Joseph Tully (82p)


Kevin McArdle (44)


Joe Tully levelled for Ballyclare late in the game (Picture: Jonathan Porter/


Ballyclare Comrades and Newry City battled to a share of the Boxing Day spoils in an evenly contested encounter at Dixon Park.

After a cautious opening the first effort of note was created with around a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock when home keeper Ben McCauley blocked Newry's John McGovern on the edge of the box.

At the other end Lewis Hunter was tested by Adam Gray and Samuel McIlveen with a later effort then coming through Ciaran Dobbin with a glancing header.

Newry responded through Adam Foley with an angled shot from 10 yards before, a minute from the break, they moved in through when Kevin McArdle cut inside from the right to beat McCauley at the near post with the ball initially striking the upright before going in off the keeper.

The visitors might have doubled their lead just after the hour but John Boyle's headed off the crossbar from around six yards out before Stefan Lavery fired just past the far post soon after.

For Ballyclare substitute Joe Tully directed a header on target from a Ciaran Dobbin free-kick but Hunter did well to make the save.

However Tully went one better with eight minutes remaining. After being upended inside the area he kept his composure to step up to calmly beat the Newry keeper from the spot.

And Ballyclare might have secured the points in the closing minutes when Gray struck the post from 20 yards with Lukasz Adamczyk unable to keep the rebound on target.

Ballyclare Comrades: McCauley, McCune, McIlveen, Robinson, J. Dobbin, C. Dobbin, Malone, Gray, Doey, Donnelly, Adamczyk subs McNeill (replaced McIlveen 75), Tully (replaced Robinson 71), Hagan (not used), Hegan (not used), McCart (not used)

Newry City: Hunter, King, Boyle, McCann, Foley, Hughes, Lavery, McGovern, Moan, McArdle, Taylor subs Healy (not used), Montgomery (not used), McGee (not used), Duffy (replaced Lavery 75), Durnin (replaced Taylor 58)

Referee: Ken Gibbons