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Ballinamallard 2-3 Loughgall

The Mallards missed out on the opportunity to close the gap at the top after a harsh defeat to Loughgall.

After a poor first half showing, against a quality side, the Mallards eventually got themselves level in the game before conceeding again.

In a frantic opening 5 minutes both sides could easily have been ahead with chances falling for Marcio Soares and Jason McCartney, before the opening goal arrived from the penalty spot.

Ryan Morris was perhaps harshly adjudged to have committed a foul when clearing the ball, and Nathaniel Ferris stroked the ball straight down the middle from 12 yards.

It got worse then as we approached 20 minutes played; a mix up at the back allowed striker Jordan Gibson through on goal and he made it 2-0.

Then before half time Harry McConkey's men got a lifeline. After good work by Nathan Cashel, John Edgar stroked in from the edge of the box to pull a goal back.

The home side started the second 45 brightly and drew level with Ryan Campbell scoring a fine curling shot into the top right hand corner.

In the ascendancy, the Mallards looked like they might go on to score again but then on 70 minutes our opponents took the lead; Soares pinpoint cross from the right finding the head of an unmarked Ferris.

Loughgall stood firm for the duration of the game and took 3 points back up the road from this tight encounter.

It was also a disappointing day for our Reserves who were beaten 3-0 at home to Ards Reserves, whilst the U19s were knocked out of the Irish Youth Cup on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

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