Portadown 5
Ballymena 3
League (Irish League)


5 - 3


League (Irish League)
Saturday, November 23rd, 1929
Shamrock Park
2:30 PM Kick-off

Hugh Blair (2)
Hugh Blair (10)
Hugh Blair (38)
Hugh Blair (56)
Hugh Blair
Jamie Shiels 
Jamie Shiels (17)
Joseph Cassidy (57)

Team Managers
Selection Committee Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
Charles Morgan
William Fisher
John Lynas
Wilfred Haire
Sam Kirkwood
William Ferguson
James Fulton
Thomas Edwards
Hugh Blair
John Doherty
John Lappin
John Gough
Gordon McDiarmid
John McNinch
Sidney Howard
James Kirkwood
Hugh Gilmore
John Murphy
George Arlow
Jamie Shiels
Joseph Cassidy
James McCambridge


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

W. Cowan (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

Ballymena found themselves in difficulties on Saturday when they travelled to meet Portadown, three of their usual playing members - Kilpatrick, Reid and Bassnett - being absent from the team through sickness or injuries.

Arlow, Kirkwood and Gilmore filled the vacancies, but on the day's play these were far from being fit substitutes. To add to the crop of drawbacks, Howard turned out with a sore toe, which it was obvious he was handicapped; nevertheless, he was the best of a disappointing middle line, taking it as a whole. Portadown took the field without Johnston, who is in hospital, Blair taking his place at centre-forward.

Ballymena started with a breeze advantage and with their backs to a sun which hung low in the sky, but on the other hand they had the disadvantage of having to defend the muddy end of the field. Gough was tested in the first minute by Doherty, but handled safely.

Following Kirkwood's failure to get the ball away in the middle of the field, Edwards got away on the home right and punted the ball into the centre, where it struck fast in the mud, and Hugh Blair let drive and beat Gough all the way. All this happened inside the first two minutes.

Ballymena retaliated with a fast run to the opposite end, where an abortive corner was forced. They maintained the pressure for a short time, but the venue was changed, and Fulton crossed in for Doherty to head past the post. Then McCambridge led a Ballymena attack and sent out to Murphy, who beat two opponents and tested Morgan.

The Portadown forwards headed for goal again, and after some strenuous work in the Ballymena goal area Lappin placed well for Hugh Blair to score the second, ten minutes from the start. Up to the moment Portadown the major portion of the play. Not satisfied with two goals, they strove hard for another, and came very near getting it, Gough baulking them at the last minute by punching clear.

Ballymena's chance to score came a minute later, when they received a penalty for 'hands' but Cassidy lifted the ball straight into Morgan's arms. The first Ballymena goal was not long in coming, however, for shortly after this Jamie Shiels accepted a pass from Kirkwood, and after his shot had rebounded off a defender he ran forward and drove the ball into the net well out of Morgan's reach.

Portadown swept towards the Ballymena end agian, and from a foul against McNinch the ball was headed narrowly past by Ferguson. Gough made a brilliant save a minute later when he flicked the ball over the bar with a turn of his wrist when Blair had a shot. A run by Murphy looked likely when he led in past a number of opponents, but his shot was just a trifle off the mark and struck the side net.

With only seven or eight minutes of the first half to go Hugh Blair scored Portadown's third goal, thus performing the 'hat trick'. Ballymena made valiant efforts to retrieve their position, and Jamie Shiels netted with a splendid shot, but the referee disallowed the point on the plea of a foul.

The opening minutes of the second half saw the Ballymena goal in serious danger, but it came through the ordeal, including acorner, without further disaster. Further assaults brought additional danger, and a 'free' for hands nearly led to its downfall, but Gough brought off a good save.

In a Ballymena raid Lynas was injured and had to retire. When ten minutes of this half had gone Lappin centred to Hugh Blair , who took advantage of some slackness on the part of McDiarmid and scored the homesters fourth.

Two corners fell to Ballymena in quick succession, and from the second Murphy lifted the ball well in for Joseph Cassidy to head through Ballymena's second goal. However, in the course of a few minutes Portadown regained their three goals lead, Hugh Blair scoring their fifth.

Ballymena shaped better after this, but the forwards were not getting sufficient backing from the halves. Shiels ran through on his own and scored Ballymena's third, and McCambridge came within an ace of adding another when he struck the crossbar a mighty bang. Ballymena had the better of the exchanges up to the end.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (29 November 1929)

Squad Statistics (as at November 23rd, 1929)

1929-1930 All Time
John Gough (GK)33 15 - 59 -
Gordon McDiarmid22 15 - 60 -
John McNinch26 12 - 531
Sidney Howard22 15 - 511
James Kirkwood33 3 - 3 -
Hugh Gilmore30 43175
James McCambridge24 1445834
George Arlow23 4141
Jamie Shiels20 1585250
Joseph Cassidy33 742410
John Murphy31 6161

League Table (as at November 23rd, 1929)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 14 10 4 0 24
2. Coleraine 14 9 2 3 20
3. Glentoran 14 8 3 3 19
4. Belfast Celtic 14 7 3 4 17
5. BALLYMENA 14 6 3 5 15
6. Bangor 14 7 1 6 15
7. Derry City 14 6 3 5 15
8. Portadown 14 5 5 4 15
9. Distillery 14 6 2 6 14
10. Glenavon 14 5 1 8 11
11. Newry 14 5 0 9 10
12. Larne 14 4 0 10 8
13. Ards 14 2 4 8 8
14. Cliftonville 14 2 1 11 5