Coleraine 0
Ballymena United 4
League (NIFL Premiership)


0 - 4

Ballymena United

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, March 9th, 2019
Coleraine Showgrounds
Attendance: 2,313
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Andrew McGrory (30)
Adam Lecky (36)
Andrew McGrory (49)
Andrew McGrory (88)

Team Managers
Rodney McAree David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
1. Chris Johns
3. Adam Mullan
8. Stephen Lowry
10. Eoin Bradley
11. Josh Carson
13. Gareth McConaghie
14. Aaron Burns
15. Stephen O'Donnell
16. Ian Parkhill
19. Jamie McGonigle
23. Ben Doherty
Ross Glendinning .1
Scot Whiteside .5
Jim Ervin .21
Conor Quigley .3
Steven McCullough .11
Albert Watson .32
Kofi Balmer .19
Leroy Millar .23
Andrew McGrory .17
Jonathan McMurray .27
Adam Lecky .22

20. Michael Doherty
9. James McLaughlin
30. Cormac Burke
36. Dylan Davidson
40. Jamie Glackin
42. Dean Shiels
55. Dylan King
Jordan Williamson .31
Andrew Burns .14
Tony Kane .2
Jonathan Addis .4
Ryan Mayse .6
Shane McGinty .7
Matthew Shevlin .16

Dylan King for Aaron Burns (19)
James McLaughlin for Jamie McGonigle (64)
Ryan Mayse for Jonathan McMurray (78)

Adam Mullan (73) Albert Watson (70)
Adam Lecky (82)

Red Cards
Gareth McConaghie (27) None.

Match Officials

Evan Boyce (Referee)

Match Report

Andrew McGrory helped himself to a hat-trick in the derby as Ballymena United swept 10-man Coleraine aside with a 4-0 win at Coleraine Showgrounds.

United made the trip to the Ballycastle Road with 4 changes to the starting XI from last week's disappointment at Seaview, with Albert Watson making his second debut for the club. There was a shake up in formation to with Andy McGrory and Steven McCullough in the middle of the park and Kofi Balmer on right wing back duty.

With most of the game played in awful conditions as a mixture of a heavy pitch, rain, strong winds made it difficult for both sides, United had an early storm to weather as Coleraine started well. Inside 45 seconds Ross Glendinning was called into action to deny Ian Parkhill with a one handed save and from the resulting corner Aaron Burns headed inches wide.

After seeing out the opening 10 minutes Ballymena got themselves into the game and their first chance fell to Johnny McMurray. McGrory played in the forward with a neat ball over the top but McMurray's deflected shot went wide. Further half chances came and went for both teams before a key moment on 27 minutes when Coleraine were reduced to 10 men. McMurray raced onto another ball from McGrory but as he closed in on goal he was brought down by Gareth McConaghie, who was the last man, leaving Evan Boyce no choice but to send the defender off.

Just 3 minutes after the sending off the visitors broke the deadlock. Leroy Millar had a shot blocked but Adam Lecky kept it alive by finding an unmarked Andrew McGrory who saw his first header hit the underside of the crossbar, but his second header on the rebound found the net.

5 minutes later Ballymena went two up with a goal that confused most of the Coleraine Showgrounds at first. Balmer did well to keep a deep cross alive at the back post and put a ball of his own in which went goalwards off Adam Lecky. Chris Johns looked to have scrambled the ball off the line but as play continued no one in the ground noticed the linesman's flag up to say the ball had crossed the line. There is still some debate as to whether Lecky or Dylan King got the final touch, but with Coleraine's bench and players dismayed, United didn't care as they took a 2-0 lead to the break.

Within 4 minutes of the restart Ballymena moved 3-0 to the good. The excellent Balmer swung an inviting ball into the back post which was headed back across goal by McMurray to the waiting Andrew McGrory who slammed home is second.

It was almost 4 shortly after when Watson embarked on a delightful burst forward, with his cross being knocked down for McCullough who stung the palms of Johns. As the home side looked for any sign of a way back Doherty cut inside to get a shot away but it was easy pickings for Glendinning to save and at the other end Millar teed up McGrory who curled an effort just over.

The final 20 minutes had little to report in terms of goalmouth action for either side with Ballymena's outstanding defence stopping any chance of a Coleraine breakthrough. Ryan Mayse came on in the final 15 minutes, replacing McMurray who put in a fantastic shift upfront, and Mayse helped the Braidmen find a 4th with 2 minutes left. A kick from Glendinning somehow made its way through everyone and was latched onto by Mayse who went through one on one before seeing his effort well saved by Johns, but Andrew McGrory was quickest to the rebound and got to the ball just ahead of Johns to poke him his third of the game in front of an ecstatic Sky Blue support.

After an out of sorts performance in the Irish Cup defeat last Saturday, the Sky Blues more than made up for it with a fine showing today, with special mention to Albert Watson who looked right at home in his first Irish League game for 6 years, not giving Eoin Bradley a sniff all game. Another huge win sees Ballymena close the gap to Linfield and extend their advantage over Crusaders.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at March 9th, 2019)

2018-2019 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)25 31 - 103 -
Albert Watson33 1 - 31710
Kofi Balmer18 261574
Scot Whiteside21 28 - 28 -
Steven McCullough24 364765
Jim Ervin33 3312103
Conor Quigley21 61191
Leroy Millar23 33812516
Andrew McGrory27 289289
Jonathan McMurray24 2539130
Adam Lecky27 36143614
Ryan Mayse (sub)25 245245

League Table (as at March 9th, 2019)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 31 22 5 4 71
2. BALLYMENA UTD 30 20 5 5 65
3. Crusaders 30 18 3 9 57
4. Glenavon 31 15 9 7 54
5. Cliftonville 31 16 3 12 51
6. Coleraine 31 13 9 9 48
7. Dungannon 31 9 9 13 36
8. Glentoran 31 9 8 14 35
9. Institute 30 10 5 15 35
10. Warrenpoint Town 30 7 7 16 28
11. Ards 31 4 6 21 18
12. Newry 31 4 5 22 17