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Ballinamallard 1-1 Crusaders

Whitey Anderson's men came ever so close to defeating reigning Champions Crusaders on Saturday, only for substitute Diarmuid O'Carroll to snatch an 88th minute equaliser.

The home side were entering the game on the back of a morale boosting midweek win over Linfield, whilst Stephen Baxter's men were licking their wounds after exiting the JBE League Cup at the hands of Championship One side Institute.

Jordan Owens went closest first when he connected with a Richard Clarke free kick, but he couldn't find the target.

The Mallards should have capitalised on an error from Joshua Robinson mid way through the half, and despite robbing the centre half, Steve Feeney couldn't quite find Michael McCrudden to get an effort in on goal.

Feeney was again a thorn in the Crusaders side, when he robbed Robinson again and crossed for Martin, but his shot was blocked.

As the first half came to an end, Emmet Friars appeared to foul Paul Heatley but referee Ross Dunlop waved play on and denied what would have been a straight red card.

7 minutes into the second half and the home side notched up the first goal of the game. Johnny Lafferty floated in a cross from the left, and Feeney headed over the outcoming O'Neill.

Substitute Johny Courtney could have added a second for the Mallards on two occasions, the first narrowly bobbling past the post and the second was saved by Sean O'Neill.

The Crues increased the pressure as the game drew to a close, with numerous long balls pumped into the Mallards penalty area, but they were frustrated with a mixture of great defending, top class goalkeeper and poor decision making.

Stephen Baxter threw on strikers Michael Carvill and Diarmuid O'Carroll, and it was the later who got the equaliser on 88 minutes when he fired in low at the back post.

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