VILLAGERS GET PROMOTION CHALLENGE BACK ON TRACK
The battle for promotion at the top of the Bluefin Sport Championship took another twist when Loughgall travelled to Ferney Park to defeat Ballinamallard United.
The Villagers went into the game in third spot on the back of defeats to leaders Portadown and bottom of the table Knockbreda but looked determined to reverse that run of form with a bright start which produced the opening goal on 12 minutes when Nathaniel Ferris converted from the spot after Ballinamallard's Ryan Morris was penalised for a foul inside the box.
Then, as the game approached the 20th minute, Jordan Gibson made it 2-0 after punishing a mistake in the Mallards defence.
However, Ballinamallard did claw a goal back just before the break through John Edgar who smashed the ball past Gareth Buchanan into the bottom corner following Nathan Cashel's good build up.
This heralded a promising start to the second half for Harry McConkey's side which produced dividends around the hour mark when Ryan Campbell curled home the equaliser into the top right corner.
But what proved to be Loughgall's winner came with 20 minutes remaining when the unmarked Ferris brought his tally for the season to 16 across all competitions with a header past John Connolly after Marcio Soares had delivered a pinpoint cross from the right.
Ballinamallard United: Connolly, Taheny, Smyth, Clarke, Campbell, McCartney, Kelly, Edgar, Cashel, O'Reilly, Morris subs McEvoy (replaced Cashel 66), McCann (not used), McManus (not used), McIlwaine (replaced Edgar 80), Holder (replaced Smyth 85)
Loughgall: Buchanan, Kerr, Scott, Brennan, Lyttle, Ferguson, Soares, S. McCullough, Ferris, Gibson, Hoey subs Rea (replaced Hoey 66), Smith (replaced Gibson 80), Douglas (replaced Soares 85), Copeland (not used)