Belfast Telegraph

Hat-trick hero Heatley hails 'phenomenal' Crusaders

Ballinamallard United 1 Crusaders 5

Three and easy: Paul Heatley praised team performance
Three and easy: Paul Heatley praised team performance

By Gareth Cauldwell

Paul Heatley turned in a top class display as he helped himself to a hat-trick for Crusaders during their 5-1 win against Ballinamallard at Ferney Park on Saturday - but for the attacker it is all about the team performance.

A dominant display from the Crues saw them take the lead through Heatley after nine minutes before Philip Lowry doubled the lead just before half time.

The Mallards were given hope when Ryan Curran netted his fifth goal of the season to half the deficit early in the second half but Heatley hit straight back for Stephen Baxter's side with a brace to complete his hat-trick while Jordan Owens rounded off the scoring late on.

"It's always nice to get on the scoresheet but I think the performance in the first 20 minutes and the last 20 was absolutely outstanding by us. I thought the team performance was phenomenal," said hat-trick hero Heatley, who added. "I can't really remember a lot about the goals. Some of them fall kindly for you, the second one there was a nice wee ricochet, but personal achievements aren't important, as long as we get the three points and play well, that's the key thing."

The win has the Crues up to fourth in the table and Heatley stresses that there is still more to come from the side. "Some of the boys are still getting up to the pace of things after Europe and some might not have played a lot of pre-season matches but we are starting to kick into gear now and we certainly have a few levels to go up," he commented.

Ballinamallard sit bottom of the table with only one point after six games and manager Gavin Dykes feels it is time for the players to step up. "We haven't started well. We conceded six at Glenavon and five here. We have to start fighting and people have to start taking responsibility."

Ballinamallard: Brush, McConnell (Brennan, 77 mins), McLaughlin, McIlwaine, Leddy, Clarke, McGinty (Armstrong, 84 mins), McCann (Canning, 63 mins), Curran, Smyth, Burns.

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Crusaders: Jensen, Burns, Beverland, Brown, Whyte (Snoddy, 62 mins), Heatley (Glackin, 79 mins), Lowry, Ward, Owens (McAllister, 84 mins), Carvill, Forsythe.

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)

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