Ballinamallard United hat trick hero Jason McCartney
Ballinamallard United hat trick hero Jason McCartney

New boys Ballinamallard United proudly sit top of the Danske Bank Premiership after a 5-0 thrashing of Lisburn Distillery on Saturday.

The high-flying Mallards netted four times in the second half as they totally outplayed Distillery.

The Whites’ misery was compounded when defender Philip Simpson received a red card midway through the second period.

The Mallards – who many pundits have tipped for automatic relegation this season – remain unbeaten after their first two outings as a top-flight side.

And for manager Whitey Anderson things couldn’t have gone any better.

“I’m delighted for the players. Everything went right for us today and we were tremendous from start to finish,” he said.

“One-nil up at the break and I told the boys to push on. I felt that in the last 20 minutes we had more options which Distillery just couldn’t cope with.

“Some of the goals were brilliant and we played entertaining football throughout.”

The mood in the opposite changing room couldn’t have been any more contrasting.

Distillery have lost their two opening Premiership fixtures – conceding nine goals in the process.

Manager Tim McCann admitted his side didn’t turn up on Saturday.

“Everyone thought Ballinamallard would be the whipping boys, but that’s not the case. I just though we weren’t at the races today,” he said.

“I have told the players that’s your one bye-ball and that’s all you get.”

It was hat-trick hero Jason McCartney who made the headlines, but it was a fantastic all-round team performance by the men in blue.

They got the opener 20 minutes into he game.

David Kee threaded a good ball to McCartney inside the penalty area and the Ballinamallard winger prodded home from 10 yards past keeper Brennan.

Distillery did create one good chance at the end of the half when Jordan Hughes broke through the visiting defence to find himself one on one with Rouse, but the Mallards keeper saved with his feet.

The second half was a different story.

Seven minutes into the half Ballinamallard struck again.

This time Campbell slid a neat reverse pass into the path of Chris Curran whose pace took him away from the defender.

His rasping shot from 15 yards took a slight deflection before hitting the roof of the net past keeper Brennan.

Distillery were reduced to 10 men when Smyth’s challenge on Danny Keohane was late.

In the resulting melee Simpson was given a straight red card for his part in the aftermath.

Ballinamallard’s third came on 66 minutes with that man McCartney the creator.

He collected the ball on the byline just inside the penalty area, and bided his time until Andy Crawford stole in at the back post to nod home.

Their fourth came when Chris Curran was brought down in the penalty area and McCartney netted the spot kick for four.

McCartney sealed his hat-trick when he cut in from the left, jinked past his defender before slotting home at the near post with his right foot.