Ballinamallard relegated despite Glentoran win.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Ballinamallard relegated despite Glentoran win. thumbnailSean Noble scores for Ballinamallard against Glentoran at The Oval.

Ballinamallard United slipped out of the Danske Bank Premiership after six seasons despite a 3-1 defeat of Glentoran at The Oval on the final matchday on Saturday.


In the end the Mallards' revival under Harry McConkey towards the end of the campaign proved to be too little, too late to avoid automatic relegation for the Ferney Park side.

McConkey's men won three and drew two in their last five matches to end the season level on points with one-from-bottom Carrick Rangers.

David McAlinden's side got the result they needed against Warrenpoint Town to finish four goals better off on goal difference from the Mallards, thus confirming a two-legged play-off with Championship runners-up Newry City.

Speaking after the game, the Mallards boss praised his players on the effort they put in since he took over from Gavin Dykes in March.

"Needless to say, there's a very very unhappy changing room in there. The lads have given absolutely everything.

"I think when you give so much and don't make it in the end, it's very very hard to accept. We given this a real good run from March 15 really, when I went in, and I can say that I wanted to make sure that they showed their supporters and showed their club how much they cared.

I think they've done that in buckets." The visitors had a big chance to race into the lead early on when, on nine minutes, James McKenna's goalbound header was cleared off the line.

However, they only had to a few minutes to move in front after Sean Noble nipped in as a hesitant defence left Dwayne Nelson exposed to touch a Colm McLaughlin pass into the net.

With the sides exchanging what amounted to a succession of half chances neither looked like adding to the scoreline until after the break when Curtis Allen saw a scrambled effort smothered by Richard Brush on the goalline.

The Mallards might have added to their lead just after the hour when Noble proceeded down the right before crossing for Ryan Curran but he couldn't keep his shot from going over.

But it did become 2-0 on 74 minutes when Noble doubled his tally after getting the final touch to an O'Flynn ball across the face of goal.

And, eight minutes after that, Joshua McIlwaine added a third with a clipped finish over the advancing Nelson.

Glentoran did grab a late consolation through Calum Birney's effort from the edge of the six yard box.

Glentoran: D. Nelson, Ferrin, Redman, Birney, Addis, Kane, Gordon, O'Neill, Allen, McMahon, Davidson

subs Morris (not used), Kelly (not used), Conn (replaced Davidson 71), McCarthy (replaced O'Neill 88), O'Hanlon (replaced Gordon 65)

Ballinamallard United: Brush, McLaughlin, Taheny, McKenna, Clarke, McGinty, Curran, Smyth, Noble, Kerr, O'Flynn

subs Hutchinson (not used), McCartney (replaced Curran 78), Leddy (not used), Brownlee (not used), McIlwaine (replaced O'Flynn 78).

Referee: Lee Tavinder


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