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Date: Saturday, 6th August, 2011; Competition: Carling IFA Premiership 1; Attendance: tbc
Venue: New Grosvenor Park (Lambeg); Kick-Off: 3.00pm; Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)
[0-1] TEGGART, Alan (10 mins)
[1-1] LIGGETT, Gary (34 mins)
[1-2] McCUTCHEON, Gary (38 mins)
[1-3] BAKER, Jordan (64 mins)
[1-4] McCUTCHEON, Gary (77 mins)

BALLYMENA United sit top of the Carling IFA Premiership after a convincing four goal opening day victory over Lisburn Distillery.

Roy Walker's new look side boasted seven debutants in the starting eleven; Tony Kane, Chris Rodgers, Jordan Baker, James Costello, Alan Teggart, Conor Downey and captain Allan Jenkins.

It took the Sky Blues only ten minutes to open their account for the season when Ally Teggart nipped in after a mistake by Seamus Sharkey and cooly finished from close range when one-on-one with goalkeeper Brennan.

The Whites equalised against the run of play on 34 minutes when David Cushley's header was only parried as far as Gary Liggett by goalkeeper Aaron Kerr, who fired home the leveller from close range.

Parity only lasted four minutes though as last season's leading goalscorer Gary McCutcheon got off the mark for this campaign, finishing off James Costello's excellent cross from the bye-line.

Costello, who has had a fine pre-season since joining from Glenavon, missed a penalty early in the second half after referee Arnold Hunter blew for handball from a Distillery defender - Costello fired a poor penalty high and wide of the goal.

He turned provider again for United's third goal of the game when his cross was met powerfully by Jordan Baker on 64 mintues and McCutcheon killed the game off as a contest with his second on 77 minutes.

The only blemish on the day was the dismissal of defender Tony Kane on his debut three minutes of time.

So a first opening day win in the top flight in thirteen years and the Sky Blues sit on top of the Carling Premiership on goal difference with the visit of Glenavon to the Showgrounds next Saturday.

Picture courtesy of

Lisburn Distillery: Billy Brennan, Aaron Callaghan, David McCullough (sub Andy Hall 46), Gary Liggett, Andrew Ferguson, Grant Gardiner, Aaron Traynor, Scott Davidson, Jordan Hughes (sub Neal Gawley 88), David Cushley (sub David Larmour 72), Seamus Sharkey. Subs (not used): Mark Patton, Mark Cooling.
Ballymena United: Aaron Kerr, Tony Kane, Aaron Stewart, Mark Surgenor, Chris Rodgers, Conor Downey (sub David Munster 77), Jordan Baker (sub Ross Black 90), Allan Jenkins, Alan Teggart, Gary McCutcheon, James Costello. Subs (not used): Dwayne Nelson, Rory Carson, Eamonn Murray.