SENIOR officials at Ballymoney Rugby Club have, this week, spoken of the vital contribution made by sponsors to the successful running of the club.

Formal acknowledgement of the backing given by two local businesses took place last week when Mr. John McElderry of John McElderry of Motors and Tractors Ltd., Ballymoney, and Mr. Trevor Kane, from the Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae, met with players and committee chiefs.

Mr. John Campbell, President, and his colleague, Mr. Craig Whyte, chairman, said the contbituions made by the two leading business figures provided a lifeline for the club at a time when economic circumstances made it vital that every penny was well spent.

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Mr. Campbell told the Times: “Both John McElderry and Trevor Kane have backed us for a number of years and for this we are genuinely grateful. Without their support things would be a lot tougher. We came here today to let our supporters and the public know that people such as Mr. McElderry and Mr. Kane not only deserve our thanks but also our custom whenever and wherever possible.”

Sponsorship also comes in the form of donations on match days and on Saturday past, R. Robinson and Sons, Arthitects, Ballymoney, were behind the pre-match lunch game with Academy.

Other sponsors include Tennents and Europa Foods. Power NI have recently agreed to sponsor the Under-19 side who will also be receiving new kit.

The other main club sponsors are Centra, Ballymoney, and Trolans Supervalu who will be sponsoring the Ladies teams.

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The club enjoy a good standing in rugby circles throughout Ireland and have slowly built a solid foundation not only in facilities but in playing terms.

This year, Ballymoney will field six senior teams with all being given professional coaching and assistance throughout what will be a difficult season.

Ballymoney, who finished in third place last season, are in Qualifying One and, for the second time, will be competing in the All-Ireland Junior Cup.

From now until the end of March, Ballymoney Rugby Club will be a hive of activity and the First XV are looking forward to a successful campaign with some new signings and a commitment to maintain the high standards set in previous seasons.

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