Larne 3
Ballymena 0
League (Irish League)


3 - 0


League (Irish League)
Saturday, September 5th, 1931
Legion Grounds at Inver Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

Alex Wood (12)
Charles Allen (20)
Charles Allen (56) (pen.)

Team Managers
Selection Committee Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
James McKean
Daniel Fulton
Norman Millar
John Stewart
Hugh Good
Hugh McCafferty
Clifford Aicken
Alex Wood
Martin McGuffie
Malcolm Cameron
Charles Allen
James King
Robert Davison
John McNinch
David Nelson
Robert Stewart
Harold Tilly
Ronald Cameron
William Cox
William Dunlop
Henry McQuillan
James Mitchell


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

W. Hamilton (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

Ballymena travelled to Larne last Saturday and for the third time in successive League matches lost both points.

Up to the present they have earned only one point, which they snatched in the first match of the season against Derry City. They still are only one from the bottom of the table, being just above Newry Town, who are still pointless.

The Light Blues were without McCandless, Hodge and Stoddart, all on the injured list, so that their strength was considerably weakened. Harold Tilley, the ex-Glenavon player, who is on a month's trial, played at centre-half; W. Dunlop, a Ballymoney youth, also on trial, filled the centre-forward position and H. McQuillan, of Summerfield, came on at outside-left. Davison again deputised for McCandless.

The match was one of the poorest seen for a long time, neither team being impressive, though Larne were the more active lot and had a clean-cut victory. Still, they were nothing to rave about. Ballymena were disorganised, especially in the forward department, which showed no improvement, and the defence was hardly as sound as usual.

Following scrappy opening exchanges, Larne settled down a bit and brought McNinch and Davison into action. This attack having been repulsed, Ballymena retaliated with a quick run to the other end where Cameron pushed the ball nicely forward to Dunlop, who, however, was pulled up for offside. Further pressure by Larne resulted in McNinch conceding a corner, and in the scramble which followed Alex Wood got possession and opened the scoring with a fast drive.

Smarting under this reverse Ballymena got going, and a good in-and-out movement between Mitchell and McQuillan nearly brought success, McKean having to concede a corner in saving Mitchell's shot. Mitchell was on the mark with another shot a minute later, and then Cox forced a corner, but still the equalising goal eluded them.

Larne opened up again, and McGuffie netted, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on King. Their next effort, however, was crowned with success, for in the course of a dangerous attack, led by McGuffie, McNinch miskicked and left the way open for Charles Allen to cut in and beat King from close range.

For a considerable time after this Larne did nearly all the attacking, and King was often in action. Any chances Ballymena had were being spoiled by the forwards sending in long shots which would never have beaten McKean, instead of getting to close range. Mitchell and Dunlop both had tries, but the shots were easily dealt with.

At the moment Ballymena were the aggressors and kept the Larne defence on the move. Nelson forced a corner, from which Cameron headed over, and later Cameron skimmed the bar with a shot which had McKean well beaten. Mitchell failed to utilise a lovely cross from Cox which ought to have been used to advantage.

A short spell of Larne attack was followed by Ballymena again having territorial advantage for a time. Cox placed a corner kick nicely but again Mitchell failed, and later Nelson lobbed the ball well up and Cameron headed it in just in front of goal, but a slack piece of work let the chance go abegging. Just on the interval King fisted out from Wood.

For the first ten minutes of the second half play was tame and mostly in the midfield. Then Ballymena attacked and Cox dropped the ball in front of goal, but the defence overcame the attack again.

In the course of a Larne movement McNinch fouled McGuffie inside the penalty area. Charles Allen took the kick, and King was just able to touch the ball on its way into the net for the third goal.

End-to-end play was the general rule after this, and there was many keen tussles for possession between opposing players, some of which resulted in free kicks being awarded for tactics which were far removed from the gentle variety.

McKean stopped a good shot from Cameron and a fine try from Tilley, and King dealt nimbly with a shot from M. Cameron. McNinch was hurt in a collision and went to the line for attention with blood streaming down his face.

From a centre from Cox, Mitchell found the net, but the goal was disallowed for offside. In the closing stages Larne pressed as determinedly as ever, and would have increased their lead but for King's steadiness in the Ballymena goal.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (11 September 1931)

Squad Statistics (as at September 5th, 1931)

1931-1932 All Time
James King (GK)24 5 - 5 -
Robert Davison21 3 - 3 -
John McNinch28 511223
David Nelson28 5 - 662
Robert Stewart25 5 - 481
Harold Tilly - 1 - 1 -
Ronald Cameron26 4173
William Cox - 4 - 4 -
William Dunlop - 1 - 1 -
Henry McQuillan20 1 - 1 -
James Mitchell27 515022

League Table (as at September 5th, 1931)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 4 3 1 0 7
2. Glentoran 4 3 0 1 6
3. Belfast Celtic 4 2 2 0 6
4. Derry City 4 2 2 0 6
5. Cliftonville 4 2 1 1 5
6. Bangor 4 1 2 1 4
7. Larne 4 1 2 1 4
8. Glenavon 4 2 0 2 4
9. Distillery 4 2 0 2 4
10. Ards 4 2 0 2 4
11. Coleraine 4 1 1 2 3
12. Portadown 4 1 0 3 2
13. BALLYMENA 4 0 1 3 1
14. Newry 4 0 0 4 0