0 - 4
John Murphy (30)
Jamie Shiels (62)
Sidney Howard (89)
Jamie Shiels (90)
P. Craigmyle (Aberdeen) (Referee)
Cliftonville provided the opposition to Ballymena on Saturday at the Showgrounds in the opening match of the City Cup competition. As the destination of the points was more or less a foregone conclusion the fixture attracted only a moderate attendance.
The game in itself was not much to enthuse about, play being on the tame side because of the weak opposition Cliftonville afforded. Ballymena, who were without Gough, McCambridge and Dalrymple, did not play a consistently good game, their finer touches being spasmodic, but they had the lion's share of the play. The Cliftonville forwards division formed the weak link in the team; at no time did they strike an impressive note, and their shooting abilities were almost nil.
From all reports McCambridge was about the most successful forward Ireland had last Saturday against Scotland. The Irishmen held the Scots to a draw - one goal each - at half-time, but in the second half the Scots put more dash into their play, with the result that they won 3-1. In all the papers the Ballymena player received a good criticism a fact which gave much satisfaction to local soccer enthusiasts.
Ballymena were early in the picture, Bassnett lobbing in a great centre in the first minute, with which Murphy just failed to connect. Following a short-lived Cliftonville attack the homesters exerted further pressure, and in the course of brisk exchanges in front of the visitors' goal Gilmore shot inaccurately.
At the other end McMaster punted in a long high shot, which Shannon saved. On the home left Murphy was making a good showing, and he lobbed in a shot which Quinn stopped effectively, but the ball came out to the winger again and he gave Beirne a hot handful to cope with.
Once when Cassidy had opened up the way for Shiels to have a nice run through Quinn put the latter of his balance just as he was about to shoot. Then Bassnett dropped a lovely centre in front of goal and Gilmore headed past.
The Cliftonville forwards had not up to the present made any sort of good impression, and in their next attack they were rather easily foiled by Howard who broke up the movement. At the other end Murphy beat Moore but had the misfortune to overbalance on the slippery ground just when in good position to shoot.
Roars of laughter greeted some very clever work by Cassidy, whose trickiness completely nonplussed his opponents. Ballymena received a corner on the right, and from the flag-kick Reid headed in a fine try, which Beirne sprang to in good style. In the course of lively exchanges in front of the visitors' goal Murphy netted, but the referee gave off-side.
Cliftonville's attacks were few and far between. They were scarcely ever concerted, and the home halves and backs had not to stretch themselves unduly to cope with them. Shiels raced for goal, and sent out to Murphy, but Moore beat him, and Beirne eased the situation. Then Cassidy drove in hard and the ball cannoned off Gilmore into the net, but off-side ruled again.
At the end of about half-an-hour's play Kilpatrick turned in a lovely centre, from which John Murphy headed in a beauty. A minute later Ballymena were again attacking, and Kilpatrick struck the upright with a splendid try. From another corner Murphy headed narrowly past.
Mortished led a Cliftonville attack, but when near goal he got into a tangle with Nelson and before McConkey could come to the rescue the ball had gone harmlessly past. Things were quiet up to the interval.
A corner to each side in the early minutes of the second half left the score unchanged. Then Ballymena received a 'free' just outside the penalty area, and Beirne saved Reid's shot at the expense of a further corner. Kilpatrick came near adding to the score when a shot from him sent the ball bouncing on the bar.
Seventeen minutes after the resumption Cassidy pushed the ball along the ground to Jamie Shiels, who had a clean race through to score the second goal. For a considerable spell after this Ballymena were mostly on the ascendant, Cliftonville very rarely getting a look in, nevertheless play was of a very uninteresting nature.
Gilmore and Cassidy shot high when well placed, and from a corner Shiels headed over. Later Shiels was again off the mark with a right-foot drive. A 'free' to Cliftonville for a foul on Mortished raised the Amateurs' hopes, but Mortished's shot went far from goal. Then Billingsley had one of the visitors' few tries when he sent in a fast drive from which Shannon fisted clear.
Play continued to be scrappy up to the closing stages, but a burst on the part of Ballymena livened up matters when Sidney Howard scored the third after Beirne had fisted out from Cassidy. Within a minute Jamie Shiels, following a movement in which Cassidy and Murphy collaborated, scored the fouth.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (28 February 1930)
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