Carrick Rangers 2-1 Ballinamallard

April 30, 2016

What an incredible day of drama at the bottom of the Danske Bank Premier League!

 

Within the space of 5 minutes, 3 clubs switched and swapped the automatic relegation spot which eventually fell to the unfortunate Warrenpoint Town.

 

Both Town and Rangers needed a win, whilst the Mallards needed a win to be safe from both the automatic and playoff positions. Alas, the Mallards have ended up in a playoff and will now encounter Institute over 2 legs.

 

In front of a large, passionate and vocal Ballinamallard support, the away side enjoyed a reasonably comfortable opening 45 minutes.

 

Ballinamallard had the opening chance of the game with a free kick on the edge of the penalty area but Cathal Beacom's effort struck the wall and was cleared.

 

Lafferty was next to threaten when he shot narrowly over from an acute angle before Carrick almost took the lead only for Stefan McCusker to produce a stunning reflex save.

 

Carrick went close with a number of efforts but couldn't find the target before Ballinamallard took the lead on 42 minutes.

 

Neat play between O'Flynn and Lecky set up Sproule who netted through Neeson's leg for his first goal in his final appearance.

 

Ballinamallard were forced into a half time substitution when James McKenna pulled up with injury and he was replaced by Jake Dykes, before Cathal Beacom also retired with injury.

 

With 65 minutes gone, O'Flynn should have scored a second for the visitors but he dragged his shot wide when well placed whilst Johnny Lafferty was also denied by Neeson after some fine individual skill.

 

With the clock ticking, Carrick threw everything they had at Ballinamallard, with both Kelly and Chines going off target.

 

As the fourth official indicated an additional 5 minutes, the drama commenced.

 

Mark Surgenor headed an equaliser for Carrick, which would still relegate them, but send Ballinamallard into the playoff position.

 

Then on 93 minutes, Chines netted a second with a fine overhead kick. As things stood, Ballinamallard were relegated and Warrenpoint in a playoff.

 

However as the final whistle sounded, Dungannon equalised at the third attempt after a penalty save, which meant Warrenpoint were relegated and Ballinamallard were in the playoff!

 

The playoff dates are;

 

Institute Vs Ballinamallard; Friday 6th May, 7.45pm

Ballinamallard vs Institute; Tuesday 10th May, 7.45pm

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