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Football: Bloomfield pitch in

By Chris Holt

Published 12/09/2007

Bloomfield Football Club finally became homeowners this week when they were given the keys to their new pitch by the Belfast City Council.

The east Belfast side have taken ownership of their very own 'mini Wembley' - the name given the pitch beside Orangefield Playing Fields which is surrounded by a cycle track - after nearly a year and a half sharing with neighbours Dundela, while much needed maintenance was carried out.

There to help with the celebrations were Crusaders who included a couple of local lads - former Glentoran players Gary Smyth and Darren Lockhart - in their line-up.

The Crues ran out 6-2 victors, but only after the Division 1B team had taken the lead.

"We at Bloomfield are very grateful to Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers who came down and officially handed over the keys to our new football pitch," said club president Robert McCoy.

"But we have to thank Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter too for bringing a full strength team to celebrate the occasion.

"Bloomfield had been waiting a very long time to get back home following 16 months away due to Belfast City Councils improvement of the drainage system at Orangefield.

"The improvement's meant Bloomfield had a full season sharing with neighbours Dundela FC.

"Now we are glad to be here and hopefully this is the start of a very successful period for the club."

Manager Wayne McMeekin added: "I was very happy with the way the match went, and with the attitude of the players on the night against a very strong team. Now this is out of the way, hopefully we can look forward and carry the same effort into our league programme."

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