your collection and are delighted to be of service Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment. No Sunday business.

Audrey Johnston - 07821675716 James Hutchinson - 07540827225

122 Main Street Broughshane Co.Antrim BT42 4JA



Boiler Efficiency Testing Full Printout Available Call - Out Service Available

TEL: 07711 485 603

Blinds 161A Larne Road Ballymena BT42 3HA



Flooring 161A Larne Road | Ballymena BT42 3HA t: (028) 2563 0066 m: 07736 233740 e:


T: 028 2563 0066 M: 07736 233740 E: VILLAGEFLOORS@GMX.CO.UK

Specialists in Wooden Floors, Doors & Rugs Laminates, Semi Solid, Solid Floors Supplied & Fitted Sanding & Sealing Jungle Gym’s for Kids

Agents for: Woodpecker, Tuscan, Kahrs etc.

Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser


Trades, Services and Offers


Property Maintenance

McDowell Bros We Supply and Fit

• Fascias • Soffits • Gutters • Downpipes • PVC Exterior Window Sills • Fully Insured Company • Free Estimates • Full Manufacturers Guarantee With All Products Fitted Contact Craig Tel: 028 2588 1233 Mobile: 07984 146 716

Repair Specialist All Work Guaranteed Over 20 Years Experience

Call Marty : 07740 680 550 15 Suffolk Street, Ballymena

Motorcycle Training Millplace Motorcycle Training All Levels Catered For • One to One Tuition • All Equipment Provided • Privately Owned Training Area (off road test) • DOE BMF IAM Approved • ROSPA (Diploma)

T: 028 2583 1412 M: 077 5910 4893 E: W:

Useful Phone Numbers PSNI: 0845 600 8000 Antrim Area Hospital: 028 9442 4000 Doctor on Call: 028 2566 3500 Translink Information Line: 028 9066 6630 Seven Towers Leisure Centre: 028 2564 1427 The Braid Arts Centre: 028 2563 5900; Booking Line: 028 2563 5901 Ballymena Borough Council: 08456 581 581


Ecos Centre: 028 2566 4400 IMC Cinema: 028 2563 1111 Driver Vehicle Licensing: 028 2565 3333 Driver Vehicle Testing Agency: 028 2565 6801 Education and Libraries: 028 2565 3333 Northern Ireland Housing Executive: 03448 920900 Rates Collection Agency: 028 2566 4700

To advertise here call: 028 2500 2005

WEB DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT From a local, creative company at competitive prices Receive a 10% discount on basic to e-commerce websites by quoting Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser* *Offer valid until 17/11/11


Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

galgorm & ballymena

learn to play blues, honky tonk, rock, contemporary and much more from elton john to coldplay, alicia keys to queen whatever style or artist you’re into! play the songs you love play for fun, sit an exam or do both!

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receive your first lesson free

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Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

KIDS’ zone


Sponsored by

Colouring In competition See next month’s edition for Winning artwork

well done to last month’s winner Name: Lauren Perry Age: 8 School: Gracehill Primary School Each month, the chosen winner will receive a family meal for their family (2 adults & 2 children maximum) at The Yew Tree Ahoghill (drinks not included, 1 main course per person)

Send your colouring-in entries to: Kids’ Zone, Elbowroom Media, Unit 48 Ballymena Business Centre, Fenaghy Road, Ballymena, BT42 1FL (Closing date 16/12/11)


Whose Present?

Name: Age: School: Parent/Guardian Contact No:

dot to dot

Find the following words: Blitzen, Dasher, Comet, Donner, Cupid Rudolph, Prancer, Vixen, Dancer, Reindeer


What is the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet? There is no L (noel)

Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas? Santa Jaws

What is Father Christmas’ wife called? Mary Christmas

What do snowmen where on their heads? Ice caps!

What do elves learn in school? The elf-abet


Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

Local Sport

Sky Blues march on to League Cup semis await in the

the winners January final.

Despite poor results in the league, a goal bonanza against Championship side Dergview has earned Ballymena United a place in the Irn-Bru League Cup semi-finals. With the team still struggling for consistency in the Carling Premiership, United fans can now tentatively dream of cup glory.

transformed the tie before half-time. The second-half was the Gary McCutcheon show, with the Scottish striker scoring a hat-trick and setting up another for Alan Teggart. This hattrick marked the twentieth goal of McCutcheon’s season – an astonishing early season tally.

Mixed League form United’s league form has left them sitting in mid-table. October ended with vital wins over Lisburn Distillery and Carrick Rangers – briefly cementing the gap between Ballymena and the relegation threatened teams. Significantly the defence showed some signs of tightening up, with Liam Watson in particular impressing at the back.

