Monday, December 17, 2012
Ballinamallard v Cliftonville December 2012
A day trip to Fermanagh in Northern Ireland to see the league leaders Cliftonville pay a rare visit to Ballinamallard.
15th December 2012 Ballinamallard Utd 1 Cliftonville 3 Irish Premier c. 600 (150 away)
I was up early to get the Easyjet flight from Luton to Belfast International.
From there I drove, slowly, towards the west stopping in Dungannon and then on to Enniskillen for a ‘late breakfast’.
Ballinamallard is a village about 6 miles from Enniskillen and their team is making its debut in the top level of football in Northern Ireland.
Roy Carroll, now at Olympiakos (and see previous blog), is their most famous ex-player.
The ground has been enhanced to include a small stand and two neat areas of terrace with one allocated to the away fans.
The visitors brought a lively group who certainly added to the clubhouse coffers with their alcohol consumption.
On a mostly cloudy day Cliftonville were two up inside 22 minutes with a double from Marc Smyth, the second a header into the top corner.
They looked considerably sharper than the home side in the first half.
But the Mallards made some changes after the break and had much more of the play culminating in a free-kick goal by David Kee.
For a while it looked like they might get level but Garrett scored the third for the Reds and that sealed the win, leaving Cliftonville seven points clear at the top of the league.
It takes around 1.5 hours to get back to the International airport and I had time enough to drop off the rental car and make the return flight to Luton.
More pictures at http://photobox.com/album/1654993608