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Jason McCartney (20)
Christopher Curran (52)
Andy Crawford (66)
Jason McCartney (75p)
Jason McCartney (89)

5

Jason McCartney lays claim to the match ball following his hat-trick (Picture: Brian Little/PressEye.com)

FIVE STAR MALLARDS SOAR TO THE SUMMIT

JASON McCartney grabbed the first hat-trick of the new season as Ballinamallard United powered their way to the top with this thumping defeat of Lisburn Distillery.

McCartney opened the scoring on 20 minutes when he collected the ball on the left side of midfield to proceed through the home defence and duly sent a deflected effort past 'keeper Billy Brennan.

The Whites might have levelled right on the stroke of half-time when Jordan Hughes was played through only for his subsequent effort to be blocked by the legs of 'keeper Alvin Rouse.

But United doubled their advantage seven minutes into the second half. The Whites had been enjoying a period of possession but, from a counter-attack, Chris Curran connected with the ball on the edge of the box to rifle the ball over Brennan.

And it got worse for Tim McCann's side on the hour when they were reduced to ten men after Philip Simpson was dismissed by referee Ian McNabb for his involvement in a melee which escalated following a tackle on Aaron Smyth.

Andy Crawford then added a third for Ballinamallard on 66 minutes with a back post finish from a McCartney left wing cross.

It was 4-0 with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining. McCartney grabbed his second of the game with a successfully converted spot-kick after Ryan McCann had upended Curran from behind.

McCartney then capped a memorable afternoon with his hat-trick goal a minute from time, a low drive past Brennan after beating two defenders.

Referee:

Attendance: 318