Cliftonville 0
Ballymena 2
League (Irish League)


0 - 2


League (Irish League)
Saturday, September 28th, 1929
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Hugh Gilmore (6)
James McCambridge (60)

Team Managers
Selection Committee Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
Alfred Gardiner
Robert Skelton
Robert McGuire
S. Allen
William McFarland
W. Whitechurch
James Miller
C. Taylor
W. Giffen
G. Jones
Thomas McConkey
John Gough
Alfred Basnett
Gordon McDairmid
David Nelson
Sidney Howard
David Reid
Hugh Gilmore
James O'Reilly
James McCambridge
Jamie Shiels
William Girvan


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Match Report

There was only a moderate attendance at Solitude, Belfast, last Saturday when Ballymena and Cliftonville faced each other under League auspices.

The weather was favourable with little or no breeze. Ballymena had three team changes, Girvan, Gilmore and Nelson displacing Arlow, Mitchell and McNinch. Howard was moved up to the forward line, and McCambridge dropped back to left-half, but in the second half these players figured in their old positions.

Ballymena won the toss, but there was little to be gained by it. However, they were first to become dangerous. O'Reilly forcing a corner in the first minute. A short spell of pressure by Cliftonville was easily dealt with by the Ballymena backs, whose general steadiness was a feature of the game.

Shiels livened up matters with a fast individual run, but his shot was high. Not long after this Shiels and Hugh Gilmore made progress with a smart, dashing piece of combination, which ended in the latter opening the score about six minutes from the start. The movement which led up to the goal was the result of good understanding between these two players.

Cliftonville had made spasmodic efforts from time to time but a very weak front line failed to make any impression whatever on the stout Ballymena defence. The only trier was McConkey, who managed to test Gough once or twice. The Ballymena left wing got plenty to do, O'Reilly especially, but he made a poor shape at utilising the splendid openings made for him.

The game continued almost without any incident of note to relieve the monotony, Shiels worked as hard as ever to put his name on the score sheet, but once again, as has happened so often this season, luck was dead against him. He was constantly making openings for the wingers to take play to the opposing goal, only to see his work wasted by someone being pulled up for offside.

Cliftonville's attacks always fizzled out, and it was not often that Gough had to exert himself, thanks to the vigilance of McDiarmid and Nelson. McCambridge was applauded for a long drive which struck the side-net. When Nelson did not get the ball away quick enough at the other end Millar pounced on it, and should have scored, but his effort was ridiculously weak and erratic.

Gilmore was more successful at the Cliftonville end when he brought the ball right over his head and turning around quickly, shot straight and hard for goal, Gardiner saving splendidly. The home goalie saved what looked like a 'cert' again when Shiels deflected the ball in with his head from a corner.

It was a great effort well saved. Another corner was forced, and McCambridge lobbed in a long drive, which was going straight for the net when an opponent got in the way of the ball. When the Ballymena defence was in difficulties Cliftonville received a corner, followed by a free, but they failed to use either to advantage. Close on the interval Gilmore headed in from a pass from Howard, but again Gardiner was on the spot.

In the second half Howard and McCambridge took up their usual positions on the team. A Ballymena attack was followed closely by pressure by the lame forwards and when McDiarmid was hemmed in by Reid, came to his rescue and got the ball away just in time. Shiels raced for goal, and after a running battle with the two back shot hard the ball striking the upright.

Then O'Reilly crossed in to McCambridge, who shot from a yard range with the ball on the bounce, and sent it upwards to strike the under side of the crossbar. Down and out it came again, but the melee ended tamely. From a corner taken by Girvan the ball went to Reid, who returned it to the winger, and Girvan drove it over the heads of a number of players to James McCambridge, who headed it into the net for the second goal.

Cliftonville's chance to reduce the lead came almost immediately after this when Jones had beaten Nelson and had drawn Gough out of his charge, but his shot went careering across an empty goal. Ballymena pressed almost continuously from now until the end, but found Gardiner the chief obstacle in their efforts for further goals.

Gardiner saved shots from all angles, one particularly clever save came when he stopped a great drive from Girvan. Shiels was always active, and with the least particle of luck should have got goals. He hit the ball against the uprights, or against the goalkeeper or the backs - there was always something or someone in the way. Bassnett did well to concede a corner in a dangerous moment when three opponents were lying in front of goal unmarked.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (4 October 1929)

Squad Statistics (as at September 28th, 1929)

1929-1930 All Time
John Gough (GK)33 8 - 52 -
Gordon McDairmid22 8 - 53 -
Alfred Basnett36 8181
David Nelson26 2 - 9 -
David Reid33 6 - 486
Sidney Howard22 8 - 441
Hugh Gilmore30 11143
William Girvan19 6 - 91
Jamie Shiels20 814543
James O'Reilly - 2 - 2 -
James McCambridge24 825232

League Table (as at September 28th, 1929)

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