4 - 4
David Hutchinson (40)
Thomas Cooke (75)
Hugh Gilmore (2)
David Reid (8)
P. Craigmyle (Aberdeen) (Referee)
By playing Glentoran to a draw last Saturday at the Showgrounds, Ballymena preserved their undefeated record so far as the Ovalities are concerned.
Not once in the two seasons in which Ballymena have been engaged in senior football have Glentoran won a victory over them, although they have divided the spoils on several occasions.
On the other hand, Ballymena have emerged top dog in some instances, usually after hard fights, a memorable occasion being their visit to the Oval early in the present season, When Girvan annexed the points in the last minute of two by scoring a great winning goal.
It would not have been a great surprise had Glentoran won on Saturday, having regard to their good form in the City Cup competition, in which they are leaders, and taking into consideration that Ballymena were under strength.
But Ballymena played well enough to force a draw, which was a fairly good index of the game, if we judge it by the distribution of play. However, only for a series of mistakes on the part of the home defence, Gough particularly being at fault, Ballymena would have won both points.
Ballymena attacked spiritedly at the start, Howard grazing the bar in the first minute. McNinch cleared at the other end, and allowed the home forwards away again, O'Reilly finishing by turning in neatly for McFarlane to save.
The Glentoran goal withstood severe pressure in the following minutes, but at last succumbed when Hugh Gilmore ruffled the rigging with a timely shot.
A free to Glentoran saw McKeague send in a fast grounder which, however, went wide. A movement on the Ballymena right per Bassnett, Gilmore, and Dalrymple looked promising, but the last-named player was off the mark.
This was followed by lively work on the left wing, O'Reilly and Murphy co-operating well, and O'Reilly testing McFarlane again.
A free to Ballymena about 35 yards out was taken by David Reid, who drove straight and clean into the net for the second goal. As yet the match was only eight minutes old, so that Ballymena made an excellent start.
The Light Blues continued to monopolise the play, and in the course of brisk exchanges Shiels and Murphy both had shots, and Gilmore headed over narrowly following a corner.
The Glentoran forwards scarcely ever got over the half-way line now, and when they did they found themselves off-side on innumerable occasions.
Bassnett got a nasty knock with the ball and was off for a few minutes. At length, after much trying the visiting forwards penetrated far into the home quarters, and for a short space McNinch and McDiarmid put in good defensive work, both clearing almost on the goal line.
Eventually McNinch eased the situation, heading out twice in succession, and following up he cleared the ball well out of the danger zone.
Disaster overtook the Ballymena goal when Gough, instead of letting a shot from Stewart go past, lifted the ball to kick it up the field, but in doing so swung his arm over the line, and the referee awarded a corner, from which Thomas Cooke reduced the lead.
McNeill foreced McDiarmid to concede a corner, and at the opposite end Murphy took a flag kick and Reid headed over. McFarlane gave away another corner in saving from Dalrymple, and in the ensuing melee Gilmore placed for Shiels to miss narrowly.
The nicest forward movement by the visitors up to the present was spoiled by McDiarmid, but afterwards Stewart shot and struck an upright. Then McFarlane handled a beauty from Gilmore.
About five minutes before the interval David Hutchinson got away on his own, when McNinch had failed to clear, and leading in he propelled the ball past Gough for the equaliser.
Early in the second half Reid took a free, landing the ball right into goal and forcing McFarlane to concede a corner. From the kick Howard sent wide.
In a Glentoran attack McClements shot impetuously when he had ample time to steady himself. Then McKeague dropped the ball in front of goal, and McNeill missed badly when a goal seemed certain.
The 'Glens' were playing better football now, going out full stretch for goals. It was Ballymena, however, who netted first, John Murphy walking through the defence and beating McFarlane with a shot which the goalie tried to pull down but only assisted into the net.
Ballymena, however, did not hold their lead long, Sandy McNeill equalising a few minutes later when Gough ran out of goal, although McDiarmid looked like putting McNeill off his shot anyhow. The ball rolled slowly over the goal line before Gough could recover.
Now started a duel for the leading goal, in which Glentoran enjoyed the major share of the play. Gough held a good shot from Geary. In a fast run to the other end Shiels worked through the defence, and with nobody to beat but the goalie he drove across the goal. From a a corner taken by Dalrymple, Gilmore headed into the goalie's arms.
When this half was thirty minutes old Thomas Cooke gave the visitors the lead with a good shot after McDiarmid had failed to clear. The crowd was thrilled a few minutes later when, following a free, Gilmore headed to O'Reilly, who headed into goal, and when McFarlane had punched out Jonathan Dalrymple gathered the ball and placed it in the roof of the net from an awkward angle. Exchanges were even up to the end.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (2 May 1930)
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