Distillery 2
Ballymena 0
League (Irish League)


2 - 0


League (Irish League)
Saturday, February 6th, 1932
Grosvenor Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

Sam Jones (16)
Shiels (21)

Team Managers
Davy Fitzsimmons Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
Charles Palmer
Hugh Flack
Billy Mitchell
Sam Jones
Jack Gray
Robert Thompson
Billy McLarnon
Sam McAdam
J. McCartney
James King
Billy McCandless
James Surgenor
John McNinch
Robert Stewart
Robert Stoddart
John Barr
William Cox
Andrew Haddow
James Mitchell
William Hood


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

W. McClean (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

After defeating Distillery three times this season at the Showgrounds - in the Gold Cup, Irish Cup, and in the League - Ballymena lost some of their prestige last Saturday at Grosvenor Park, when the Whites scored a 2-0 victory in the league return match.

Owing to the attractions of the Irish Cup semi-finals in the City the attendance was quite moderate. Ballymena hardly ever got going properly at any time during the whole match, the team-work being far below that of the previous Saturday, especially as regards the forwards, who were extremely poor.

There was not enough fight about them, Distillery getting away with things which a livelier eleven would not have tolerated. The Whites scored twice in the first-half, per Jones and Shiels, and held their lead until the end. The second half was featureless except for the stout defence of McNinch and McCandless, who were the best men on the team.

There was no change in the Ballymena team from the one which beat Celtic at home on the previous Saturday. Ballymena wore crepe armlets out of respect to their trainer W. Bartholomew, whose father died on the previous day.

The ground was dry, but the bounce of the keen ball could not easily be judged. Distillery opened with a succession of raids, mostly on the right wing, but Thompson and McLarnon found their way barred time and again by McCandless, who kicked cleanly and surely. McCartney fired a shot just over the bar from the left win. Shiels was injured in a tussle with McCandless and had to be attended to.

Following an abortive corner to Distillery the visitors penetrated well into the home end, Haddow leading an attack in which Stoddart and Cox co-operated; it ended with Stoddart shooting and the ball glancing off Flack and over the bar for a corner. Again Ballymena attacked, but were held up by the defence. They came back, however, Barr pushing the ball out to Cox, who crossed it over for Stoddart to force a corner. Afterwards Haddow headed in well, but Palmer saved.

King handled a high shot from McCartney, and in the next minute got his hands to a dangerous shot which drifted across goal. Two corners fell to the Whites, and from the second Sam Jones gathered the ball in the course of a melee and drove it home with a grand shot which left King standing. The game was now sixteen minutes old.

King again saved from McCartney, but was beaten to the wide five minutes later when Shiels worked his way through and scored the second with an express shot. It is alleged that Shiels pushed the ball forward with his hand just before the shot, and the Ballymena goalkeeper was waiting for the whistle to blow for a free, but he waited in vain.

Ballymena pulled themselves together a bit after this second reverse and Stoddart, Surgenor and Haddow each had tries, but Palmer kept his charge intact. Following a Distillery 'free', McNinch cleared twice in quick succession, and then Ballymena dashed off again, but Barr was fouled. Stewart took the free and struck the upright with a well-directed shot, after which Barr raced and struck the bar with a good shot.

At the moment Ballymena were doing nearly all pressing, but their chances were spoiled by fouls on Barr, who worried the opposition at every chance. From another free kick Stewart called on Palmer to save, and following a Stoddart corner, Haddow headed against the bar at great speed, but danger was averted on the rebound. Ballymena were having lots of hard luck just at present.

Distillery again took up the attack, and both Gray and Shiels went close. An incident that caused laughter occurred when Shiels charged McNinch and bounced off him like a cork, McNinch proceeding with his task of clearing the ball with a huge grin on his face.

Distillery resumed with a hot attack which was effectively quelled by the visiting defence. Ballymena fought their way to the other end, where a corner was forced, and a minute later Cox was going through when he was charged heavily from behind but the referee evidently did not see the infringement, otherwise a penalty kick would have been awarded.

After this the Whites took complete command of the game, their ball control being superior to Ballymena's and their positioning good. Thompson was all but through when tackled by McCandless, who put him off his shot. King stopped a shot from Shiels, but was beaten by another from Thompson, the goal, however being disallowed on the plea of offside.

Distillery's first-time football kept the Ballymena forwards and halves running about aimlessly in an endeavour to get a kick at the ball, a state of affairs which drew uncomplimentary remarks from the few Ballymena spectators present. Shiels got away from Thompson's pass and fired in a fast shot which King saved at the expense of a corner by throwing himself full length at the ball.

From a clearance from the Distillery end Shiels started off from an offside position, but the referee failed to pull him up. McNinch, however, went to the rescue and suceeded in overcoming Shiels and sending the ball to touch.

Stoddart was on the mark with a good shot which Palmer pushed out, and Mitchell was applauded for a turn of tricky work which, however, ended in nothing. Following a McNinch free kick Surgenor drove for goal and Palmer saved after the ball had bounced almost the height of the bar.

Barr and Stoddart combined in a movement which ended in Mitchell missing by inches with a low shot across goal. The closing exchanges were featureless.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (12 February 1932)

Squad Statistics (as at February 6th, 1932)

1931-1932 All Time
James King (GK)24 30 - 30 -
John McNinch28 3061478
James Surgenor21 14 - 14 -
Robert Stewart25 323754
Billy McCandless39 291762
William Hood - 22 - 22 -
John Barr27 23252325
James Mitchell28 1215722
William Cox - 289289
Andrew Haddow28 255255
Robert Stoddart30 19101910

League Table (as at February 6th, 1932)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 23 18 3 2 39
2. Derry City 24 14 6 4 34
3. Belfast Celtic 24 13 5 6 31
4. Glentoran 24 12 6 6 30
5. Coleraine 25 12 6 7 30
6. Cliftonville 24 11 4 9 26
7. BALLYMENA 24 10 5 9 25
8. Distillery 25 8 7 10 23
9. Portadown 23 8 5 10 21
10. Newry 25 8 4 13 20
11. Glenavon 25 7 5 13 19
12. Larne 25 6 6 13 18
13. Ards 25 5 4 16 14
14. Bangor 24 2 6 16 10