Institute 2

Ballinamallard United 0

Ballinamallard United fell to defeat at the semi-final stage of the North West Cup to Institute at the Brandywell on Tuesday night.

The Mallards had more than their fair share of chances over the course of the contest but it was the Premiership side who progressed as goals from Seamus Quinn and Jamie McIntyre sent them through to a final encounter against Limavady United.

Both sides made changes for the game with Mallards boss McConkey making eight switches from the side that drew with Dundela on Saturday with only John Connolly, Ben McCann and Ross Taheny keeping their places.

It meant that the likes of Duwayne McManus, Aaron Arkinson and Davy Elliott all got game time and that was one of the main aims going into the competition for McConkey.

“We had approached the competition as one to give players an opportunity for game time and to get those coming back from injury game time and in that sense it was a success for us,” he said.

However, McConkey did feel that this was a game that they could have won.

“To be honest, I’m disappointed to have lost it, the boys were gutted after the game and I thought that they deserved more out of the game as they played very well. The lads who came in all did well which was pleasing. Duwayne McManus was excellent in retaining possession and so much went through him in the first two thirds while John Edgar and Chris Kelly gave us real energy to compliment him.

“It was a great experience for them to play at the Brandywell where the facilities were brilliant. I also felt that for the neutral is was a good game, played at a good tempo with quality in the build up and excitement in both boxes. We will just now re-focus on a couple of big games coming up in the league over the next week,” he added.

The Mallards created a couple of early chances in the game but Aaron Arkinson stumbled when well placed while the Ducks also had a strong penalty appeal when Nathan Cashel was taken down by the Institute goalkeeper as he got a header towards goal but the referee ignored the Mallards pleas.

It was Institute though who took the lead in the 40th minute as Seamus Quinn slotted home while ‘Stute nearly added a quick second only for the effort to slide past the post.

Sean McAvoy went close to finding an equaliser for the Mallards in the second half but the teenager’s shot came back off the frame of the goal while McConkey then brought on Ryan Campbell, Richard Clarke and Josh McIlwaine as they went in search of a goal.

Campbell did have a chance but he didn’t get a clean connection on the ball while Cashel then had an opportunity to make it 1-1 but he was denied by the goalkeeper when through one on one.

And from this save, Institute, who had hit the woodwork through Gareth Brown in the second half, went right down the other end for McIntyre to wrap up the win with their second.