The Newcastle and District Amateur Football League.
League Match Report From Cyril McKinney at Mountain Quarter.
Ballynagross 3 1 Carryduff Athletic.
Ballynagross entertained Carryduff at a cold and damp Mountain Quarter and despite the visitors best efforts left with all three points. It took both teams some time to settle into any kind of fluent football with everything rushed and a lack of calmness on the ball.
On 9 minutes Ballynagross won a free wide on the left wing. Up stepped Johnston who curled a great ball with plenty of whip into the six yard box which caused problems for the Carryduff rearguard before it was cleared for a corner.
From the resulting corner the ball was only half-cleared to the edge of the box where Craig was lurking, but his first time effort was over the bar.
The Ballynagross front two of Dowie and Taggart were defending from the front and harried and chased everything closing down the opposition while Arnold, McCarron and Shields were seeing more time on the ball which paid off on 20 minutes when Taggart finished off a flowing move with an instinct volley from the edge of the box which found the net despite the best efforts of Ian Boal in the Carryduff goal.
The visitors responed and enjoyed a notable period of possession and Basketfield forced a good save low down from Arnold in the Ballynagross nets on 29 minutes.
A minute later Conway was over the bar with a spectacular overhead shot from 8 yards out. On 31 minutes Ballynagross went 2-0 up when a long clearance forward from keeper Arnold bounced over the Carryduff defence and the reactive Taggart was first to the ball and, as Boal advanced out of his goal, he lobbed the ball over the keeper’s head into an empty net.
On 37 minutes Dowie showed great determination and skill to find room to get his shot away from the left edge of the box only for it to drift wide with the Carryduff keeper stranded. The second half saw both sides on the attack and in the early stages it was end to end but it took something special to bring the visitors into the game.
On 61 minutes Conway picked up the ball just inside the Ballynagross half and ran directly at the home defence who seemed to back off or make half-hearted tackles and he found himself in on goal and fired past a helpless Arnold in the home nets.
This seemed to lift the visitors and they began to enjoy a period of dominance but did not take any of the chances that came their way – Murray was over the bar on 68 minutes, Wilkinson had a goalbound shot deflected over on 75 minutes and a number of last ditch interceptions by the Ballynagross defence of Byrne, Marron and the veteran Beattie who all stood firm.
Ballynagross rang the changes and brought on fresh legs in Ryan McKinney, Smith and Doran. Mckinney was immediately into the action and causing problems on the left flank.
As the game entered the final stages, the Carryduff keeper Ian Boal was sent off on 86 minutes when he brought down McKinney just outside the box. He was shown a yellow card but earlier in the second half he had been booked by referee Aide Sharvin for dissent.
Deep into injury time McKinney broke down the left again beating the offside trap and he was upended again just inside the box this time.
Up stepped the Ballynagross captain Connor Marron who despatched the penalty to the net with the stand-in keeper motionless to leave the final score 3-1 to the home side.
Ballynagross FC: Cathail Arnold, Deaglan Craig, Cormac Byrne, Aaron Beattie, Connor Marron, Deaglan Arnold, Connor McCarron, Karl Johnston, Daniel Taggart, Declan Dowie, John Shields. Subs: Patrick Smith for Deaglan Craig, Ryan McKinney for Declan Dowie, Philip Doran for Daniel Taggart
Carryduff Athletic: Ian Boal, Tony Smith, Aodhan McManus, Simon Thompson, David Boal, Eoin Conway, Niall Basketfield, Ciaran Conway, Jonathan Wilkinson, Mark McConville, Daniel Murray. Subs: Raymond Douglas.