Belfast Telegraph

Cool McIlwaine has the decisive say for battling Ballinamallard

Ballinamallard United 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Get in: Joshua McIlwaine’s header proved to be vital
Get in: Joshua McIlwaine’s header proved to be vital

By Gareth Cauldwell

Ballinamallard secured their place in the last eight of the Irish Cup with a 1-0 win over Carrick Rangers at Ferney Park.

Joshua McIlwaine's 18th-minute header proved decisive and set up a quarter-final meeting away to Dungannon Swifts.

It was the visitors who started the brighter and won a couple of free-kicks in dangerous positions, but the deliveries failed to trouble the Mallards.

Michael Smith flicked an effort into the side-netting for Rangers, while at the other end McIlwaine got on the end of a Robbie Hume ball but could not get his header on target.

Rangers keeper Aaron Hogg had to be quickly off his line to deny Ryan Campbell before the home side went on to open the scoring in the 18th minute.

Aaron Arkinson's corner from the left was met by McIlwaine, who headed into the net.

The visitors struggled to create anything clear cut in the first half. Lloyd Anderson did have a snap shot from the edge of the box, but it was easily gathered.

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Carrick were close to the leveller 10 minutes into the second half when Smith got his head to a Reece Neale corner but his effort came off the crossbar.

The Mallards did still pose a threat of their own and Ben McCann just failed to turn home from a Richard Clarke free-kick, while Ryan Campbell was then denied by Hogg after some great work by substitute Simon Warrington.

And it took a super clearance by Mallards defender Ross Taheny from under the bar to keep the home side's lead intact.

Ballinamallard Utd: Connolly, Taheny, Smyth, Clarke, Arkinson, Campbell (Byrne, 87 mins), McCartney, Kelly, McIlwaine, McCann, Hume (Warrington, 71 mins).

Carrick Rangers: Hogg, McCauley (Loughran, 46 mins), Neale, Houston, Rodgers (Surgenor, 27 mins), Chapman, Anderson, Strain (McNeill, 68 mins), Kelly, Nixon, Smith.

Man of the match: Ross Taheny

Match rating: 6/10

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