Ballymena United 1
Coleraine 1
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
1 - 1

League (NIFL Premiership)
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,424
7:45 PM Kick-off

Jonathan McMurray (79)
Eoin Bradley (28)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Oran Kearney

Starting Eleven
28. Tim Allen
21. Jim Ervin
5. Jonathan Flynn
2. Tony Kane
4. Kyle Owens
30. Michael Kerr
23. Leroy Millar
7. Gary Thompson
27. Jonathan McMurray
24. Kevin Braniff
26. Joseph McKinney
Christopher Johns .1
Lyndon Kane .2
Adam Mullan .3
Ciaron Harkin .4
Steven Douglas .5
Darren McCauley .7
David Kee .12
Gareth McConaghie .13
Brad Lyons .14
Jamie McGonigle .19
Eoin Bradley .22

1. Ross Glendinning
29. Francis McCaffrey
11. Conor McCloskey
12. William Faulkner
10. Allan Jenkins
Neil McCafferty .8
James McLaughlin .9
Ian Parkhill .16
Mark Edgar .17
Jordan Allan .23

Allan Jenkins for Gary Thompson (64)
Conor McCloskey for Leroy Millar (76)
James McLaughlin for Eoin Bradley (82)
Jordan Allan for Jamie McGonigle (82)

Michael Kerr (36)
Joseph McKinney (65)
Eoin Bradley (48)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steven Taylor (Referee)
Stephen Bell & Adrian Sobieski (Assistants)
Lee Tavinder (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ballymena United and Coleraine shared the points with a 1-1 draw at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Tuesday night.

A minutes silence was observed impeccably prior to kick off for Derry city captain Ryan McBride who sadly died on Sunday aged just 27.

Tony Kane went close after just 30 seconds to giving Ballymena the lead. His curling effort from just inside the box had Chris Johns scrambling, but went wide. After that, the game saw a cagey 10 minutes from both sides until Tim Allen was called into action to deny Lyndon Kane. After Ballymena took a couple of attempts to clear a corner, the ball dropped to Kane on the edge of box, but Allen got down well to save.

On 17 minutes Darren McAuley tried his luck from distance and his dipping effort went just over the Ballymena crossbar. With 26 minutes on the clock Coleraine were handed the chance to take the lead when Eoin Bradley benefited from a sleeping United defence before being brought down in the box by 'keeper Allen. Bradley eventually got back up to take the penalty himself and after seeing his first effort saved by Allen, Eoin Bradley netted on the rebound.

The Sky Blues looked to hit back quickly. Some quick, neat build up play saw the ball finally make its way to Johnny McMurray but his shot was deflected wide. A long range free kick from Tony Kane with 5 minutes left in the half looked as if it could be making its way in before another Coleraine deflection. Then in the last minute of play, Tony Kane rocketed a half volley from 25 yards which smashed into the crossbar before going over.

The second half, much like the first, was a heated contest both on and off the pitch, including tough tackles and the sending off of a ball boy. Ballymena came out an improved side and instantly set about looking for an equaliser. Kevin Braniff went close shortly after the restart as he got a flick on a Tony Kane cross, sending the ball over the bar. Coleraine's first real opportunity of the half fell to Brad Lyons. His low shot from outside of the box took a bounce in front of Allen, but the Australian was able to gather.

Straight down at the other end, Ballymena should've equalised through Gary Thompson. McMurray did well down the right hand side to beat his man and find the by line before finding Thompson in acres of space in the box. Thompson set himself with a touch and looked certain to score, but somehow his shot was blocked.

Just before the hour mark Jamie McGonigle went close to doubling Coleraine's lead. Lyons supplied McGonigle with the ball, but he could only flash his shot wide. On 79 minutes as tensions rose on the touchline, Ballymena grabbed a deserved equaliser through Jonathan McMurray's 12th league goal of the season. A Tony Kane corner from the left was met at the near post by McMurray who powered the ball home past Johns.

Ballymena, buoyed on by a boisterous home support, continued to push for a winner in the final 10 minutes and came closest in added time when McMurray opted to go alone with options in the middle, but his shot was easily stopped by Johns as the exciting derby finished honours even to keep both sides in the mix for a third place finish.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at March 21st, 2017)

2016-2017 All Time
Tim Allen (GK)24 3 - 15 -
Jonathan Flynn27 142293
Tony Kane29 401922931
Michael Kerr19 3131
Jim Ervin31 41 - 1192
Kyle Owens24 395395
Gary Thompson26 21 - 17118
Leroy Millar21 341522
Joseph McKinney23 9 - 9 -
Jonathan McMurray22 34133413
Kevin Braniff34 7272
Allan Jenkins (sub)35 41624649
Conor McCloskey (sub)25 265265

League Table (as at March 21st, 2017)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Crusaders 32 24 6 2 45 78
2. Linfield 32 21 8 3 50 71
3. Coleraine 32 16 9 7 16 57
4. Cliftonville 32 16 7 9 14 55
5. BALLYMENA UTD 32 16 4 12 2 52
6. Glenavon 32 11 12 9 4 45
7. Dungannon 32 9 10 13 0 37
8. Glentoran 32 9 9 14 -9 36
9. Ards 32 9 6 17 -15 33
10. Ballinamallard Utd 32 8 5 19 -27 29
11. Carrick 32 5 6 21 -38 21
12. Portadown 32 5 4 23 -42 7

* - Table split into two divisions of six.