Ryan Curran grabbed Ballinamallard's equaliser (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Saturday, 14 April 2018
Ballinamallard United gave their survival hopes a boost with a draw from this derby with Dungannon Swifts at Ferney Park.
The Mallards, although still bottom, are now a point behind Carrick Rangers going into the huge clash between the sides on Tuesday night.
Paul McElroy had the ball in the net for the Swifts after five minutes from a Kris Lowe cross only for his effort to be ruled out offside.
Then, just two minutes later, the Mallards were celebrating when Stephen O'Flynn opened the scoring with a header into the top corner from a superbly delivered Shane McGinty corner.
And O'Flynn almost made it 2-0 soon after after meeting another McGinty delivery but, on this occasion, Stuart Addis managed to tip his header onto the crossbar.
McGinty had a decent chance of his own midway through the first half only to volley wide while, just after the half-hour mark, Lowe turned a header from a Seanan Clucas cross straight at 'keeper Richard Brush.
However, the Swifts did level on 40 minutes. A Clucas ball into the box took a bounce over Brush with Ally Teggart following in to get the touch to edge the ball over the line.
Chris Hegarty might have edged the visitors in front soon after only to send a powerful header onto the roof of the net. And then, in first half stoppage time, Brush misjudged a Daniel Hughes ball but managed to recover to tip it away from a corner.
In what was becoming an increasingly enthralling affair Brush was called into action again after the break to push a Clucas header around the post while his opposite number pulled off an equally impressive stop to deny an O'Flynn header.
Matthew Smyth had the ball in the net for Ballinamallard on the hour, but this was ruled out offside but, just sixty seconds or so after that, Hughes fired Dungannon in front after he tucked away a David Armstrong cross at the second attempt.
And still the action continued ... Ballinamallard old boy Ryan Mayse smashed an effort off the crossbar after Hughes and Burke had combined to create the opening.
Then, just two minutes later, Ryan Curran levelled for Harry McConkey's side with a shot in off the bar after he had made great progress down the right.
The crossbar was rattled once again late in the game, this time through Chris Hegarty when he rose highest to meet a corner but, in the end, both sides settled for a point from this entertaining derby.
Ballinamallard United: Brush, McLaughlin, Taheny, McKenna, R. Clarke, McGinty, Curran, Smyth, Noble, O'Flynn, Kee subs Hutchinson (replaced Kee 31), McCartney (replaced O'Flynn 64), Armstrong (replaced Noble 86), H. Clarke (not used), O'Reilly (not used)
Dungannon Swifts: Addis, Hegarty, Wilson, Armstrong, McElroy, Teggart, O'Rourke, Lowe, Clucas, Burke, Hughes subs Mayse (replaced Teggart 63), Harpur (replaced Lowe 59), Patton (replaced McElroy 68), Hutchinson (not used), Campbell (not used)
Referee: Ross Dunlop