Cliftonville left it late to finally break Ballinamallard United's stubborn resistance at Solitude, where Davy McDaid pounced in the fifth minute of injury-time to secure a hard-earned Danske Bank Premiership success. Though the Reds' only prior shot on target had come little more than 60 seconds earlier, there was no doubting which side had been in the ascendancy throughout the contest; the hosts dominating possession from the word go but lacking the clinical edge necessary to make the breakthrough before McDaid's last-gasp heroics. While Martin Donnelly and Chris Curran had sent attempts wide of the mark, Cliftonville's only real effort of note in the first-half came on 26 minutes when, spotting goalkeeper James McGrath off his line, James Knowles tried his luck from virtually the halfway line only to send his strike harmlessly off target. In a rare foray forward, the Mallards threatened when Ryan Mayse bought himself some space wide on the right and drove inside before forcing Peter Burke to turn the ball behind with his feet. The second period provided similar levels of goalmouth action; Shane McCabe shooting wide for the visitors before McDaid nodded over from a Donnelly free-kick. Knowles and Jude Winchester each saw themselves crowded out inside a busy penalty area but, as the clock ticked down, a surging charge from McDaid ended with a teasing cross that Winchester was just unable to get a touch on at the far post. Cliftonville's best chance to win the game looked to have come and gone in the third minute of stoppage time when Winchester's header was wonderfully controlled by McDaid, who looked on in frustration as his volley was comfortably dealt with by McGrath. There was, however, still time for the Reds to fashion one final opening and this time McDaid made no mistake; seizing on a Jason McGuinness flick to skip past Liam McMenamin and smartly lift the ball over the advancing McGrath to spark scenes of joyous celebration - including the scorer's memorable two-footed tackle on the advertising hoardings behind the goal.
Cliftonville 1-0 Ballinamallard United
Jaimie McGovern closes in on Shane McCabe, while Davy McDaid lifts the ball over goalkeeper James McGrath before joining the advertising boards for an unusual celebration
1. 4. 10. 22. 28.
Jason Mooney Caoimhin Bonner Stephen Garrett Ross Lavery Gary Donnelly
12. 2. 3. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11. 17. 18. 23.
Peter Burke Jaimie McGovern Levi Ives Jason McGuinness Chris Curran James Knowles Davy McDaid Martin Donnelly Ryan Catney Jude Winchester Tomas Cosgrove