(Lisburn) Distillery 0 - 3 Ballymena

City Cup Match
Saturday, April 13th, 1929, 3:00 PM at Grosvenor Park
Referee: G. Hewitt (St Helens)
(Lisburn) Distillery Ballymena

Goalscorers
None. James McCambridge 
James McCambridge (17)
Joseph Cassidy (31)

Team Managers
Hugh Tanner Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
W. McMahon
Kirkwood
Syd Reid
David Ostle
Johnny Dalrymple*
Jack Gray
Marmory Thompson
Hutchinson
Sam McAdam
James Wallace
David McMullan
John Gough
David Nelson
Gordon McDairmid
David Reid
John Reid
Sidney Howard
James McCambridge
James Mitchell
Jamie Shiels
Joseph Cassidy
Walter Clarke

Ballymena's visit to Grosvenor Park last Saturday was regarded by some with a certain amount of trepidation, as they retained vivid memories of the thorough dumping the Light Blues got on the last occasions they visited this ground.

That was at the end of last year, when the inclement weather had turned the ground into a veritable mud heap, on which Ballymena found themselves more or less at a loss. The conditions last Saturday were a direct contrast to this, the ground being bone-dry and the weather everything that could be desired. Ballymena's play was more suited to these conditions, and, striking their form right at the start, they proceeded to give a display of splendid football.

In the opening half they dominated the game, and McCambridge and Cassidy each found the net, the former adding another in the second half. Distillery shared a good deal of the palyl in the second period, and although they had chances the efforts of the forwards lacked direction. An outstanding feature of the game was the clever work of the brothers Reid, who have never been seen to better advantage.

Ballymena, who lost the toss, made straight for goal at the outset, and after some close work in the eighteen yard area Clarke slipped the ball to Mitchell, who sent it across goal, where McCambridge just failed to stretch an extra inch to get it. A short innings by the Whites was succeeded by John Reid getting possession, but he was tripped up after beating several opponents.

The 'free' was chared down, and Thompson led a Distillery attack and drove hard in to goal, Gough saving the high shot at the expense of a corner. A 'free' to the homesters well upfield ended in McAdams sending over the bar. A timely clearance by Nelson broke up the next opposing attack, and, after running hard for the ball, McCambridge flashed a great shot across goal. From a further 'free' to the Whites Dalrymple trapped and sent over the bar.

Davy Reid, who was playing the game of a lifetime, initiated another Ballymena attack, crossing out to Cassidy, who returned quickly into centre, but Syd Reid cleared. Nelson conceded a corner in dealing with stiff opposition, but J. Reid got the ball out of the danger zone. Shortly after this J. Reid took a 'free' and landed a beauty into goal, McMahon tipping over the bar for a corner. Clarke judged the flag kick to a nicety, dropping the ball in front of goal, where McCambridge with a close-in shot, opened the scoring, at the end of seventeen minutes.

In the next instant McCambridge and Cassidy were conspicious by a fine in and out passing movement on the wing, and the latter crossed in, but Kirkwood got at the ball before SHiels and passed back for McMahon to ease the pressure. However, the Light Blues lost no time in returning to the attack, a fast movement culminating in Cassidy testing the goalie. Then the Whites broke away from a defensive game, and McMullan looked like giving trouble when well placed but his direction was erratic. A 'free' on the Ballymena right saw John Reid lob in a long curling shot which sailed past by inches. A corner to Distillery was followed by increased pressure from the visitors, McCambridge sending over the bar after some good work.

A round of applause rose from all sides of the ground in recognition of a really clever piece of ball control by John Reid, who when sandwiched between two opponents, juggled with the ball in the air and on the ground so expertly that he beat both of them and in the end got it away. Lusty Ballymena cheers rent the air a minute later when Mitchell sent across goal and McCambridge jumped to let the ball go underneath his feet to Cassidy, who essayed one of the first-time drives or which he has been conspicuous lately, and it came off, McMahon not having the ghost of a chance with the shot. The match had been in progress thirty-one minutes at this stage.

Just after the ball had been set rolling again a 'free' was given against Nelson for 'hands' when attempting to stop McMullan, but from the kick Gough fisted out magnificently. Then Thompson led the ball in and gave Gough another warm handful. A collision between Shiels and Syd Reid caused a momentary cessation of hostilities, but both soon recovered. Close on the interval McMullan got away in front of Nelson and gave Gough some trouble with a fast drive, which he saved by conceding a corner.

The sun shone out in all his glory when the teams were in the pavilion for the interval rest, and when play recommenced Ballymena had to face the full glare. Distillery resumed with a sparkling attack, in which Nelson was forced to give away a corner in a dangerous movement. However, the flag kick was not accompanied by any dire result. A 'free' to Ballymena found the ball well in the home area, but it soon came out again, and meeting it, Mitchell sent behind.

A beautiful pass from Cassidy to McCambridge was spoiled by the intervention of Kirkwood, and then Cassidy was on the ball again and placed to Howard, who sent forward a long punt which sailed over the bar. The game was stopped for a couple of minutes by reason of an injury to Thompson, who soon recovered. A short spell of pressure by Distillery was succeeded by Ballymena receiving a 'free', from which D. Reid sent hard into goal, but McMahon saved. McCambridge worked the ball dexterously and passed out to Cassidy, who sent across goal for Clarke to shoot wide.

At the moment play was evenly divided, first one team and then the other having a say in the game. McCambridge made an effective clearance from a Distillery 'free' and sent into Shiels, who made straight for goal, but was headed off by Kirkwood, who sent to touch. Then D. Reid started a nice movement, passing out to John, who held the ball, drew his man, and slipped the leather along the ground to Clarke, the last-named player crossing beautifully for McCambridge to score with a header. The second half was scarcely half way through now, but with a lead of three goals Ballymena felt on safe ground.

Indeed, it was unlikely that Distillery would get even one goal, so sure were Nelson and McDiarmid and Gough on the day's display. On one occasion McAdams was almost through, but the whistle went for offside, and Gough got his boot to the ball anyhow. Thompson was the live wire of the Whites' attack, and had his colleagues been as competent as he they might possibly have secured a goal. McMullan had a gift when Thompson centred, but he failed to convert, almost on the goal line. He had a further chance when Ostle placed the ball neatly to him, but he struck the upright from a few feet out.

Shiels got away off a solo run, and it looked as if Ballymena were going to get another goal, but after eluding the opposition Shiels shot too soon and the goalie had no difficulty in clearing his charge. Both teams forced several corners, but all were abortive. Then McMahon saved from John Reid, and at the opposite end, when a miss by McDiarmid let McAdam away on a clear field, the Whites looked like getting a goal at last, but McAdam steered the ball past by a good foot.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (19 April 1929)



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