Ards 2
Ballymena United 4
League (NIFL Premiership)


2 - 4

Ballymena United

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, November 5th, 2016
Clandeboye Park
Attendance: 614
3:00 PM Kick-off

David McAllister (49)
Craig McMillen (90)
Tony Kane (pen.) (36)
Cathair Friel (38)
Cathair Friel (51)
Cathair Friel (84)

Team Managers
Niall Currie David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
Aaron Hogg
Emmet Friars
Jonathan Taylor
Michael Ruddy
Francis Brennan
David McCullough
Gareth Tommons
Craig McMillen
Jamie Douglas
David McAllister
Joseph McKinney
Ross Glendinning .1
Denver Gage .6
Kyle Owens .4
Jim Ervin .21
Daniel Wallace .17
Jonathan Flynn .5
Tony Kane .2
William Faulkner .12
Allan Jenkins .10
Cathair Friel .14
Jonathan McMurray .27

Kyle Cherry
Gary Liggett
Carl McComb
Greg Hall
Stuart McMullan
Ben McCauley .38
Adam McCracken .39
Caolan Loughran .34
Eoin Kane .15
Darren Henderson .9

Kyle Cherry for Francis Brennan (46)
Carl McComb for David McAllister (65)
Gary Liggett for Gareth Tommons (71)

Craig McMillen (57)
Emmet Friars (81)
Jonathan McMurray (59)
Jonathan Flynn (73)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Raymond Hetherington (Referee)

Match Report

A CATHAIR Friel hat-trick helped Ballymena United to back to back league wins with a 4-2 victory over Ards at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

On a cold and extremely blustery day in Bangor, both teams found it hard to create chances in the conditions for the majority of the first half. Despite that, Ballymena could've led inside the first minute when Johnny McMurray picked up on a loose ball, but couldn't get the better of Aaron Hogg in the Ards goal. The best chance after that fell to Ards forward Joe McKinney. On the half hour mark, McKinney managed to get a shot away under pressure from Johnny Flynn, but Ross Glendinning saved well with his feet.
The deadlock was broken on 36 minutes through a Tony Kane penalty. Fra Brennan left out a trailing leg and brought down Friel just inside the box. Kane stepped up and sent Hogg the wrong way for his ninth of the season.

Just 3 minutes later, the Sky Blues doubled their advantage. Captain Jim Ervin did well on the wing and found McMurray, who in turn found an unmarked Friel, and Friel hammered the ball home into the roof of the net.

The second half got off to a frantic start with two goals in the opening 6 minutes. Ards reduced the deficit to just one on 49 minutes when David McAllister was given freedom by the United defence to run from wide and place the ball neatly into Glendinning's goal. Ballymena restored their two goal lead within 2 minutes. A poor attempted clearance by the Ards defence helped the ball fall perfectly to Friel, who lobbed Hogg with a header for his second of the afternoon.

Ballymena continued to press and went close to a fourth just after the hour mark. A wonderful solo run from Allan Jenkins allowed the midfielder to tee up McMurray, but he was denied from close range by Hogg. McMurray had another chance five minutes later when he was played through by Tony Kane, but a poor second touch prevented him from getting a shot away whilst one on one.
Ards thought they had set up a tense finish on 80 minutes, when they had the ball in the back of the net, but the header was ruled out by the linesman for offside. Just 3 minutes later United killed the game off with a fourth. Friel did well to beat the offside trap and went through on goal, before calmly rounding Hogg and tapping home for his third of the day and eleventh of the season in the league.

With virtually the last kick of the game, Ards scored a consolation goal when Craig McMillen curled the ball nicely into the bottom corner, but it made little difference as United took home all 3 points.

Match report written by Phillip McPeake

Squad Statistics (as at November 5th, 2016)

2016-2017 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)23 7 - 7 -
Jonathan Flynn26 7 - 221
Kyle Owens24 183183
Jim Ervin31 18 - 962
Daniel Wallace22 14 - 14 -
Tony Kane29 17920621
Denver Gage29 21462
Allan Jenkins35 17522248
William Faulkner26 142478
Jonathan McMurray22 168168
Cathair Friel23 18141814

League Table (as at November 5th, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Crusaders 14 10 3 1 22 33
2. Linfield 14 7 6 1 18 27
3. BALLYMENA UTD 14 8 3 3 5 27
4. Cliftonville 15 8 2 5 9 26
5. Coleraine 15 6 6 3 7 24
6. Glenavon 14 5 6 3 4 21
7. Ards 15 6 2 7 -2 20
8. Dungannon Swifts 15 4 6 5 7 18
9. Glentoran 15 5 3 7 -9 18
10. Ballinamallard Utd 15 3 2 10 -18 11
11. Carrick Rangers 15 2 2 11 -24 8
12. Portadown 15 3 1 11 -19 -2

* - Table split into two divisions of six.