7 - 1
7 - 1
League (Irish League)
John Murphy (4)
Jamie Shiels (8)
James McCambridge (14)
James McCambridge (20)
G. Stevenson (Liverpool) (Referee)
Cliftonville met Ballymena at the Showgrounds on Saturday last in wretched weather, heavy rain falling throughout the match. Parts of the pitch were water-logged and muddy, and spoiled some of Ballymena's best movements, in the second half especially.
Cliftonville never gave Ballymena any serious opposition, the Light Blues being on top all the way through the game. It was a most depressing afternoon, but in spite of the rain and the bad underfoot conditions Ballymena gave us some glimpses of first-class football. Ballymena's team was the same as defeated Linfield, except that McNinch reappeared at right back.
Ballymena opened up briskly, Murphy testing Montgomery in the first minute. After four mintues play Dalrymple lobbed the ball into centre, and John Murphy opened the scoring from close range.
Later McCambridge had hard lines with a fast drive which just sailed past on the wrong side of the post. The homesters continued to exert great pressure, and at the end of eight minutes Jamie Shiels went through on his own to score the second.
The way Ballymena were playing it only looked a matter of how many goals they cared to score. They adopted the same tactics as they did for three-quarters of the game against Linfield, relying on attack instead of defence, and goals came fast, James McCambridge scoring the third at the end of fourteen minutes, the same player (James McCambridge) adding a fourth six minutes later from a pass from Shiels. Up to the moment it was a case of Ballymena being everywhere and Cliftonville nowhere.
Murphy had a good chance to augment the score when McCambridge passed the ball neatly, but he sent straight into the goalie's arms. Then for the first time Cliftonville made a real attempt when Mortished got moving and forced McDiarmid to concede a corner. However, the Ballymena forwards were soon at the other end again, and Cassidy missed by inches with a fine drive.
A shot by Murphy, which was going straight for goal was blocked just in time, and then Shiels made an individual effort, but was harried all the way by an opponent and his shot went wide.
Cliftonville's first and only goal of the match came when Millar shot in hard, and when Gough had failed to hold the ball William Wishart finished the effort. Howard tested Montgomery with a high shot, which he held, and just before the interval McCambridge sent in a fast drive, the ball glancing off an opponent's foot and skying over the bar for a corner.
When the teams resumed play after a change of kit, rain was still falling pitilessly, and before long the players were soaked again to the skin. The Cliftonville goal came in for a ceaseless bombardment Shiels and McCambridge missing narrowly, the latter's shot being saved at the expense of a corner when Montgomery threw the ball round the post.
Then Cassidy struck the post with a good effort, and afterwards Ballymena forced another corner. Cassidy initiated a clever movement and gave the ball to Shiels, who made a race for goal, and just when it looked as if he would score himself he passed to James McCambridge who scored the homesters fifth.
Still Ballymena were doing all the pressing, the halves and forwards working together with perfect understanding. A sudden rush by the Cliftonville forwards forced Dalrymple to concede a corner, but the home goal was never in danger after the flag kick.
The Ballymena forwards made excellent progress again, and Murphy was spoiled by Montgomery running out just as he was about to shoot. However, John Murphy had better luck next time, for he evaded all opposition and left the goalie helpless with a great shot, this being Ballymena's sixth goal.
Two abortive corners to Cliftonville inside a few minutes were followed by the home forwards taking play to the opposite end of the field, but good work by Cassidy on several occasions was spoiled by the ball sticking in the mud.
McNinch went to the line for a few minutes with an injury, and McCambridge came back to fill the vacancy. Offside spoiled some of Ballymena's subsequent chances, the most promising of which was when Kilpatrick was hauled up just when Cassidy was positioning to shoot.
A 'free' to Ballymena was quickly followed by a corner, from which John Murphy got possession and netted the homesters' seventh goal.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (3 January 1930)
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