Jason McCartney doubled Ballinamallard's lead (Picture: John McVitty/PressEye.com)
Saturday, 15 December 2018
Ballinamallard United produced an inspired performance to condemn league leaders Larne to their first defeat of the season at Ferney Park.
Despite playing head on into the driving wind and rain, the Mallards took the lead on 16 minutes. Richard Clarke played an inch perfect ball over the Larne defence for Ryan Campbell to control, knock the ball over the head of the outcoming Conor Devlin and tap over the line.
David Scullion could have levelled for Larne in one of their few chances of the half, but his goalbound header was blocked by defender Ben McCann.
It was ever so close to being 2-0 on 34 minutes when Paddy McNally sliced a clearance past his own post, whilst the Mallards were denied a penalty on the stroke of half time. Campbell seemed to have been fouled, but he picked himself up, rounded Devlin and seen his shot cleared off the line.
Larne enjoyed more possession after the break but failed to create any chance of note. The home side squandered an excellent opportunity when Nathan Cashel played in Sean McEvoy but the youngster blasted over the bar with only Devlin to beat.
On 75 minutes a deserved second goal came for the home side. Cashel crossed from the right and Jason McCartney cut in from the left wing to acrobatically finish past Devlin from close range.
Larne should have pulled one back before full time when Darren Stuart was put through on goal, but his chip landed the wrong side of the post and the clean sheet was preserved.
Ballinamallard United: Connolly, Smyth, Clarke, Arkinson, Campbell, McCartney, Cashel, McCann, O'Reilly, Henderson, McEvoy subs Taheny (replaced Henderson 72), Warrington (not used), Elliott (not used), Edgar (replaced Cashel 82), Robb (replaced McEvoy 85)
Larne: Devlin, Sule, McEleney, Kelly, Scullion, McDaid, Donnelly, Tilney, McNally, Cosgrove, Hughes subs Dougherty (not used), Henry (not used), Ramsey (replaced Donnelly 81), Stuart (replaced Scullion 74), Hassin (not used)
Referee: Gareth Stewart