Ballymena 6
Ards 2
League (Irish League)

6 - 2

League (Irish League)
Saturday, September 19th, 1931
Ballymena Showgrounds
3:00 PM Kick-off

John Barr 
Robert Stoddart 
John Barr (31)
William Cox (58)
Ronald Cameron (60)
Robert Stoddart (90)
David Jordan (20)
David Jordan (24)

Team Managers
Selection Committee
Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
James King
Robert Davison
Billy McCandless
Robert Stewart
David Flannigan
William McCready
John Barr
Ronald Cameron
William Cox
Robert Stoddart
John Murphy
Sam McMullan
Alex Vance
John Garrett
Alex Connell
Bob McGee
Stanley Gray
Sandy Patton
David Jordan
Tommy Fergie
James Kelly


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

W. Cowan (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

For the first time in a league match this season Ballymena moved like an efficient combination last Saturday, when they had Ards as visitors and defeated them by 6 goals to two. It was their first league victory, and needless to say, was hailed with delight locally.

Much against the run of the play, Ards took the lead about twenty minutes after start per Jordan, who scored their second a few minutes later. But Ballymena were not long in arears, thanks to splendid work by Murphy and Barr, the latter scoring two fine goals from the former's passes. Murphy, who had been a month with Shelbourne, had just been re-signed on Friday, and had a tumultuous reception when he came out on Saturday.

Ards were outclassed in the second half, Ballymena having such a preponderance of play that King was scarcely ever troubled. Cox and Cameron made the score four, and before the finish Stoddart rattled in two more. McNinch was an absentee from the Ballymena team, as he was on international duty. Nelson and Mitchell were both off injured. Ards played Taggart and Gray instead of Canavan and Gough, which were the only changes from Wednesday's team.

Playing with the wind, Ards forced a corner in the first minute, Kelly's flag kick bouncing on the bar and going behind. For a couple of minutes or so the visitors continued to go all out, and further pressure ended in Gray sending in a swerving shot which flashed across goal.

The home defence, having got over their first spasm of difficulty, settled down to their work in better style. Then Stoddart captured the ball and put in a nice through-pass out to Murphy, who, after making Vance look foolish, led in and shot only inches wide. More good work by Murphy - by which he drew the entire defence - was lost by nobody being up when he centred. From Stewart's pass Cameron pushed the ball to Barr, who shot across goal.

The Ballymena forwards were moving well now, but off-side spoiled several promising attacks. Barr got possession in the middle and put out a neat ground pass to Cox, who dashed along the wing and crossed the ball in well. A scramble ensued in front of the Ards goal, and when the ball came out Cox met it and grazed the bar with a first-timer.

On the left Stoddart and Murphy were fitting in well together, and as a result of one of their movements Cameron found himself in possession and had hard luck with a good try. Then Stoddart got through from Murphy's pass, but was dispossessed, Barr, however, was in the offing, and nipped in and dropped the ball among the defence again, but it was cleared. Following good work by Stewart, Murphy again got away and fired in a shot which McMullan only saved by throwing himself full-length at the ball.

For almost twenty minutes Ballymena had pressed continuously, yet it was Ards who opened the scoring at the end of that time, David Jordan taking advantage of a misunderstanding between Flannigan and Davison to break through and beat King to the world.

Then Gray dropped in a fine centre which the inside men failed to convert. In a subsequent Ards attack McCandless was boxed in and could not get the ball away, and David Jordan, who was closed by, scored again, the ball glancing the upright into the far corner of the net.

These goals came very much against the run of play, but Ballymena set out at once to wipe off the deficit. Murphy had hard lines, after dizzying three opponents, with a shot which McMullan saved on the ground. Then the Ards goalie fisted out from Cox, and another shot from Cameron was high.

Ballymena still kept pressing, and eventually from a pass from Stoddart, Murphy got the ball over Vance's head with the inside of his boot, an John Barr ran through and reduced the lead at the end of thirty-one minutes.

Following this goal play ranged up and down the field, being fairly evenly divided, and then Murphy drew the defence again and crossed the ball in beautifully for John Barr to head through the equaliser. It was a perfectly taken goal and roused the crowd to great enthusiasm.

Ards brightened up a little after this, and King saved a good shot from the left. As a rule, however, the shooting of the visitors was erratic. Just on the interval McCandless made a timely clearance almost in the goalmouth.

Resuming with the wind behind them, Ballymena were soon in the Ards' goal vicinity, where McMullan cleared in face of opposition. Then Flannigan put in a long, low shot which called on McMullan to stretch himself. Later Flannigan met the ball after it had rebounded off a player from a free kick taken by McCandless, and shot after outwitting a trio of opponents, the ball just going a trifle wide. Connell went off injured, but was able to resume soon.

From another free kick the ball went to Barr, who lost no time in getting it across to the right, where William Cox pounced on it and beat McMullan all the way with a grand shot.

A couple of minutes later good work by Flannigan, Stoddart and Murphy was crowned by Ronald Cameron scoring Ballymena's fourth after Vance had failed to clear.

Ballymena were now playing better football than ever, all departments working harmoniously. Barr nearly scored again from Murphy's centre, McMullan just managing to push the ball round the upright in the nick of time. From Murphy's flag kick the ball bounced on the bar and went behind.

Stoddart, who was playing splendidly, was injured and had to be helped to the line, but he resumed a minute or two later to the accompaniment of hearty applause. Murphy brought McMullan into action again, the goalie saving but fumbling the shot. Barr rushed in and a free was given against him.

Following a corner taken by Murphy the ball came out to the left, and Murphy placed accurately for Robert Stoddart to head through Ballymena's fifth. Later he missed narrowly with another header from Cox's centre. Then Murphy landed the ball in the net after cutting in, but the goal was disallowed owing to Barr being offside.

In the last minute Robert Stoddart cut in and scored the homesters' sixth. This came after a vain attempt by the Ards forwards to break through at the opposite end.

Match report written by Ballymena Weekly Telegraph (25 September 1931)

Squad Statistics (as at September 19th, 1931)

1931-1932 All Time
James King (GK)24 8 - 8 -
Robert Davison21 5 - 5 -
Billy McCandless38 51522
Robert Stewart25 8 - 511
David Flannigan25 2 - 2 -
William McCready17 3 - 144
John Barr26 2222
Ronald Cameron26 73105
William Cox - 7272
Robert Stoddart30 5252
John Murphy33 1 - 7149

League Table (as at September 19th, 1931)

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