4 - 1
League (Irish League)
Pat Hunt (5)
Jack Mahood (21)
William Pollock (42)
Jack Mahood (75)
Richard Shaw (40)
W. McClean (Belfast) (Referee)
For the closing fixture in the Irish League tourney Ballymena had to travel to Celtic Park on Saturday last, and the game took place under deplorable conditions, rain falling incessantly on a soft, and, in parts, semi-flooded pitch.
Celtic, with the possibility of runners-up medals, were keen on the points and were at full strength, while Ballymena were without McCandless and Murphy.
Gilmour opened against a rain blizzard. Celtic made what pace was possible to men ankle-deep in the most liquid of mud. Hunt, though with more than a suggestion of offside, made early darts for the goal objective, once discommoding McKean, who found the ball slippery.
Five minutes' hammering brought its reward. Foul against McCready had as sequel Fulton's placing to the goalmouth, where Pat Hunt rose to it, and in the coolest fashion nodded in the opening point.
Masterful work by Cassidy led to a severe test of Bradley, who intrepidly dived through the slush to prevent Shiels' equalising. He succeeded, and the heart applause was some compensation for the discomfort of his soaking. He was not quite so confident with a sharp delivery from Shaw, but he got the ball away eventually.
There was nothing in the way of fireworks till the Celts made up and doubled their lead. At the second attempt Pollock pushed the ball up to Brown, and it travelled per McCullough and Hunt to Jack Mahood, who closed in and sent beyond McKean's grasp.
This was after 21 minutes, but in less than 60 seconds the Stripes should have gone further ahead but Hunt did not apply the finishing touch. The centre had previously received a nasty knock, and he now went off for a short period.
The Braidmen had the encouragement of a goal five minutes before the turnaround, Bradley 'buttering' a grounder from Richard Shaw. The Celts promptly replied with number three for after McKeen had saved heroically from Mahood at close quarters William Pollock lobbed the ball neatly into the net.
There was little to coax the reporter's pen in the reopening passages till Shiels flicked inwards a tricky one, which Bradley enfolded. Celts pushed business to a corner, and above the ordinary was a bid by Hunt, who sent narrowly past.
Ballymena looked like scoring when next an aggressive mood stole over them, but beyond the side-net getting a couple of shots from the right, nothing much transpired.
The conditions were such as to place decent football out of the question, lusty drives that ordinarily would have carried half the field, travelling only a few yards. Brown got clean away, but McNinch 'slid' in and in the nick of time, and upset a good chance.
A fine shot from McCullough was repelled by McKean. Brown had another opening, but ihs shot from ten yards' range was held up mud-bound. Comic relief was supplied when Reid rose from the toss, though the Ballymena skipper scarcely relished the joke, as he was led to the line for the attention of the man with the bag.
With 15 minutes to go the Stripes made their position more secure. Nelson's partial clearance was McCullough's opportunity to centre, and Jack Mahood took up the tale to land the fourth.
The Braidmen were having the worst of the argument, and it was out of the ordinary for Bradley to receive a call as he did towards the end from Cassidy.
Match report written by Ballymena Weekly Telegraph (2 February 1931)
|James McKean (GK)||24||11||-||14||-|