Ballymena 2
Larne 0
League (Irish League)

2 - 0

League (Irish League)
Friday, December 25th, 1931
Ballymena Showgrounds
2:30 PM Kick-off

William Cox 
John Barr (42)

Team Managers
Selection Committee
Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
James King
Billy McCandless
John McNinch
Robert Stewart
James Surgenor
William McCready
John Barr
William Cox
Andrew Haddow
William Hood
John Murphy
John Moore
Norman Millar
John Stewart
James Agnew
Clifford Aiken
John Brownlees
William Ferguson
Charles Allen


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

W. Hamilton (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

Played at the Showgrounds on Christmas Day before a big holiday crowd.

Ballymena lost McCready through an unfortunate accident seven minutes after the kick-off. They were attacking at the time and McCready went for the ball at the same time as Moore, the Larne goalkeeper, who ran out to get it. McCready hesitated just a fraction of a second as Moore dived, and the goalie's head, and afterwards his shoulder caught McCready on the right leg, break it a few inches below the knee.

The crack of the bone as it broke was heard on all sides of the ground. Fortunately a doctor was on the ground and at once rendered first aid, after which the injured player was removed to the Waveney Hospital. Moore, also, had to receive attention, but was able to resume in a few minutes.

After the ball was set in motion again Haddow passed back to Stewart, who slashed it well over to the right, where Cox forced a corner. The Light Blues kept attacking, and from another of Stewart's passes Barr turned in a good shot which Moore saved.

Hood was on the mark with another shot, but again Moore was safe. Pretty work by Stewart and Murphy on the home left kept the Larne men guessing, but eventually the pressure was relieved and Larne raced for the other end, where Hood cut in and made a timely clearance.

From a free kick against Barr Larne invaded the home end again, and after McCandless had headed away, Ferguson made a smart return, calling King into action for the first time in the match. From Brownlee's pass Aiken punted the ball across to Coulter, whose parting shot King saved at the expense of a corner. In the next few minutes McNinch was conspicuous for some fine headwork when the home goal was still under pressure.

Murphy made things lively on the left, where he outwitted Taylor and Hooks and drove in hard, but Millar held Barr off until Moore cleared. Ballymena did all the pressing for the next quarter of an hour, during which they received two free kicks and a corner, but the opposing defence held out. It was not until three minutes from the interval that the first goal came, Surgenor putting Murphy in possession, and the winger driving the ball across for John Barr to net from a yard out.

Play was quiet on the restart until, at the end of five minutes Larne attacked in force and King saved from Brownlees and cleared under difficulties. Then Allen got away from Brownlees' pass and shot at point-blank range, King effecting a magnificent save at the expense of a corner.

This was Larne's only look-in for a long time, Ballymena taking up the offensive and giving Hooks and Millar a hot time of it. Hood, who was playing a brilliant game at right half, fed his forwards with accurately placed passes, and from a long drive of his from the wing Murphy headed into goal, but Moore was on the spot.

The Larne goalie saved his charge in the next minute when he pushed a great shot from Surgenor over the bar. Barr raced through and gave to Cox, who struck the side net. Still, all this pressure failed to bring another goal.

After King had saved from Aiken, and Larne had forced a corner off Haddow, Murphy sprinted along the touch line and lifted the ball well in for Haddow to have a good try with the head. The second goal came at the end of 77 minutes when Murphy receiving a pass from Barr, crossed the ball in and William Cox took it in his stride and placed it well out of Moore's reach.

Haddow was injured just after this, but resumed their attention. Later he headed the ball nicely to Cox, who cut in and struck the side-net from two yards range. The game was quiet up to the finish when the score stood.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (1 January 1932)

Squad Statistics (as at December 25th, 1931)

1931-1932 All Time
James King (GK)24 21 - 21 -
Billy McCandless39 191662
John McNinch28 2041376
Robert Stewart25 221652
James Surgenor21 4 - 4 -
William McCready17 122236
John Barr27 14161416
William Cox - 196196
Andrew Haddow28 163163
William Hood - 12 - 12 -
John Murphy33 1558554

League Table (as at December 25th, 1931)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 17 13 3 1 29
2. Belfast Celtic 17 11 4 2 26
3. Derry City 17 9 5 3 23
4. Glentoran 17 10 2 5 22
5. Coleraine 17 8 5 4 21
6. Portadown 17 7 4 6 18
7. BALLYMENA 17 6 4 7 16
8. Distillery 17 5 5 7 15
9. Glenavon 17 6 3 8 15
10. Cliftonville 17 5 4 8 14
11. Newry 17 5 2 10 12
12. Larne 17 4 4 9 12
13. Ards 17 3 3 11 9
14. Bangor 17 1 4 12 6