2-0 down after ten minutes the long trip to Castlederg looked like developing into a disaster for United. However, goals from Jordan Baker and captain Allan Jenkins, along with a Dergview sending-off,

The final score of 6-2 send United through to face Crusaders in the semifinals. The tie is scheduled to take place at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Tuesday 13 December. Coleraine or Cliftonville

But hopes of pushing up into the top six were curtailed due to disappointing defeats against Portadown, Coleraine and titlechallengers Cliftonville. Coleraine grabbed a

late winner following an uncharacteristic mistake by ‘keeper Wayne Drummond. It was a poor derby performance by United who rarely threatened the Coleraine goal. United will be hoping for revenge on the traditional Boxing Day fixture. United nearly grabbed a point despite a largely insipid display at Portadown. 2-0 down United were sparked into life by an instinctive McCutcheon finish on 77 minutes. Piling on the pressure, United came within inches of an equaliser through a Jenkins header but it wasn’t to be. But the recent 7-3 drubbing by Cliftonville

at the Showgrounds highlights the struggle it will be for United to get that coveted top six position. Meanwhile, an embarrassing mix-up over a lift ensured that Eamonn Murray missed the recent derby against Coleraine. However, following a fine and talks with management, difficulties appear to have been resolved. Work commitments have so far hampered the Downpatrick man’s season, but recently supporters have seen glimpses of a return to form for the talented winger. The Sky Blues face some stern tests in forthcoming fixtures: away to Linfield, away to Glenavon, home to Glentoran and away to Dungannon Swifts.

Eamonn Murray: more MIA than MVP of late

Ballymena Rugby Under 15s sitting pretty Ballymena Under 15s took a massive stride towards winning the league title with a thrilling victory over closest rivals Rainey at Eaton Park. However, everything did not go the boys’ way and from the outset they knew they were in a match. Rainey came out with all guns blazing and raced into an early lead with a try and a penalty seeing the 15s fall behind for the first time this season. The boys dug deep and led by the pack they gradually began to get a foothold on the game. Fullerton and Bell began to exert pressure at the breakdown and the 15s secured some go forward ball. With Kerr releasing Stewart only a last ditch tackle saw McKillan prevented

from getting a score in the corner. However the pressure was beginning to tell and a great run from Forrester saw him release Mackness who sprinted clear to touch down under the posts. McNeill slotted the conversion and Ballymena were back in the match. However the boys were going to have to work for the points and a sloppy pass saw Rainey intercept and run clear for another try. At half time Rainey took a six point lead into the second half. The second half saw the Braid boys show their metal. With Jennings and Mills now in control at the breakdown the Ballymena backs began to take advantage of the quick ball. A flowing move saw Hunter pass to Crooks, his silky run saw

him evade several tacklers before he crossed beneath the posts. McNeill again converted and the boys now had a narrow lead. The 15s were now in full flow and a strong run from Thompson saw him pass to Miskelly. His clever pass was collected by winger George who sprinted clear to score in the corner. Logan and McLeister had now joined the fight and Rainey were struggling to keep up with the pace of the game. A neat move saw McWilliams smuggle the ball to Rock and only a last ditch tackle saw Fyfe prevented from touching down in the corner. However the pressure now had to tell and scrum half Crooks passed to Millar who slipped a tackle before passing to Getty who crashed over to put the

game beyond the visitors. The final whistle saw Rainey realise they were second best on the day. Final 24

score Ballymena Rainey 13.

Under 17s The Under 17s were also in a battle and as with the 15s they fell behind to an early try. Following what looked like a harsh decision when prop Hyndeman was yellow carded for pulling an opponent into a ruck the boys were unable to stop a forward surge from the visitors. The game continued in this vein with the bigger Rainey team taking the game to the 17s. However despite fielding 11 boys who were only playing in their fifth competitive match they refused to lie down. Some

excellent tackling from Whelan and Gilkinson saw the 17s keep Rainey at bay. The boys did get some possession in the first half and a strong run from McLoughlin saw him pass to Mullan who was denied by a strong tackle by the Rainey full back. With Edwards and Clarke showing stout resistance Ballymena held firm until half time. The second half saw Ballymena putting pressure on from the restart and a drive from Davison saw Lindsay slip the ball to man of the match Millar who crashed over for a try to level the scores. Rainey however made the most of a poor piece of play and their winger crossed for a score in the corner. It would have been easy for the inexperienced Ballymena

boys to give in but to their credit they stuck at the task. With Millar constantly thwarting Rainey attacks the Braid boys through McCallion and McNeill now secured some go forward ball. A good back line move saw McGarry release McDowell, his pass saw the ball move to Dunne who evaded a tackle before passing to Appleton who crossed for a try in the corner. The last 10 minutes were incredibly tense with the physically superior Rainey team taking the game to the 17s. The closing minutes saw McAllister make a game saving tackle before the final whistle saw the boys get the draw they deserved. Final 10

Score Ballymena Rainey 10.

