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League (Irish League)
|Fred Barrett (pen.) (80)||
Jamie Shiels (20)
James McCambridge (88)
J. McDowell (Belfast) (Referee)
Ballymena travelled to Ards last Saturday for the second time within four days, and succeeded in turning the tables on their opponetns, thus avenging their Gold Cup defeat of the previous Wednesday. The Ballymena team played with better understanding, and had more dash about their display compared with the match a few days earlier. They were more satisfactory in every way, and taking everything into consideration well deserved their goal victory. Unlike Wednesday evening, the weather was on its best behaviour.
The spin of the coin favoured BAllymena, and they sent Ards to face the full glare of the sun. The homesters' intial movement was soon checked, J. Reid sending Ballymena forwards away on a race, but Barrett was first on the ball. Morrow (who had exchanged positions with Mitchell) and Shiels came into the limelight with a pretty movement to which Garrett put a full stop when something looked like happening.
Mitchell opened up the attack again and called upon McMullan to stop a fast stop. There was an exciting moment when Mitchell and Webster worked their way along the wing in a nice passing movemnet and the former shot hard in for the Ards goalie to drive full length and clear his charge.
In this half Ards made spasmodic efforts, it was rarely they got within shooting distance owing to the good work of the Ballymena halves and backs. A free to Ballymena brought danger, D. Reid coming within an ace of scoring when from his long dropping shot the ball bounced about a yard out and rose to glide over the bar. The first real attempt by Ards was when Collins tested Gough with a well-directed try, but the goal was equal to the occasion.
Play swung to the other end, where Shiels worked into position and placed to Morrow, whose shot lacked sting. The game was now about twenty minutes' old, and so far Ballymena had the best of the argument, playing neat football which was immeasurably better than that of their opponents. Bentley got in a flier from the wing which McMullan stopped well. A nippy movement was started in midfield when J. Reid passed to Davy, and the latter placed forward to Mitchell, who gave Shiels an exceptionally good pass which enabled him to run in between the backs and score a beauty. A minute later the same player looked like adding another, but McMullan turned the ball round the post for a corner.
Ards got more life into their forward play, and Gowdy put a lovely shot which would have found its mark had not Gough, by an almost superhuman effort, got at it with one hand just in time. The ball bounced in the air, but the goalie recovered brilliantly. Gowdy had again hard lines with a shot which struck the side of the net. Ards received a corner but play was quickly transferred to the other end, where McMullan saved. Webster placed a corner neatly but Garrett cleared to touch.
Mitchell was shouldered off the ball from behind inside the penalty area when he had nobody to beat but the 'keeper, but the referee allowed the incident to pass unnoticed. McCambridge put across a lovely shot which dropped on the bar and went over, and then McMullan stopped a grand effort made by Shiels. Another time when Ballymena came near scoring was when Bentley crossed in for Morrow to head against the bar. At the other end Turnbull missed an opportunity by sending much too high.
Ards made a better show on the resumption, Gough being called on to save within a minute from the restart. Collins and Flynn changed in the home front rank this half. For a time Ards were in the Ballymena end and then the visitors changed the venue but off-side intervened. Then a concerted attack culminated in Morrow giving Shiels a chance, but McMullan saved the shot. The homesters again got going, and a free let Barrett have a great drive for goal, Gough pushing over for a corner. At the extreme end Webster had a couple of tries, and from the second Barrett conceded a corner.
The same Ballymena forward had a good chance to do something in the next attack but failed to get the ball anywhere near goal. Granger lobbed in a long drive from the wing which went over. Getting away once more the Ballymena forwards outwitted the defence, and as Shiels was about to shoot he was hustled. but nevertheless, his shot struck the bar. A free to Ards gave Barrett another chance, and he landed the ball just in front of goal, where Gough was lucky to get it away. McGee had a try but sent over.
Gowdy was fouled and had to be attended to by the trainer. Ballymena were being pressed when McDiarmid gave away a penalty, from which Barrett bagged the equaliser. With only ten minutes to go Ballymena worked harder than ever, and the closing stages were exciting. From a free taken by J. Reid the ball eventually went to Morrow, who found it impossible to get through the forest of legs at the corner of the post, but forced a corner. Bentley dropped the ball neatly in front of goal, where McCambridge headed into the net for the winning goal, inside two minutes from time.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (14 September 1928)
|John Gough (GK)||32||3||-||3||-|