2 - 2
2 - 2
League (Irish League)
John Morrow (19)
Edward Quigley (53)
Gerry McCourt (15)
Gerry McCourt (80)
W. McClean (Belfast) (Referee)
Ballymena were without D. Reid, J. Reid and Shiels when they turned out at the Showgrounds against Glenavon on Saturday, and consequently were much below their usual fighting strength. In spite of this, however, they gave Glenavon a good game, in which they more than held their own, and it was only the closing stages - ten minutes from the end, in fact - that McCourt scored the goal which entitled the visitors to share the points. Bentley reappeared for Ballymena at outside-right in place of Clarke, while Quigley, a newcomer from Antrim Comrades, led the attack instead of Shiels, who was still unfit Gilmore played at right half, and McCambridge at centre-half.
Ballymena were set to face a strong sun and a light breeze in the opening half, but despite these handicaps were the more dangerous side at the start, McMahon being called late into action early on to stop a rasper from Mitchell. Then Glenavon came away and R. Thompson put in a great shot which Gough handled well. Toman was making tracks for goal when McNinch gave away a corner, which was abortive.
Ballymena became dangerous again and Bentley crossed in well for Mitchell to meet the ball and strike the bar with a great first-timer which had McMahon guessing. The ball rebounded into play, and in the next minute Morrow placed to Gilmore, who passed on to Shaw, and the last-named struck the upright with a grand effort, Quigley then failing to put on the finishing touch in front of an open goal, and the ball was cleared by Maxwell.
When the game was eleven minutes old Glenavon opened the scoring per McCourt, who shot in the midst of a melee, Gough getting at the ball but failing to stop it until it was over the line. With a goal against them, Ballymena showed a keener desire to score than ever, and in a short time had their efforts rewarded. Morrow led up and passed to Shaw, who beat J. Thompson and placed nicely for Quigley to push in for the equaliser.
But Glenavon were not disheartened. They attacked spiritedly, and Toman volleyed in a high shot which tested Gough's custodianship. Off-side spoiled a good home movement, and then in the next attack Quigley shot, but as the effort was weak, McMahon had no difficulty in dealing with it. Once again Toman came into the limelight with another good effort, but again Gough was equal to the occasion.
A pretty piece of combination by Shaw, Howard and Morrow saw Ballymena again dangerous, but the attack ended in a fruitless corner. In a sharp encounter in front of the Glenavon goal Quigley headed to Morrow, and the latter headed into goal, but McMahon was on the spot. A nice opening came to Moore to give Glenavon the lead, but in some unaccountable way his shot went wide of the mark. From a corner to the visitors Gough punched clear, and a Glenavon forward ran the ball past.
The second half opened briskly, with Ballymena attacking, and Bentley crossed in a high shot which McMahon saved, the ball going to McCambridge, who essayed a long drive which the keeper also coped with. Slack play on the part of the home team allowed Glenavon halves to place the ball into the danger zone time and again. At last McCambridge eased the pressure, driving hard up the field to Quigley who headed to Morrow, the last-named player sending in an oblique shot which beat McMahon all the way. This was about eight minutes from the restart.
A run by Glenavon saw them force a corner, which brought momentary danger. At the other end McMahon's alterness foiled Shaw, who just failed to get at a pass from Morrow, the keeper lifting the ball almost from his feet. Play continued to be fast and produced some lively exchanges. Another corner to Glenavon brought no change in the score. Coming away again, the home forwards got busy, and McMahon was hard put to it to stop a shot from Quigley. Then Quigley gave Shaw a well-timed pass, and the latter shot straight into the goalie's arms.
Quigley again opened up the way, this time for Bentley, whose shot was diverted for a corner, following which Gilmore sent in a pile-driver which missed by inches. McMahon was kept busy at this stage and again came into prominence by stopping another effort from Shaw, holding the ball in spite of fierce opposition. McCambridge, who helped the forwards betimes, again had a try on his own but it failed to find its billet.
Slackness on Ballymena's part allowed the whole Glenavon forward line away, McNinch and McDairmid being powerless to stop them, with the result that McCourt ran right through and scored the equaliser ten minutes from the end Ballymena rallied and kept up a running attack, but McMahon stood between them and victory.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (25 January 1929)
|John Gough (GK)||33||24||-||24||-|