Ballymena Rugby Club Fixtures AIL Division 1B Fixtures 03/12/211 Ballynahinch Home 13/12/211 Senior Cup Final Ulster League 17/12/211 Banbridge Home 31/12/211 City of Derry Away

Ballymena United Fixtures

Ballymena Rugby Under 15 squad going from strength to strength

03/12/11 Carling IFA Premiership 10/12/11 Carling IFA Premiership 13/12/11 Irn-Bru League Cup SF 17/12/11 Carling IFA Premiership 20/12/11 Carling IFA Premiership 26/12/11 Carling IFA Premiership

Linfield Glenavon Crusaders Glentoran Dungannon Swifts Coleraine

Away Away Home Home Away Away

Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser

Fit N Running Ballymena Ballymena’s Fitness First Running Club has changed its name to Fit N Running Ballymena. The club which is coached by Gregory Walsh will, however, remain as the resident running club at Fitness First. Gregory explained: “We train from both Fitness First and the Michelin Athletic Club in the town, so this is a natural progression which not only allows us to recruit members from these two gyms but also non gym members from the greater Ballymena area.” Saturday afternoon saw five club members wear their new sky blue club vest for the first time when they were in action at the Seeley Cup 10k road race in Belfast.

Mild temperatures greeted the 804 athletes who took part, and the local group took full advantage of the conditions by recording five fantastic personal best performances. First to show for the local club was Shaun Friel who continued his rapid run of development by clipping a massive 3mins 13secs of his previous best for the distance to come home 48mins 42secs. Stephen Phillips who has made relentless progress over the past year continued his rich vein of form with a huge 1min 59sec PB performance finishing in 50mins 40sec. Chasing hard on Stephen’s heels was the evergreen Geoff McKibben who rolled the clock back


several years to finish with a PB performance in 50mins 51secs and six places adrift of Stephen. Bringing the men home was the club’s most recent recruit Andrew Sands who took one second of his PB and six minutes off his season’s best to finish in 56mins 15secs. The biggest performance of the day however was that of Shauna Martin who was running in the female open event. Shauna smashed her previous best for the distance by an incredible 4mins 30secs to cross the line in exactly 54mins For further information on Fit N Running, contact coach Gregory Walsh on 079521 68016.

PBs galore for the five runners from Fit N Running Ballymena at the Seeley Cup. L-R: Andrew Sands; Shaun Friel; Stephen Philips; Shauna Martin and Geoff McKibben

Violence mars local GAA matches The Ulster GAA has been thrown into turmoil following violent scenes involving players and spectators at club football matches in Ballymena and Tyrone. Responding to the local controversy, the Antrim Competitions Committee have handed down severe punishments to St Mary’s Rasharkin. A serious attack on the match officials followed the Under-21 Antrim Gaelic football semi-final,

held at Slemish Park in Ballymena on 29 October. The match between Lamh Dhearg of Belfast and St Mary’s had been a tense and heated affair, with three St Mary’s players ordered off. Following a tight Lamh Dhearg victory the referee, prominent official Raymond Matthews, and a linesman, Owen Elliot, were attacked by a group of men as they made their way back to the changing rooms. Mr Matthews was hospitalised after the incident. It is alleged that the assailants

included players and supporters of St Mary’s. The St Mary’s club immediately condemned the ugly scenes, while the Antrim GAA announced an investigation. The result of this enquiry was a range of bans and sanctions imposed on the Rasharkin club that are unprecedented in the sport locally. Most seriously the club has provisionally been banned from competing in any Gaelic code for a year – at all levels above under-18.

This will be a bitter blow for the club that won the Intermediate Antrim Club Championship last year. Pending approval by the County Board, one St Mary’s player has been banned from Gaelic sports for life, along with one member of the coaching staff and two club members. Five other players have been sanctioned: one player suspended for 96 weeks; another for 72 weeks; another for eight weeks; and two

players for four weeks. A further club member has been excluded from the GAA for 96 weeks and a fan banned from entering GAA property for the same period. Commenting on the sanctions, Antrim County Chairman Jim Murray stated that: “The county has acted swiftly and seriously with this issue. We will not stand for attacks on officials. It has no part of our game in Antrim.”

following violence on and off the pitch at the Tyrone senior final between Carrickmore and Dromore. In Ballygawley a mass brawl on the pitch sparked confrontations in the stands. Anyone with any information relating to the incident at Slemish Park has been asked to contact the police in Ballymena on tel: 0845 600 8000.

Sadly the sport has gained more adverse publicity

Rock Hard Football Trivia 1.

Who is the only player to have played in a North East, Old Firm, London, Manchester, Merseyside, South Wales and East Anglian derby?


Ardwick AFC is the former name of which high flying Premier League team?


Which player scored in consecutive FA Cup finals in 2001 and 2002?


Before Frank Lampard’s goal in England’s recent victory, who was the last English player to net against Spain?


Name the football club from the badge:

Answers: 1. Craig Bellamy 2. Manchester City 3. Freddie Ljungberg 4. Ugo Ehiogu 5. Coventry City; Olympiakos; Palermo; Portadown


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Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser December 2011  

Ballymena Doorstep Advertiser December 2011

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