McBride leads Crusaders to comfortable victory
Crusaders 3 Ballinamallard 1
Crusaders showed that there is still some sentiment in football by making Stephen McBride, who was having his 400th outing for the club, skipper for the night against Ballinamallard.
He led the side to an easy 3-1 win with Jordan Owens bagging a brace and Gary McCutcheon scoring the other.
The Crues were the only side that Whitey Anderson's boys had failed to take a point off this season and so it remained.
A Mark Stafford header which flew over on three minutes seemed like a declaration of intent from the visitors.
But the Crues replied with a crisp volley from McCutcheon from a Jordan Owens knock-down after 11 minutes.
Owens then broke the deadlock when he poked home McCutcheon's pass on 22 minutes.
Ballinmallard had two bites at the cherry on 39 minutes but both Ryan Campbell and Steve Feeney failed to bag the equaliser.
Within 60 seconds it was 2-0 after Eamon McAllister's blistering run down the right followed by a pinpoint cross which McCutcheon slipped past Alvin Rouse.
On 55 minutes Chris Morrow's corner sailed over Rouse and McCutcheon was first to react and shot against the post. The ball fell to Joss Robinson inside the six yard box but he fired wide when it seemed easier to score.
However the home fans had not long to wait for a third goal as moments later Matt Snoddy slipped the ball through to Owens who calmly knocked it past the advancing Rouse.
Sub Stephen Sheridan scored within 60 seconds of coming on when he pulled one back on 65.
CRUSADERS: O'Neill; King, Leeman, Robinson, McBride (McClean 91); McAllister, Morrow, Snoddy, Adamson (Magowan 79) ; McCutcheon, Owens. Subs: Magowan, McClean.
BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: Rouse; Phair, Stafford, Hill, Keohane (Cashel 64); McManus, Currie, McKenna (Curran 73), McCartney; Campbell, Feeney (Sheridan 64).Subs: Curran; Sheridan; Cashel.
Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor).