3 - 1
3 - 1
League (Irish League)
Sidney Howard (4)
Sidney Howard (58)
John Murphy (66)
P. Craigmyle (Aberdeen) (Referee)
The Ballymena captain guessed correctly the fall of the coin and took advantage of a breeze which blew diagonally along the field.
A quick opening attack by Ballymena was stemmed and the Larne right-wing made a breakaway, but it was short-lived, McCandless tackling unsuccessfully and finding touch. From a clearance by Reid the home forwards raced for goal, and Millar was forced to concede a corner.
Another corner followed when from a centre by Dalrymple, Turkington harassed the backs, one of whom sent the ball over the line. Dalrymple took the flag kick and Cassidy rammed in a stiff header, which had the misfortune to be blocked, and on the rebound Sidney Howard shot and the ball bounced into the roof of the net for the opening goal. The match at this stage was only four minutes old.
Flushed with this early success Ballymena redoubled their efforts and in a moment were swarming round the Larne goal again, where Howard headed against the post from Dalrymple's centre. Then Stewart stopped Agnew effectively and played well for Turkington to pass on to Dalrymple, who cut in and struck the side-net.
Murphy forced a corner on the left and later Nelson dropped the ball in front of goal, and from Turkington's header Irvine scooped the ball over the bar for a further corner.
At length Larne turned defence into offence and Agnew and Gilmore raced down the field, and all went well until McCandless cut in and changed the venue again. The same defender later stood between McGuffie and his desire for a goal, watching him so ably that all the Larne leader could do was to shoot wide.
Later Cassidy won applause for outwitting four players in succession, after which he lashed the ball out to Murphy, but the pass was just on the strong side and Murphy was unable to trap the ball. In the next instant Murphy appeared to be brought down unfairly inside the penalty area, but the referee took no notice of the incident.
Free kicks against Larne became frequent, after this, player after player coming under the censure of the referee. From one such kick McCandless dropped the ball well into the danger zone and Howard sent a snorter which Irvine handled admirably.
Exciting exchanges in front of the Larne goal roused enthusiasm to an even higher pitch and there was a chorus of "Aws" when a blinder from Murphy was blocked by Turkington.
Irvine failed to hold a shot from Dalrymple and a scuffle ensued in the goal-mouth but eventually the ball was kicked out of harm's way, and Stewart was pulled up for fouling.
A good pass from Cassidy let Dalrymple away again, but when he centred, the ball was returned and he volleyed it in again, Irvine stopping it but failing to hold, Turkington missing a good chance when the goalie dropped the ball.
Good combination on the left brought Ballymena well up again, and a shot from Stewart was diverted for a corner. Further play by Cassidy and Dalrymple culminated in the former flashing in a great first-timer which skimmed the upright.
Larne broke away on one of their few runs, and a shot from the right wing sent the ball true for goal, and on the spur of the moment Black scooped the ball over the hands of several players, and McNinch cleared in the face of strong opposition.
Another free kick enabled Ballymena to transfer play to the Larne end, where Irvine stopped a shot from Turkington. Then Irvine stopped a shot from Reid, and Larne made headway but McNinch eased the pressure.
On the resumption Larne exhibited a certain amount of liveliness, bearing down on the home goal and giving the defence an anxious moment or two, but at length a hearty cheer heralded a good clearance by McCandless.
Howard had a fine run up the centre of the field, but he held on to the ball too long and was robbed. Stewart sent the home forwards off again, and through good scheming by Cassidy, Turkington got the ball out to Murphy, who sent in a dazzling shot which just missed the post, the ball flashing right across goal.
Meharg, the Larne inside left, went to the line for repairs, but was able to resume shortly. In this half again free kicks against Larne were of frequent occurrence. From one of these, taken by Reid, Stewart put Murphy in possession, and Murphy lifted the ball in for Turkington to head over the bar.
Then Dalrymple fired in a fast shot, and Irvine pushed the ball over for a corner, after which Dalrymple shot past. The Larne goalie was severely tested in the next minute when Nelson, who was playing a fine game, volleyed in a great shot from the right.
It was only rarely now that the Larne forwards were able to make progress, and often when they did they were played offside by the home backs, who kept their eyes open for such chances. After a fine run on the wing Nelson dropped the ball in front of goal and Howard called on Irvine to stop a well aimed shot.
Thirteen minutes from the resumption Reid initiated an attack, passing the ball out to Murphy, who out-manoeuvred two opponents and got the ball to Sidney Howard, who lifted it into goal, and striking the upright it cannoned off it into the net for the second goal.
Play continued in Ballymena's favour, and there were constant exchanges near the Larne goal. Once Nelson lobbed in a good try which found Irvine ready. After a fairly long period of defence the visitors broke away and Wilson dropped the ball on the bar. It bounced straight up, and then hit the bar again and went behind. In another Larne attack Black was called into action to stop a good shot.
Ballymena's third goal came eight minutes after their second, Howard passing to John Murphy, who walked through the defence and sent in an awkward shot, the ball bouncing off the far upright into the net.
Then followed further pressure by the home vanguard, but many of the attacks were spoiled by foul tactics on the part of their opponents. Irvine saved from Murphy and Howard struck the cross-bar, and generally the Larne defence were getting any amount of work to do.
The visitors found their first corner, and following this Black saved twice in succession when Larne did a spell of pressing. Further exchanges were largely in favour of Ballymena, but with only two minutes to go Larne attacked, and in the course of a scuffle in front of the home goal, Meharg reduced the lead.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (31 October 1930)
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