2 - 2
William McGinnigle (25) (pen.)
James Gilmour (31)
Joseph Cassidy (81)
J. Carswell (Blackburn) (Referee)
The keen rivalry which exists between Ballymena and Coleraine was again manifested last Saturday, when the meeting of these teams at Coleraine in City Cup competition attracted a large crowd from near and far. A special train from Ballymena carried a big contingent of Light Blue supporters.
It was the third meeting of these teams this season, and the second at Coleraine. Coleraine won the previous two matches, which were played under league auspices, but on Saturday Ballymena had the satisfaction of bringing home a point after a struggle in which at one period they were two goals behind. Ballymena's splendid pull-out in the second half, in which they were top dogs, made them easily worthy of a division of the points.
Ten minutes from the end Nelson had to be assisted off the field owing to an injury, and it was after this that Cassidy scored the equalising goal. It was immediately after this that Murphy, too, had to go to the pavilion, after limping about for some time also because of an injury. Even with only nine players, Ballymena held their own end up well until the finish.
In losing McCambridge, who has gone to Everton, Ballymena have parted with one of their greatest stalwarts. 'Hoodie' was a tremendous force in the team, and one whose place will be difficult to fill. He carried with him the best wishes of his many friends here for every success with the famous Everton.
Exchanges were lively from the outset. Playing down the hill and with the breeze Ballymena were early aggressive, forcing a corner in the opening minutes. McIntyre headed out from the flag kick and Reid made a quick return, but Mehaffey dealt nimbly with the shot.
Immediately afterwards Howard had a try on his own, the home goalie picking up at the upright. Coleraine dashed up the field, and in the course of close exchanges in front of the Ballymena goal, Doherty missed by inches from close in. Then Bassnett sent the Ballymena forwards of again, and when Shiels was going well he was brought down most unceremoniously inside the penalty area. It looked a clear case for a penalty, as he was charged in the small of the back and sent sprawling on the ground but the referee ignored the incident.
Ballymena continued to hem the homesters in their own end, and Shiels forced a further corner, from which Bassnett sent past. A good pass by Shiels out to the left wing found Murphy ready, and he volleyed in fine centre with which Dalrymple connected, but 'Daly's' attempt from a good position was wide of the mark.
A 'free' against Howard gave Coleraine an opening, but instead of heading through, Gilmour punched the ball into the net with his fist, an action which the referee was fortunately placed well to see. Although up to the present Ballymena had been the more thrustful side, still there was a lack of clean-cut play on the part of the forwards, many of their passes going astray.
Coleraine's efforts were greatly hampered by Reid and Bassnett, who did some notable spoiling work. A short spell of attack by the homesters found them unable to penetrate the defence, and once more play swung to the low end, where following a corner Mitchell was injured, but soon recovered. The Coleraine citadel was being stoutly defended, and sometimes it was touch and go whether it would come out of the ordeal unscathed.
Subsquent play favoured Coleraine, who by this time had settled down, and in a fast attack Gilmour essayed a long shot, but Gough was not so easily beaten. At the low end Kilpatrick dropped in a great centre, and Dalrymple hooked the ball over his head, but it was cleared.
Then came the penalty to Coleraine, from which William McGinnigle scored. Gilmour was going well for goal and had rounded Nelson when McDiarmid fouled the Coleraine centre-forward inside the penalty area. It was a foolish thing to do in the circumstances, for it was by no means a cert that Gilmour would have scored. As it was, Gough had the hardest luck in not saving the penalty kick. He stopped the ball but was unable to hold it, and before he could grip it properly it had passed over the line. This goal came at the end of twenty-five minutes.
Encouraged by their success, Coleraine attacked with renewed vigour, and just when Dudley was in a dangerous position, Nelson took the ball from his toe, but had to concede a corner. Six minutes after Coleraine's first goal came their second, and a good one it was. An attempted clearance by McDiarmid was charged down by Gilmour, who passed out to Lynn, and the winger crossed in neatly for James Gilmour to beat Gough all the way.
Following this second reverse, Ballymena exerted themselves to the utmost. Cassidy and Dalrymple exchanged places, and this seemed to have a favourable effect for the Light Blues made matters hum for five minutes or so, at the of which their long-awaited goal came. From a 'free' taken by Reid, Dalrymple headed into goal, and in the scramble Jamie Shiels headed through.
Ballymena forced the pace after this, and a shot from Dalrymple was diverted for a corner. A couple of dropping shots, one from Kilpatrick, and the other from Bassnett, gave Mehaffey some trouble, but he coped with them well. From another corner Kilpatrick sent the ball bouncing along the bar. The Coleraine forwards had a fine run just before the interval, Gough stopping a shot from Gilmour at the expense of a corner.
If play in the first half was brisk, it was even more so on the resumption. Ballymena started off well, and early on received a free for 'hands', but Reid shot wide. For the first fifteen minutes Ballymena did nearly all the pressing. Murphy was conspicuous in a good run, but after beating McGinnigle he dallied before getting the ball in, and the best he could do was to force a corner.
Following the flag kick, Murphy again got possession, but again he held the ball too long and so let a fine chance go abegging. Reid took another 'free' and Cassidy trapped well and turned in a neat shot. Then Dalrymple pushed the ball out to Murphy, who got it in first time for Cassidy to head into Mehaffey's arms.
At the end of this spell of Ballymena pressure, Coleraine turned defence into attack, but the dogged play of the visiting halves and full-backs kept them out of the danger zone, except for one brief moment when they forced a corner. More method characterised Ballymena's play in this half. From Reid's well placed passes the forwards were getting ample opportunities, and twice the home defence had to concede corners to save the situation.
Mehaffey was lucky to stop a rifter from Kilpatrick, again at the expense of a corner. In the next attack Mehaffey was penalised for carrying, but McIntyre effected a good clearance. The same player grazed the bar at the opposite end with a great drive.
Some ten minutes from the end Nelson was hurt in a collision with McGinn and had to be helped to the line, and it was noticed that Murphy was limping. Things did not look too rosy for Ballymena now, but adversity seemed to spur them on, and very soon they swarmed round the Coleraine goal again, and Kilpatrick forced yet another corner.
From the flag kick Joseph Cassidy got possession and steered the ball with amazing accuracy through a mere slit in the defence. It rebounded off the upright and landed safely in the net for the equaliser, amidst vociferous rejoicings on the part of Ballymena's supporters. Murphy now went to the pavilion, as he was nothing but a mere passenger because of his leg injury. With only nine men Ballymena held their own to the finish.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (14 March 1930)
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