Braidmen draw comfort from result

BALLYMENA Men's First XI provided a positive response to their 4-0 defeat by Campbellians the previous week as they battled to a 2-2 draw against local rivals Parkview on Saturday.

The Braidsiders came into the match with an extended list of absentees due to personal circumstances and injury which allowed Mark Montieth to make his Senior team debut this season with a fantastic individual performance.

The homeside started brightly with good posession which led to a number of early chances falling to Paddy McKeown and Andrew Bell. However it was Parkview who broke the deadlock by converting one of their few chances.

Minutes after the halftime break Andrew Shields delivered a lofted cross from the left side of the "D" which slid along to the back-post allowing for a well positioned Tory Alexander to tap home from yards out, echoing the play of the injured goal-poaching Phil Nichol.

For the second time in the game Ballymena went behind as Parkview converted another half chance that caught the Braid defence off guard that allowed the ball to creep over the line.

For the remainder of the match Ballymena pressurised Parkview into turnovers and fouls. These were converted into numerous short corners but it wasn't until ten minutes from time that Andrew Bell converted a tight angle shot from the right hand side that struck the backboard putting Ballymena on level terms.

Ballymena: G Shaw, D Holmes, G Tumilson, C Hogg, R Smyth, J Gibson, T Alexander, A Bell, A Shields, V Orr, P McKeown, M Montieth. Man of the Match: Tory Alexander.

SECONDS

Civil Service V 4, Ballymena II 7: Ballymena Men's Seconds took to the unfamiliar ground of Stormont on Saturday to take on Civil Service Fifths in Round 3 of the Minor Cup, with a quarter final place at stake.

Midway into the first half, Corbett slotted the ball past the goalkeeper to give Ballymena the edge.

With half time approaching, McMeekin added to the goal tally, fortunately slotting a deflection through Russell into the back of the net.

Civil Service never gave up and in the dying moments of the first half they won a short corner, which was

blasted into the goal giving on form keeper, Gibson no chance.

Hanna and McDowell, Ballymena's most experienced players led the half time encouragement and the Braidmen were rewarded with a goal from Moody, ably assisted by Corbett, to take a 3-1 lead.

Civil Service were kept at bay until a slice slot inside the Ballymena D brought the score to 3-2.

With attacking play from Barr, Montgomery and Murphy another goal for Ballymena was on the cards with Moody adding to his goal tally once more from Russell's initial shot deflected off the goalkeeper for 4-2.

Civil Service again added another goal to bring the score to 4-3 and at the restart Jackson and Corbett quickly increased the gap again as Corbett slotted the ball with ease past the service keeper for 5-3.

Ballymena, with both forwards on the look out for hat-tricks, continued with their attacking game and it was Moody who claimed his first trick for the club, flicking the ball underneath the goalkeeper's foot and straight into the goal after a dramatic left wing run to beat the Service defence to lead 6-3.

Corbett not content at his partner upfront claiming the prestigious honor kept fighting but was kept at bay by Service scoring another goal after a free from outside the D was given.

After a few moments of sustained Service pressure Ballymena released Russell, who linked with Moody to release Corbett on a cross D run, before the youngster claimed his own hat-trick with a tight angle scorcher past the Service keeper into the back corner of the net.

Seconds: A Gibson, A Hanna, E Archer, P McDowell, J Russell, A Murphy, P Moody, M Corbett, A Jackson, W Barr, W Montgomery, C McMeekin.

LADIES

Omagh 2, Ballymena 0: Ballymena have only beaten Omagh once away from home and it is always a very physical encounter that does not always suit the Ballymena Ladies' game plan.

Ballymena worked hard and regained possession at every possible opportunity but were unable to break into the Omagh circle and in a well-worked counter-attacking move Omagh opened the scoring after only ten minutes on the clock.

Omagh again moved forward with speed on the counter attack and managed to find two loosely marked forwards lying high in the Ballymena circle creating a two-on-one eliminating the keeper and scoring their second of the game.Ballymena tried to recreate the passing hockey that they are capable of but were unable to capitalise on their possession.

Ballymena: E Leslie, S Bell, M Glass, J Dickson , B Dinsmore, K Allen, S Gage, B Kernohan, S Reid, A Logan, K Aiken, N Harkness.