Garth Falconer (Picture: Freddie Parkinson/PressEye.com)
Saturday, 15 April 2017
Dergview's commitment and character was evident from the first whistle as ace marksman Ryan Campbell fired an early effort inches wide after the ball had been chested down by strike partner Richard Lecky before Duwayne McManus headed straight at Comrades keeper Paddy Flood following a Wallace corner.
At the other end Kevin Lynch nodded down for Chris Trussell but the striker's volley lacked enough power to trouble home net-minder Stefan McCusker.
Moments later McCusker pushed a Corey McMullan shot around his left post before the home side forged ahead on 33 minutes.
The Comrades defence only partially cleared an Aaron Walsh corner kick from the left, the ball fell into the path of left-back Falconer who took one touch before crashing home on the volley from just inside the box.
Up to this juncture there was little to choose between the sides and that continued to be the case either side of the half-time interval.
Slowly but surely though Comrades cranked it up however the Derg defence remained steadfast with Wray and Buchanan making a number of important headed clearances.
By now the home side appeared content to play on the counter attack and that tactic almost worked a treat when Wray's searching ball sent Campbell scampering clear on the right. The striker cut inside and looked to have picked out McManus with the perfect pass but a Ballyclare defender got back to make a crucial interception.
For the most part though it was Comrades on the attack as McCusker held a stinging Sammy McIlveen free kick.
Shortly afterwards the Derg keeper was relieved to see O'Hanlon's dipping volley, from a John Dobbin knock-down, drop onto the roof of his net.
That, in truth, was the visitors' last real opportunity as the home defence dealt comfortably with a number of corners and free kicks to ultimately secure maximum points.
Dergview: McCusker, Wallace, Falconer, M. Buchanan, Wray, Burns, Walsh, Cashel, Lecky, Campbell, McManus subs Liggett (not used), Dennison (not used), Stronge (replaced Lecky 90), G. Porter (not used)
Ballyclare Comrades: Flood, Woods, Brown, Gray, McMullan, Youle, Dobbin, O'Hanlon, Trussell, Robinson, Lynch subs McIlveen (replaced McMullan 63), Taggart (replaced Lynch 86), McCauley (not used), Haggan (not used), McKnight (not used)
Referee: Jamie Robinson