Ballymena 2
Glentoran 2
Irish Cup (Quarter final)

2 - 2

Irish Cup (Quarter final)
Saturday, January 9th, 1932
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 2,800
2:45 PM Kick-off

Matthew McMeekin (o.g.) (8)
John Barr (20)
Fred Roberts (54)
Harry Borland (66)

Team Managers
Selection Committee
Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
James King
James Surgenor
John McNinch
Robert Stewart
Billy McCandless
William Cox
Andrew Haddow
William Hood
Robert Stoddart
J.P. Surgenor
John Barr
Frank Bennett
Matthew McMeekin
Alfie Allen
William Pitt
John Mathieson
Charlie McClure
John Burke
Johnny Geary
Fred Roberts
Harry Borland
Frank Lucas


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

H. Watson (Glasgow) (Referee)

Match Report

Handicapped and all as Ballymena were last Saturday owing to the absence of several players, Glentoran could count themselves lucky in getting away with a draw at the Showgrounds, the match was spoiled by the high wind which blew along the field towards the Slemish end, ball control and accurate passing being a difficult art.

Lucky to win the toss, Ballymena had the advantage of the following breeze in the first half, and success came their way eight minutes from the start when McMeekin, the Glentoran right back, headed through his own goal. Barr, who played at outside-left, scored the second at the end of twenty minutes, a lead which Ballymena still held at the interval.

Having fully-three quarters of the play in the first half, it was not generally expected that Ballymena would do so well in the second against the half-gale that was blowing, but contrary to expectations they shared a far larger percentage of the play than Glentoran had done in the first half; in fact they had as much, if not more, of the play than their opponents had in the second.

Early on, however, a fast raid ended with Roberts reducing the lead with a well-taken shot, and fifteen minutes from the resumption Boreland scored the goal which rendered a replay inevitable. A great struggle ensued in the last half-hour, but the defences held off the attackers.

The composition of the Ballymena front line was not definitely known until a few minutes before the match. Ultimately it was decided that Murphy being off with an injured knee Barr would take the outside-left position, and J.P. Surgenor lead the attack. J. Surgenor again played at centre-half, as Flannigan was not available. The 'Glens' were without Burns, Crooks and Morgan.

With the breeze behind them Ballymena were soon in the Glentoran end and forced an abortive corner. Roberts skied over at the home end, and then the Light Blues galloped off again and forced a second corner. When the ball came out Cox met it and shot hard for goal, but Bennett saved. A third corner followed shortly afterwards, and from Cox's kick Matthew McMeekin, in attempting to clear, headed the ball through his own goal.

Ballymena continued to press vigorously and good work by Stewart, J.P. Surgenor and Barr resulted in another corner. Corners, indeed were the order of the day so far as Ballymena were concerned. On the home left Barr was playing as if he had been used to the position all his life, beating his man well and crossing in good balls. From one of his centres J.P. Surgenor headed against the crossbar, and following this a fierce struggle took place in front of goal, in which Barr, Surgenor and others were trying to force a passage, when the whistle sounded owing to McClure being injured.

Still another corner came Ballymena's way, but afterwards the Glens made ground and received a free well up in the home end. Roberts headed in from McClure's kick, but King handled well. Further Ballymena pressure brought another couple of corners, and in the course of another attack Stewart lobbed the ball well up and Cox, catching it a few yards out, placed it for John Barr to score a great goal, Bennett being only able to divert the direction of the ball slightly with his fists in attempting to punch clear.

At the home end McNinch gave away a free, but King saved at full stretch and McNinch eased the pressure. Then Stewart got possession and drove in a great, long shot, which Bennett was unable to hold, the ball going to Cox, who missed at point-blank range. Later Stewart landed the ball well up again, and J.P. Surgenor headed narrowly past - with Bennett on the ground. From another corner Barr headed past. Just before the interval Barr was going through on his own, unfairly it seemed, just outside the penalty area, but the referee took no notice.

The match resumed with a bout of midfield play, after which Ballymena attacked aggressively. Barr put across a good centre, and in racing forward to connect Cox was given off-side, a ruling which appeared to be wrong and with which the crowd showed their resentment. Ballymena still kept up the attack and Surgenor raced for goal, paced by McMeekin, and shot about a yard wide.

With the wind in their favour in this half Glentoran did not make as good use of it as they might have done. They were more in the picture, however, than in the first half. A header by Roberts let Lucas away, and he set across when tackled by McNinch but McCandless cleared steadily in front of goal.

Good work by Barr and the home centre-forward resulted in a corner, but play travelled quickly to the opposite end, where Lucas sent across a high ball which was out of McCandless' reach, and Fred Roberts pounced on it about three yards on the far side of the goal and reduced the lead with a well-turned shot which King was unable to hold while on the ground.

Ballymena retaliated with a series of vigorous attacks in which Barr, Surgenor and Haddow were conspicuous, but the defence stood firm. McNinch failed to clear from Lucas, and J. Surgenor came to the rescue. The ball was landed back again into the home end, and this time McNinch booted it with a vengeance. Barr was still getting across good centres, and occasionally having a shot on his own.

Stewart sent in a fine cross, which J. Surgenor headed in, but Bennett was safe. Twenty minutes after the resumption Glentoran got the equalising goal, Harry Borland landing in a long shot which struck the crossbar as King jumped to it, and on the rebound the ball glanced off the back of King's hand into the net.

The match was more exciting than ever, now that both teams were on level terms and struggling hard for the supremacy. J.P. Surgenor was fouled by McMeekin, and a free awarded just on the verge of the penalty line. The whole Glentoran team lined up in front of McCandless who, however, for the ball through, but it went wide. His appeal for a corner was disallowed.

Faced by the strong breeze the Ballymena backs had an arduous task when Glentoran swooped down on them, but they stuck doggedly to their work, both playing brilliantly. Roberts sent in a fast, low shot which King cleared, and in the next minute handled a good one from Borland.

With a quarter of an hour to go Barr and J.P. Surgenor exchanged places, but Surgenor was cumbrous on the wing, and Barr got little chance to make a name for himself in the centre. Following a free for a foul on Haddow, Cox forced a corner, but Glentoran attacked on the right, where Burke lost to McCandless after a great race for possession.

Shortly after this McCandless was injured on the leg, but resumed almost immediately, amidst applause. A free against McNinch brought a corner at the home end, and King saved from Borland. The match was keenly fought out right up to the end, when the score still stood.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (16 January 1932)

Squad Statistics (as at January 9th, 1932)

1931-1932 All Time
James King (GK)24 23 - 23 -
Billy McCandless39 221692
John McNinch28 2341406
James Surgenor21 7 - 7 -
Robert Stewart25 251682
Robert Stoddart30 127127
Andrew Haddow28 184184
J.P. Surgenor22 4444
William Hood - 15 - 15 -
John Barr27 16171617
William Cox - 226226

League Table (as at January 9th, 1932)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 19 15 3 1 33
2. Derry City 20 12 5 3 29
3. Belfast Celtic 20 12 5 3 29
4. Glentoran 20 12 3 5 27
5. Coleraine 20 9 5 6 23
6. Cliftonville 21 8 4 9 20
7. BALLYMENA 19 7 5 7 19
8. Portadown 20 7 5 8 19
9. Distillery 20 6 6 8 18
10. Newry 20 7 2 11 16
11. Glenavon 21 6 4 11 16
12. Larne 20 4 5 11 13
13. Ards 20 3 4 13 10
14. Bangor 20 1 6 13 8