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Saturday 24th June v. Loughgall (away) - Friendly - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Saturday, 29th Oct, 2016 at 19:34

Date: Saturday, 29th October, 2016; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 744;
Ballymena United [1] [4]
Ballinamallard United [0] [0]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Ross Dunlop; Assistant 1: Andrew Neeson; Assistant 2: Neil Gillespie; 4th Official: Raymond Crangle;
Goals:
[1-0] McMURRAY, Johnny (33 mins), [2-0] GAGE, Denver (48 mins), [3-0] McMURRAY, Johnny (50 mins), [4-0] FRIEL, Cathair (68 mins)

BALLYMENA United got back to winning ways with a comfortable 4-0 over Ballinamallard at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
Despite a relatively quiet first half in terms of chances, Ballymena started the game well, with Johnny McMurray being teed up inside the first minute, but he sliced his shot wide. Five minutes later Ballinamallard had their first opening when Ross Glendinning saved well from Ryan Mayse. The Mallards again went close on 21 minutes as striker Adam Lecky had his looping header drift inches past Glendinning's post. Shortly after, up the other end, Denver Gage was denied by Ballinamallard 'keeper James McGrath, who tipped his effort over the bar.
The opening goal of the game came on 32 minutes courtesy of McMurray. Stephen McBride and Cathair Friel worked well down the left hand side, before Friel's cross was beautifully glanced home by McMurray into the bottom corner of the goal.
Johnny McMurray is congratuled by Tony Kane after opening the scoring
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Ballinamallard reacted well to the goal as Johnny Flynn was forced to clear the ball of the line before Mayse was again denied as his volley from the edge of the box was well stopped by Glendinning.
Ballymena came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and doubled their advantage just 3 minutes after the break. Anthony Kane whipped in a corner and the ball was met by Denver Gage, who powerfully headed home his first goal of the season after a lengthy injury layoff.
Denver Gage scored his first goal of the season in his first game of the season
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David Jeffrey was smiling as his side returned to fine form
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2 minutes later the Sky Blues netted a third to almost put the game out of sight. Good play from United saw the ball fall to Friel on the halfway line, and in a 2 on 1 situation, Friel ran on to find McMurray who scored with a first time shot.
McMurray was unlucky not to bag a hat trick on 56 minutes. Ballinamallard conceded a free kick 20 yards out and McMurray stepped up but had his shot deflected onto the crossbar by the Mallard's wall.
Johnny McMurray was denied a hat trick when his free kick was deflected onto the crossbar
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In a rare Ballinamallard chance in the second half, Jason McCartney found himself in acres of space at the left post, but his effort glided past the post. On the hour mark, Friel broke through to find himself 1 on 1 with McGrath, but the goalkeeper did well to stop the shot and put the ball out for a corner. 8 minutes later, Friel was again presented with a chance that left him with just McGrath to beat, but this time Friel scored, with the help of the post, to give United a fourth goal of the afternoon. It was the striker's 8th league goal of the season.
Cathair Friel scored the 4th goal of the game with a deflection off the post
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Cathair Friel celebrates his 8th league goal of the season
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The game was a quiet affair from there on in, with both sides appearing to accept the score line. In added time, substitute Conor McCloskey could've added a fifth goal, but his effort was well saved by McGrath. The positive result sees Ballymena avoid three defeats in a week and gets the season back on track.
David Jeffrey received the perfect present a day after his birthday
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United travel to Bangor Fuels Arena next Saturday to face Ards in the Danske Bank Premiership, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane ( Eoin Kane 81), Stephen McBride ( 65 Conor McCloskey 77), Kyle Owens, Johnny Flynn, Denver Gage, Allan Jenkins, Willie Faulkner, Cathair Friel, Jim Ervin, Johnny McMurray ( Darren Henderson 86).

Subs not used: Ben McCauley, Caolan Loughran.