Ballymena 4
Linfield 2
League (Irish League)

4 - 2

League (Irish League)
Saturday, October 20th, 1928
Ballymena Showgrounds
3:00 PM Kick-off

James McCambridge 
Jamie Shiels 
Richard Shaw (33)
James McCambridge (35)
Eddie Matthews (6)
Joe Bambrick

Team Managers
Selection Committee
Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
John Gough
Gordon McDiarmid
John McNinch
Sidney Howard
David Reid
John Reid
Richard Shaw
David Cunning
Jamie Shiels
James Mitchell
James McCambridge
Fred Strain
Robert Thompson
Tommy Frame
George Adams
George Moorehead
Billy Houston
Harry McCracken
Joe Bambrick
Eddie Matthews


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

A. Kirby (Preston) (Referee)

Match Report

Last Saturday will be remembered as one of the red letter days in the still brief history of the Ballymena Club.

Following up their series of admirable displays, in which they achieved some remarkable performances when we remember that this is their first year in football, they capped the lot by winning a great victory over Linfield, a victory which was undeniably well deserved. There was a very big attendance, the gate reciepts amounting to £117 11s.

There was a great outburst of applause when D. Reid, the Ballymena captain, won the toss, and set Linfield to face the sun and a telling breeze. The locals broke through the Linfield ranks at the start and for the first five minutes put up a spirited display, the forwards converging on the backs and giving them a lively time. Shaw was first to bring danger to the Linfield goal, but Moorehead intercepted the centre and cleared. Still playing a swinging game, Ballymena were soon in the danger zone again, John Reid lifting the ball into centre, where Shiels turned in the ball at an awkward angle, only to miss by inches.

Linfield pressed, and Houston was well away on the right wing when McDiarmid nipped the effort in the bud by clearing to touch. Following a home attack, in which Shiels and Shaw figured prominently, the visitors made ground, and Adams lobbed in a great centre and McNinch headed out, but Eddie Matthews got the ball on the rebound and flashed in a try, which found its billet, the game now being only about six minutes old.

Linfield were again dangerous in the next minute, when they received a free almost on the penalty line. For some reason or other the first attempt miscarried, and the second ended in McClean getting possession, after Moorehead's shot had been charged down, and skying over the bar.

It was now Ballymena's turn to attack, and the way they shaped for goal met with the approval of the crowd, who were unstinted in their applause of good efforts. The visitors' goal had a narrow escape from Cunning, and then from John Reid on a couple of occasions. From a corner taken by Cunning, Shaw headed against the side of the net. A fine centre by Cunning might have met with a better reward had McCambridge succeeded in getting at it, but he was a second too late.

At the moment, Ballymena were pressing strongly and forced another corner, from which Mitchell headed past. Davy Reid sent Shiels away on a run, and the latter's shot missed by inches. Then danger came to the home goal when Houston fired in a high shot which went past on the other side. The locals were presented with a great chance when Thompson miskicked a few yards out, and there was chagrin on the faces of the home crowd when McCambridge failed to get through.

A series of attacks by Linfield looked dangerous, but Gough was steady in goal and saved a good try by McGowan. A free to both teams was followed by midfield play, after which Shiels got away from a throw-in, and after making ground, sent to Mitchell who passed on to Richard Shaw for the last-named to score the equaliser amidst deafening applause. Ballymena still kept up the pressure, and from a free McDiarmid landed well into the danger zone, where J. Reid headed in for Thompson to concede a corner to save the goal. From the flag kick, well taken by Cunning, James McCambridge headed into the net, and so put Ballymena on the lead. Just before the interval a trio of Ballymena forwards - Shaw, Shiels and McCambridge - got bunched together on the goal line with the goal at their mercy but failed to do the needful.

A fast pace characterised the resumption and in the first minute the locals were almost through. There was further excitement when Mitchell beat the backs in a great race and volleyed a rasper right into Strain's arms. At this stage John Reid was severely injured when stooping to head the ball, Thompson giving him an ugly wound on the forehead which rendered him unconcious and necessiitated his removal to the dressing room. At once Davy Reid brought McCambridge to right-half, and the latter played like a demon during the time John Reid was off - almost twenty minutes.

McNinch made a couple of timely clearances when hard pressed, and then Adams penetrated the defence, but Gough saved the shot. Getting away on a clear field, Joe Bambrick made a bee-line for goal, and after he had slipped the backs Gough ran out to meet him, but the Linfield leader eluded him and scored the equaliser.

Ballymena were now thoroughly up against it, but they showed splendid courage and played so well and so consistently that Linfield were kept on the defensive most of the time. A shot from Cunning nearly found its mark, and then Howard landed in one, and all Strain could do was to push the ball over the bar for a corner.

John Reid, after having the attention of two doctors, felt sufficiently revived to return to the fray, and his reappearance was the signal for a tremendous burst of applause. A sharp downpour of rain lowered the force of the wind, against which Ballymena were now playing. The homesters renewed the attack and Shiels gave to Cunning, Strain and stopping the latter's shot on the line. In a melee in front of the Linfield goal Jamie Shiels managed to get the ball out of the ruck and ran through to put Ballymena on the lead. The goal had a narrow escape when Strain made a shaky save and Thompson managed to clear to touch.

Still very much to the fore, Ballymena made headway along the left wing, and the ball eventually came in for James McCambridge to score the homesters' fourth with a beauty. Linfield took play to the home end, where J. Reid cleared from a corner, and then McCracken sent over. From this stage up to the end Ballymena were constantly on the ascendant, and this in spite of the loss of Mitchell, who was injured and had to be carried off. Towards the finish Bambrick was cautioned by the referee for lifting the ball when it was already out of play and kicking it into the grand stand enclosure.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (26 October 1928)

Squad Statistics (as at October 20th, 1928)

1928-1929 All Time
John Gough (GK)32 8 - 8 -
John McNinch25 10 - 10 -
Gordon McDiarmid21 10 - 10 -
John Reid30 102102
Sidney Howard21 5 - 5 -
David Reid32 101101
Richard Shaw20 5252
James Mitchell25 101101
James McCambridge23 107107
David Cunning35 3131
Jamie Shiels19 10101010

League Table (as at October 20th, 1928)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Belfast Celtic 9 9 0 0 18
2. Portadown 9 6 1 2 13
3. Linfield 9 6 0 3 12
4. BALLYMENA 9 4 4 1 12
5. Glentoran 9 5 2 2 12
6. Distillery 9 4 2 3 10
7. Coleraine 9 4 2 3 10
8. Larne 9 4 2 3 10
9. Newry 9 3 1 5 7
10. Bangor 9 2 2 5 6
11. Glenavon 9 2 2 5 6
12. Ards 9 1 2 6 4
13. Cliftonville 9 1 1 7 3
14. Queens Island 9 1 1 7 3