2 - 6
League (Irish League)
Edward Pollock (39)
Sidney Howard (42)
Joseph Cassidy (44)
Jamie Shiels (63)
Johnny Dalrymple (68)
J. McClean (Belfast) (Referee)
Not for a long time have Ballymena shown such grit and determination in triumphing over adverse circumstances as they did at Bangor last Saturday.
Two goals behind at one period in the first half they fought back with such grim courage and firm tenacity of purpose that at the interval they were on level scoring terms with their opponents.
Encouraged by the voluble support of about a hundred Ballymena supporters they set to work in the same out-to-win spirit on the resumption, with the result that inside twenty-three minutes they were four goals ahead.
During this period, and for the greater part of the remainder of this half, they gave a sparking display of football, which caused their supporters to go into the transports of rapturous delight.
It was Ballymena at their very best, and made those Ballymena spectators who travelled to Bangor give themselves a pat on the back for having the good sense to go.
As a piece of real team work Ballymena's display was unexcelled, and was reminiscent, more than anything else, of their memorable exhibition against Linfield at Windsor Park last Boxing Day. If they can strike the same form next Saturday against Celtic they should gather a couple of valuable points.
Playing with the wind Bangor opened impressively, Henderson beating both Nelson and McNinch and firing a shot across the goal mouth. A passing bout initiated by Reid and participated in by Stewart, Cassidy, Shiels and Dalrymple, took the Ballymena front line well up towards the Bangor goal, and when Dalrymple crossed the ball Cassidy took a snapshot at goal, but the ball sailed just outside the post.
Murphy made progress on the left and centred to Shiels, who toed the ball forward, but the goalie got there before him, and was fouled in attempting to clear.
For the first quarter of an hour the Ballymena rear division was not quite as steady as usual, both McKinney and Henderson on the extreme wings proving troublesome.
Reid fell back to lend a hand, but in doing so left the middle of the field exposed to danger, and Bangor were quick to take advantage of this, the ball being slung continually to Wright or to one of the other inside forwards.
However, there were always a couple of full-backs and Reid to deal with eventualities, and as Ballymena were playing against a breeze their captain probably considered that his tactics were for the best.
In the course of severe Bangor pressure, Henderson lashed the ball into goal, and in attempting to get it to the goalie Reid miscalculated his kick and caused the Ballymena spectators to hold their breath as they watched the ball rise and bounce on the bar, but fortunately it went behind for a corner.
A second corner followed, but left the scoresheet still blank. Reid initiated another Ballymena movement, in which Nelson passed to Dalrymple, who placed the ball for Cassidy to have a second try, which was spoiled by too much elevation.
McKinney went off on a fast run down the right wing, and after throwing off all opposition he sent in a shot at express speed across goal. Then when Pollock was put in possession by Henderson he drove true and hard for goal, Black making a magnificent save.
At the opposite end Moore was called on to deal with a stiff shot from Nelson, and a minute later when Cassidy shot again the ball glanced off Ellis' toe into the goalie's arm, and fortunately for Bangor, Moore was ready in the emergency,
Still keeping up the pressure, Ballymena forced a corner per Howard but danger was averted.
Bangor were galvanised into action again when Henderson had a splendid run on the left wing, a run which he ended by sweeping the ball well in to a spot directly in front of goal, but Watson's hesitation in shooting allowed McNinch time to nip in and effect a very timely clearance.
Next McKinney sped down the right wing and gave Black a warm handful. The game now swerved from end to end, first one team and then the other assuming the offensive. At the Bangor end, Dalrymple shot, and struck the side-net when Murphy ran in eaglerly expecting a pass.
Howard headed into goal from Dalrymple's pass, but Moore was ready, and afterwards Cassidy just missed with another first timer.
At the end of thirty-five minutes Bangor opened the scoring per Wright, the ball cannoning off the upright into the net, leaving Black well beaten.
After McNinch had stemmed a further attack the Bangor forwards again broke through, and following a corner Pollock added a second.
In spite of being two goals down Ballymena were shaping well at this stage, and encouraged by the cries from their supporters of "Give us a cheer, Ballymena," they proceeded to oblige reducing the lead in a couple of minutes when Moore, failing to hold a shot from Cassidy, Sidney Howard hustled the ball into the net.
Ballymena went all out for the equaliser, which came a few minutes later. Howard got possession from a throw in and sent a ground pass to Shiels, who pushed it back with the side of his boot a couple of yards to Joseph Cassidy, and Joe, taking it in his stride, shot it into the net like a projectile from a gun. Moore flung himself desperately at the oncoming ball, but it was past him before he hit the ground.
Both sides pressed in turn on the resumption, and though Bangor were first to be dangerous weak finishing deprived them of success. Then Ballymena took the game thoroughly in hand, and for a long period made Bangor look like a set of schoolboys.
Their play scintillated with sparkling attacks, in which they passed and re-passed, Shiels in the centre and Cassidy on his right playing a prominent part in all the movements.
Such constructive play was bound to tell, and before long Ballymena took the lead, when, from a corner forced by Shiels, Murphy dropped the ball beautifully at the far side of the goal, and Joseph Cassidy, judging the flight of the ball to a nicety, leapt at it and headed it into the net at terrific speed. This, and his first goal, must have ben two of the finest he has ever scored.
Meanwhile Dalrymple was leading his opponents a merry dance along the right wing. How he managed to get the ball away in a series of tussles with sometimes two, and sometimes three opponents, only he can tell.
He side-stepped, feinted, back-heeled, and executed other movements which left his opposition standing. On one occasion he got the ball in three times in succession, and later he carried all before him, and passed to Shiels, who swept the ball out to the left, and Murphy, cutting in, struck the side-net with a good try.
Then Dalrymple got the ball right across to Murphy again, and the latter forced Moore to concede a corner in dealing with the shot.
Ballymena's fourth goal can also be attributed largely to Dalrymple, who after beating three opponents, lifted the ball well in, and Sidney Howard, stooping low, headed it past Moore into the net, the goalie touching the ball with his fingers in its flight.
Reid, who was now showing good form, started the next attack, which led to another goal. He got the ball nicely out to Murphy, who lobbed it across for Jamie Shiels to net the fifth in face of stiff opposition. Eighteen minutes of the second half were now gone.
Ballymena continued to monopolise the play, and at the same time to give a display of first-class football. Murphy, who was doing good work on the left, shot time and again, but the much-desired goal eluded him.
So brilliant was Ballymena's play that it was no surprise when they scored their sixth goal, Shiels, racing down the centre, put Johnny Dalrymple in possession, and the latter, cutting in, outwitted a couple of players and scored with a grand oblique shot which beat Moore all the way.
Bangor livened up a little after this, and danger came when Maguire, from a free kick landed the ball just in front of goal, and Black was obliged to concede a corner. The homesters cotinued on the offensive for a short period, but the vigilance of McCandless and McNinch prevented them from scoring.
In the closing stages Murphy worked harder than ever for the elusve goal, being well fed with passes by Reid, Cassidy and Shiels, but his luck was dead out. In the last minute Black saved a fine shot from Wright.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (7 November 1930)
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