1 - 3
1 - 3
League (Irish League)
Andrew Watson (4)
John Doherty (42)
G. Magennis (Belfast) (Referee)
Rather less than an average crowd saw Portadown defeat Ballymena at the Showgrounds last Saturday. The weather was dry but cold, and in the first half the homesters had to face a fair breeze.
Ballymena started operations with a forward dash in which Clarke was prominent, taking the ball along the wing and cross in for D. Reid to head to McCambridge, who headed behind. A few lively exchanges followed, and then the 'Ports' forced a corner and in the melee which ensued in front of goal Andrew Watson got possession and scored with a close-in shot, netting from amidst a ruck of players.
Ballymena retailiated with several swift attacks, in the first of which Shaw centred and Kimlin headed narrowly over the bar. Then Kimlin forced a corner, from which D. Reid headed past. A run by Portadown to the other end found Gough pulled up for 'carrying' but the resultant free was ineffective. When Bonnar was going well for goal he was brought down. D. Reid took the 'free' and Cassidy trapped well and shot, but it was charged down, whereupon Shaw ran in and tested Casement, who was safe. McNinch came to the rescue in the next attack by the visitors, and Bonnar again made headway, but shot wide. Portadown were again dangerous, and a shot across goal went abegging.
The locals livened up somewhat, and Bonnar managed to get in a shot which Casement just scraped away in time. Cassidy was giving Shaw every chance on the wing, putting out passes which were accurately placed, but in spite of it all the forwards were unable to do the needful. From one of Shaw's crosses Bonnar missed, and Cassidy essayed a flier, which sailed past.
It was noticeable that Gilmore, the right half, was endeavouring to make up for the lack of punch on the part of the forwards, and time and again he punted in long shot shots which brought great danger, and which were useful enough, but there was no one there to follow them up. Two corners to Ballymena found no change in the score.
Clarke sent in a lovely centre, and Cassidy met the ball and placed to Bonnar's foot, but the centre-forward was unable to shoot. For almost twenty minutes Ballymena dominated the game, but between ill-luck and bad finishing they failed to get an equaliser.
The visitors at last got away, and from a free John Doherty got possession as Gough ran out to meet him and scored the second goal with ease. A little while before the interval Shaw had a grand opportunity to score, but after running right up to goal he hesitated just long enough for Lynas to come along and dispossess him.
The second half opened with Ballymena again attacking, and Casement saved from Clarke. A free for 'hands' gave the locals another chance, and D. Reid drove hard into goal, but Casement was ready. Hardly five minutes of this half had gone when Harry Johnston got away on a fine solo run after McNinch had failed to arrest the attack, and he outwitted McDiarmid and left Gough little chance with a shot which he took on the run, striking the roof of the net with a great drive.
Portadown had got all their goals against the run of play, thus showing just how nimble their forwards were, and how they could finish an attack. Ballymena were having a great deal of the play, but as yet could not cap their efforts with a goal. However, it was soon to come. McNinch stopped an attack, and passed to D. Reid, who pushed forward to James McCambridge, and the last-named ran right in and reduced the lead with a good effort. Shaw had exchanged places with Bonnar in this half, but there was no appreciable difference in the play.
Casement saved from Bonnar and Clarke in quick succession. The Portadown defence caught the homesters napping several times by playing the offside game. Bonnar struck the crossbar and the whistle went for offside, but the decision was obviously a mistake. Towards the close Clarke crossed in the ball for Shaw to shoot into Casement's arms. A corner to Ballymena left the score unchanged.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (1 March 1929)
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