IRISH LEAGUE: Ballinamallard secure valuable win over Warrenpoint at the basement

Mark Hughes of Warrenpoint and Shane McCabe of Ballinamallard
Mark Hughes of Warrenpoint and Shane McCabe of Ballinamallard

Ballinamallard 2 Warrenpoint 0

Ballinamallard United secured a massive three points in their quest to avoid relegation from the Danske Bank Premiership.

The win over Warrenpoint leaves them four points ahead of the the bottom placed side and ahead of Carrick Rangers.

The visitors got off to the worst possible start when Stephen Hughes was red carded after handling on the goalline, but the resulting penalty from Jason McCartney was well saved by keeper Jonathan Parr.

Despite being down to 10 men Warrenpoint showed how dangerous they could be when Stephen Murray wriggled free just inside the penalty box to fire a cracking effort off the crossbar.

Indeed Murray then set up Martin Murray for another chance before leaving Jake Dykes in his wake inside the penalty area, but central defender Emmet Friars was on hand to make a great saving tackle.

Just two minutes into the second half Ballinamallard took the lead with a cracking free kick strike from midfielder Shane McCabe. His 30 yard effort was drilled into the top right hand corner giving keeper Parr absolutely no chance.

Minutes later though the home side was reduced to 10 men when Ivan Sproule received his marching orders after an altercation on the half way line.

But on 62 minutes the home side scored their second when a Beacom cross found Friars at the back post.His header across the six yard box was met by Campbell who hammer the ball into the roof of the net.

Warrenpoint did push to pull one back, but McCusker in goal and a goal line clearance from Morris kept a clean sheet for the Mallards.

Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson said it was a massive result for his side.

“You never know how important those three points are until the next three games unfold, but it was vital that we got a win today.It was about ourselves and that’s the way it is for the next three games too.

Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray said it was important to score the first goal today.

“We created a couple of half chances and hit the woodwork in the first half. Indeed we looked comfortable.But whoever scored first was never going to be beaten and unfortunately for us it was them,.

It looks like it is going to go to the last day regardless of what happens between now and then.

Ballinamallard United: McCusker, McCabe, Sproule, Lafferty (O’Flynn 85), McCartney, Lecky (McKenna 69), Morris, Campbell, Friars, Elliott (Beacom 57), Dykes.

Subs not used: Feeney, Mayse

Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Murphy (Mulvenna 69), McVeigh, McDonald, Hughes, Murray, Dane, Bagnal, M. Hughes, Moan, M. Murray (McMurray 69)

Subs not used: Smith, Boyle, Donnelly