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Carrick Rangers 1-2 Ballinamallard

Joshua McIlwaine struck twice to give the Mallards a deserved win in horrible conditions at the Taylor's Avenue.

The win see's the Fermanagh side open up an 8 point gap over their opponents, whilst they sit 17 points ahead of bottom side Portadown with equal games played.

Macca gave his side a dream start when he struck the opener on 4 minutes as the Mallards enjoyed a positive opening. Goalkeeper Richard Brush denied Carrick an equaliser when he produced a fine save from a header whilst at the other end Colm McLaughlin went close with a header.

The home side started the second half strongly and they were very unlucky to equalise immediately after the break. Brush again produced another top drawer save to deny McCullough, but Noble was lurking and he hit the post with the goal gaping.

McIlwaine and McCabe both went close before Carrick were again denied. Firstly, McLaughlin made a fine last ditch tackle and conceeded a corner, which McCartney cleared off the line!

A minute later however and McIlwaine made it 2-0 with a strike straight down the centre of the goal which beat Neeson on 75 minutes.

Johnny Lafferty skimmed the post as Gavin Dykes side looked for a third, but with 8 minutes remaining, Ryan Morris scored an own goal from close range when attempting to clear a cross.

Despite pushing for an equaliser, a doggid Ballinamallard stood firm for a vital 3 points!

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