IRISH LEAGUE: Dungannon Swifts still in the hunt for Europe

Dungannon Swifts manager Rodney McAree
Dungannon Swifts manager Rodney McAree

Dungannon Swifts kept up their quest for European football next season with this emphatic 4-1 victory over Ballinamallard.

The Mid Ulster side coasted to an easy three points with three goals in the first half setting them on their way.

Manager Rodney McAree said after the game, “We got the job done and I though we were excellent from start to finish. We switched off whenever we went 1-0 up and conceded which was a poor response.

“But after that I felt that some of the football we played was entertaining and good to watch.

“We’re getting that big closer but we’re not over the line as yet. We have to make sure we finish the job.”

He said his goal was European football, but first and foremost his side had to finish seventh.

“We have to secure that position and coming here was always going to be difficult. I felt we really turned it on tonight and we had some very good performances.”

Swifts opened the scoring on 23 minutes when Ryan Harpur finished off at the back post from a corner.

But two minutes later the Ferney Park side were back on level terms when Ryan Curran set Warner Mullan on his way with a delightful flick for the striker to stroke the ball past keeper Addis.

But then a spell before half time saw Swift turn on the style helped by some poor home defending.

On the half hour Andrew Mitchell drifted past three blue shirts on the edge of the penalty area before striking a good left foot effort past the helpless James McGrath in goal.

Four minutes Swifts added a third. This time they broke quickly from their own penalty area down the right flank. McMahon crossed from wide on the right and Mitchell nipped in in front of keeper McGrath to net from close range.

With Swifts in control in the second half Ballinamallard created only one real chance to score when Owens’ pin point free kick was met by Curran at the back post, but his effort came crashing back off the post.

Swifts though had more to give and Douglas Wilson added a fourth with a header at the back post from Cormac Burke’s corner to seal the three points and European football in sight.

Ballinamallard United: McGrath, McLaughlin, McGinty, McCartney, Mullan (Armstrong 75), Morris, Mayse, Hutchinson (Frempong 67), Elliott (Owens 67), McCann, Curran Subs: Armstrong, Crilly, Owens, Crawford, Frempong

Dungannon Swifts: Addis, Brennan, Wilson, Armstrong, Glackin (Burns 83), Mitchell (Lavery 83), Harpur, O’Rourke, Lowe, Burke, McMahon (Taggart 68) Subs: Fitzpatrick, Taggart, Burns, Lavery, Coyle

Referee: Raymond Crangle