Linfield 2
Ballymena 1
League (Irish League)


2 - 1


League (Irish League)
Friday, December 26th, 1930
Windsor Park
Attendance: 22,960
2:30 PM Kick-off

Frank Grice (30)
Harry McCracken (49)
James Gilmour (85)

Team Managers
Selection Committee Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
Frank Higgs
Jack Curran
Tommy Frame
William McCleery
Billy Houston
Harry McCracken
Hamilton Hewitt
Frank Grice
Harold McCaw
William Black
Billy McCandless
John McNinch
David Nelson
Robert Stewart
Sidney Howard
David Reid
Joseph Cassidy
Johnny Dalrymple
James Gilmour
Richard Shaw


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

J. McClean (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

Remembering the brilliant display seen at Windsor Park twelve months ago, a huge crowd turned up at this ground in anticipation of seeing something out of the ordinary, but general disappointment was felt with the moderate form of both teams, the match not being a patch on the previous one referred to.

Ballymena turned out without Murphy, who had a swollen ankle, his place being taken by Shaw. Linfield were still without Bambrick, their international centre forward, who recently met with an accident to his right hand.

After a good start Ballymena faded out quickly, and the Ballymena goal became the target for all the Linfield forwards, Black saving magnificently from each in turn.

Never since he came to Ballymena has Black showed such sterling qualities. He dived recklessly at shots, effecting many daring saves, but in the end he proved his own undoing when late in the second half he dived at Hewitt's feet and received a nasty knock on the head, as a result of which he was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he was detained suffering from concussion.

Only for his brilliant custodianship Ballymena would have suffered a much heavier defeat.

The first half was mostly in Linfield's favour. They bombarded the Ballymena goal from all directions, and in the end Black, who had worked so valiantly, had to admit defeat. Frank Grice heading through from McCaw's corner.

After this Black was in equally good form, and once he brought off a particularly good save from Houston. At length Ballymena transferred play to the opposite end, where Gilmour placed well for Shaw, but the latter failed to turn the opportunity to good account.

Quick end-to-end play was now a feature of the match. The Ballymena finishing was weak, but the Linfield forwards were often on the mark, and Black was kept busy. Any good play by the Ballymena forwards was mostly on the right wing.

Four minutes after the resumption of play Linfield forced a corner, from which Harry McCracken added to their lead. Ballymena played more impressively after this, the halves and forwards working together to better advantage.

Cassidy initiated a promising movement which Gilmour might have crowned with a goal when Howard put him in possession with nobody to beat except the goalkeeper, but he shot over the bar from a few yards out.

McNinch was bottling up McCaw to some tune, the nippy little Linfield outside left finding it almost impossible to get out of his clutches. The burly Jock also used an almost uncanny sense of anticipation in intercepting wing passes from Taggart, who scarcely ever got the ball to his wing man.

Ballymena continued to improve, and Stewart and Gilmour gave Higgs a couple of stiff shots which he managed well. Linfield retaliated and Black lifted the ball from Grice's toe, and afterwards held a fast shot from Houston.

It was ten minutes from the end that Black was injured and had to be carried off. Howard went into goal, but was never seriously troubled.

With only four forwards Ballymena attacked in the closing stages and Shaw had a glorious chance to reduce the lead when he found himself with the ball in front of an untenanted goal. Instead of lodging the ball in the net he drove it over the bar. It is a mystery how he miscalculated his shot.

Just when everyone thought all the scoring had finished Ballymena again made headway and James Gilmour scored from Dalrymple's pass. Higgs pushing the ball against the underside of the bar, which it cannoned into the net.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (2 January 1931)

Squad Statistics (as at December 26th, 1930)

1930-1931 All Time
William Black (GK)21 17 - 17 -
Billy McCandless38 231231
John McNinch27 191952
David Nelson27 161381
Robert Stewart24 221221
Sidney Howard23 1369310
David Reid34 23 - 10411
Joseph Cassidy34 2066628
Johnny Dalrymple29 235477
James Gilmour28 610610
Richard Shaw22 61346

League Table (as at December 26th, 1930)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Glentoran 20 18 1 1 37
2. Linfield 20 13 5 2 31
3. Belfast Celtic 20 14 3 3 31
4. Distillery 20 12 3 5 27
5. BALLYMENA 20 10 5 5 25
6. Derry City 20 9 2 9 20
7. Ards 20 8 2 10 18
8. Cliftonville 20 8 1 11 17
9. Glenavon 20 7 2 11 16
10. Coleraine 20 4 6 10 14
11. Larne 20 4 5 11 13
12. Portadown 20 4 4 12 12
13. Bangor 20 4 3 13 11
14. Newry 20 3 2 15 8