Ballymena 2
Derry City 2
City Cup

2 - 2
Derry City 

City Cup
Tuesday, March 29th, 1932
Ballymena Showgrounds
3:30 PM Kick-off

Robert Stewart (17)
Robert Stoddart (72)
Jack Doherty (60)
Jimmy Kelly (66)

Team Managers
Selection Committee
Selection Committee

Starting Eleven
James King
Billy McCandless
John McNinch
Robert Stewart
James Surgenor
David Flannigan
John Barr
Ronald Cameron
Andrew Haddow
John Murphy
Robert Stoddart
Tom Pinkerton
Fred Mason
John Dubois
Bill Barrie
John Common
Joe Ferguson
Bobby Irvine
Bob Johnston
Jack Doherty
Jimmy Kelly


None. None.

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

C. Hutton (Glasgow) (Referee)

Match Report

This was the most important of the City Cup matches on Tuesday, and, as expected, it drew a great crowd to the Showgrounds in spite of the counter attraction of the Mid Antrim Hunt Steeplechases at Galgorm.

With the exception of the Boxing Day crowd, when Ballymena met Linfield in the memorable game which had to be stopped owing to the encroachment of spectators on the playing pitch, it was the biggest attendance seen at the ground this season. The big home crowd was augmented by about 1,500 Derry City supporters, who came by train and bus, and the teams took the field amidst an outburst of applause.

The situation was a piquant one, because if Ballymena won the match they would only be one point behind Derry City, the leads, and so both teams were out for fight to a finish.

A great roar went up when the Ballymena captain won the toss and set Derry to play against both wind and sun. The teams got to grips at once, and early excitement welled up as the attack swung from end to end with the regularity of a pendulum.

In Derry's first dash McCandless stopped Ferguson rather neatly, and away Ballymena raced to the opposite end, but in the next minute King & Co. were on the qui vive when Kelly burst in and Surgenor was obliged to concede a corner. Then Mason and Dubois were hard at it keeping the fast home forwards at bay, and breathed easier when Murphy shot behind. Murphy cut in again and gave a through pass to Haddow, who raised a chorus of "Oh's" with a great try which Pinkerton caught bar-high.

In a subsequent scramble Murphy was in the wars and retired injured, and for a short period Derry pressed and King saved from a free. McCandless got through some nifty work in extricating himself honourably out of difficult situations. Murphy was still off when a free was awarded for a foul on Haddow a yard or two outside the penalty area, and Robert Stewart drove the ball straight for goal between a bevy of opponents, and it glanced off a boot into the back of the net, Pinkerton being completely baffled. This goal came at the end of 17 minutes. A minute later Murphy reappeared and received a great ovation.

Ballymena continued to press, and after Haddow had missed narrowly Surgenor put in a long shot which Pinkerton mishandled, conceding a corner. From outside the circle in his own end McNinch volleyed in a great shot which Pinkerton tipped over for another corner.

Murphy missed narrowly with a header from Barr's centre. Cameron was injured, but resumed without leaving the field. This long spell of defensive work by Derry was broken when Kelly dashed along the left wing and hit the side net. Then he placed a dangerous ball across, and Ferguson drove hard over the bar when well placed.

Stewart, who played what the American's would call a 'he-man's', called on Pinkerton to stop a fast drive, and just before the interval Haddow raced through and shot, but unluckily for Ballymena the ball struck Pinkerton as he advanced to meet it. Ballymena were easily worth their goal lead at the interval.

On resuming, Derry, who are a well-set-up lot, attacked in great style, but they were still unable to make any impression on the defence. A corner forced by Murphy brought danger, but this was averted Murphy was in the limelight again when he led a good movement in which Haddow co-operated, and Cameron ended by driving into the goalie's arms.

Kelly took a free awarded against Flannigan, and the ball glanced off a boot for a corner. In a twinkling Murphy was racing for the Derry goal again and drove in a shot which Pinkerton dropped by eventually cleared. Then King conceded a corner from Irvine's free.

Fourteen minutes from the resumption Derry were awarded another free; Common took the kick and shot for goal, and Jack Doherty deflected the ball past King into the net for the equaliser.

Excitement was now at a high pitch, and was intensified when five or six minutes later Jimmy Kelly beat McNinch and shot hard as McCandless tackled him, and the ball curved beautifully into the net, King just being able to finger it as it passed him. Derry's supporters yelled out their war song at his feat.

Following this Cameron, who failed to net from close in, went to outside-right and Barr led the attack with Haddow on his right. Eighteen minutes from the end ROBERT STODDART scored the equaliser with a bouncing shot which completely deceived Pinkerton, who was on his knees trying to save. It was now the Ballymena supporters' time to demonstrate their enthusiasm, and a tremendous cheer rent the air. In the remaining stages both teams battled furiously for the advantage, but no further scoring occurred.

Taking the game as a whole, a draw seemed to me to be a very good result; either team would have been unlucky to lose. If anything, Ballymena had just a shade more of the play, however, particularly in the first half, and it says something for the forwards that Pinkerton got a good deal more to do than King.

It was a gruelling game from start to finish, both teams going all out and putting every ounce of effort into their work. Not a slacker was to be seen on either side. It is almost invidious to apportion praise to any particular player when all played so well, but I think no one will quarrel with me for giving McCandless the premier honours, for he played a truly magnificent game.

Only a hairsbreadth behind were Flannigan and Stewart, both real towers of strength. Surgenor played a grand spoiling game, and the whole forward quintet put their heart into their work. Stoddart and Murphy formed the better home wing. King gave a good account of himself in goal, and McNinch was a sturdy partner for McCandless and got through a lot of good work.

After a shaky start Pinkerton did well in the Derry goal, and was fronted by good defenders in Mason and Dubois. Barrie and Common were the best halves, and Kelly and Ferguson speedy wingers and good workers, but they were held by the home defence. Irvine was a fine schemer, and Doherty a good partner for Ferguson.

Match report written by Ballymena Observer (1 April 1932)

Squad Statistics (as at March 29th, 1932)

1931-1932 All Time
James King (GK)25 40 - 40 -
Billy McCandless39 391862
John McNinch28 4071579
Robert Stewart26 424855
James Surgenor21 24 - 24 -
David Flannigan26 221221
John Barr27 32303230
Ronald Cameron26 1681910
Andrew Haddow28 328328
John Murphy34 2479456
Robert Stoddart30 28152815

League Table (as at March 29th, 1932)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 25 19 3 3 41
2. Derry City 26 16 6 4 38
3. Coleraine 26 13 6 7 32
4. Glentoran 26 12 7 7 31
5. Belfast Celtic 25 13 5 7 31
6. BALLYMENA 26 12 5 9 29
7. Cliftonville 26 11 5 10 27
8. Distillery 26 8 7 11 23
9. Portadown 25 8 6 11 22
10. Newry 26 9 4 13 22
11. Glenavon 26 7 5 14 19
12. Larne 26 6 7 13 19
13. Ards 26 6 4 16 16
14. Bangor 25 2 6 17 10