Distillery 4
Ballymena 2
City Cup


4 - 2


City Cup
Saturday, March 14th, 1931
Grosvenor Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

John Rafferty
Harry Sinnamon (30)
John Rafferty (60)
Sam McAdam
William Kimlin (16)
John Murphy (46)

Team Managers
Selection Committee Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
Charles Palmer
Hugh Flack
Jack Gray
Sam Patton
Sam Jones
Billy Mitchell
John Rafferty
Harry Sinnamon
Sam McAdam
James Wallace
David Hutchinson
John Blake
Billy McCandless
John McNinch
David Nelson
Robert Stewart
David Reid
Joseph Cassidy
James Gilmour
Thomas Kilpatrick
William Kimlin
John Murphy


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

G. Davies (Bury) (Referee)

Match Report

After making a promising start against Distillery at Grosvenor Park on Saturday, Ballymena gradually did a fade-out, and in the second half were largely on the defensive.

Sixteen minutes from the kick-off Kimlin scored the opening goal, but some ten minutes later Blake, the Ballymena goalkeeper, in saving a shot from McAdam, held on to the ball until he was bundled over the line by Rafferty.

The Whites went ahead per Sinnamon before the interval. Some good football was seen in this half. The ground was hard and dry and the ball keen, so that the conditions were ideal.

Immediately on the restart Ballymena drew level, thanks to a brilliant solo effort by Murphym who from Stewart's throw-in beat Patton and Flack adriotly and scored as nice a goal from outside the penalty area as has been seen for many a day.

Strange to say, Murphy, who was easily the best Ballymena forward, was forced to take up the role of spectator, more or less, for the remainder of this half, a decent pass hardly ever coming his way.

Putting plenty of life into their work, Distillery went ahead per Rafferty, and before the end McAdam made the issue safe. Ballymena's display in this half was feeble and merited defeat.

Ballymena won the toss, but it was Distillery who attacked first, McAdam finishing by shooting wide. Reid gathered the ball neatly and let Kilpatrick away on the right, and from the subsquent centre GIlmour shot and Palmer saved on his knees.

Ballymena were on the defensive for the next few minutes, during which McNinch and Nelson did good work. On the hard ground fast play was the order of the day. The Distillery men were quick on the ball, but wasted much of their efforts, and on the other hand the Ballymena forwards were not fully alive to the needs of the situation, otherwise they would have hustled their opponents a bit more than they did.

Distillery were often dangerous, but both Ballymena backs were kicking steadily. Murphy got in a great ground shot which Palmer saved, and later Stewart just missed with a long drive which sailed past the post.

At the end of sixteen minutes' play a corner was forced off Gray, and from Kilpatrick's shot Gilmour headed down and William Kimlin finished the effort by opening the scoring.

The Whites retaliated strongly, and Mitchell struck the crossbar with a fast drive. The Ballymena forwards were quickly at the other end, where Murphy shot and Palmer saved but fumbled the ball, and Kilpatrick got it across again to Murphy, who shot straight and true, but the ball was diverted for a corner.

Disaster befell the Ballymena goal in the course of an attack in which Blake held a shot from McAdam, but was too dilatory about clearing, and as a result he and the ball were bundled over the line by John Rafferty, who came in charging at full speed.

Ballymena attacked spiritedly afterwards, Murphy, Gilmour and Kilpatrick co-operating in a movement which ended in the last-named lifting the ball over the bar.

Distillery swept down again on the Ballymena goal, but met with a pair of sound backs, who up to the present were giving nothing away. Sinnamon fired in a speculative shot, which Blake saved on the ground. Ballymena looked like establishing supremeacy again when Murphy raced along the wing and dropped the ball in front of goal, but there wasn't an inside forward up to force home the advantage.

Then came an incident which indirectly led up to Distillery's second goal. In clearing a high bouncing ball McNinch, who was wedged between a couple of opponents, got his right foot to it and got it away, but the referee, much to everybody's surprise awarded a free against the Ballymena back, who it may be said, was taking whatever risk there was in the incident himself.

A melee in front of goal followed the taking of the free kick, and ultimately Wallace placed the ball for Harry Sinnamon to pilot it into the net.

John Murphy levelled up the score with a brilliant goal just after the restart, Trapping the ball neatly from Stewart's throw-in, he tricked Patton and Flack in turn, and beat Palmer with a glorious shot from outside the penalty line.

This should have given Ballymena just that impetus that was necessary to carry them to success, but instead only stung Distillery to greater effort, and Blake was called on to defend his charge from Hutchinson.

They continued to attack strongly, but at length the visiting forwards broke away, and Kilpatrick passed to Gilmour, who ran in and shot over the bar.

For a considerable time Distillery did all the pressing, and the Ballymena goal had narrow escapes on two occasions, first when Blake, instead of catching the ball, hit it with the back of his arm and McNinch cleared, and later when he pulled down a hot from Sinnamon but failed to hold, and Reid kicked the ball away just as it was about to bounce over the goal line.

Such keen pressure was bound to tell sooner or later, and eventually John Rafferty netted Distillery's third, though the referee would not have exceeded his duty had he given a free kick for offside, instead of pointing to the middle of the field.

Ballymena's attacks were few and far between now, and usually when they did get away the inside forwards were by no means brilliant. From a free taken by McCandless, Cassidy nodded the ball in front and drove in a good shot, but Flack made a timely clearance.

The hardest wrought players on the Ballymena at the moment were McCandless and Reid, both of whom were almost run off their feet, but they did their stuff all right. In trying to stem an attack Reid collided with an opponent and the game was stopped until he had his head attended to.

Further pressure by Distillery brought a fourth goal. Sam McAdam scoring after Hutchinson had struck the crossbar. In the closing minutes Murphy got a pass at last, and evading all opposition sent in a high shot which Palmer held.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (20 March 1931)

Squad Statistics (as at March 14th, 1931)

1930-1931 All Time
John Blake (GK)32 2 - 2 -
Billy McCandless38 381381
John McNinch27 3211082
David Nelson27 302522
Robert Stewart25 371371
David Reid34 38 - 11911
Joseph Cassidy34 3688230
James Gilmour28 18241824
Thomas Kilpatrick35 223525
William Kimlin22 145165
John Murphy33 29266239

League Table (as at March 14th, 1931)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Glentoran 26 22 3 1 47
2. Linfield 26 16 6 4 38
3. Belfast Celtic 26 16 4 6 36
4. Distillery 26 15 4 7 34
5. BALLYMENA 26 13 5 8 31
6. Ards 26 11 5 10 27
7. Derry City 26 10 4 12 24
8. Cliftonville 26 11 2 13 24
9. Portadown 26 7 5 14 19
10. Bangor 26 7 5 14 19
11. Glenavon 26 8 3 15 19
12. Coleraine 26 6 6 14 18
13. Larne 26 6 6 14 18
14. Newry 26 4 2 20 10