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Saturday 18th November v. Dungannon Swifts (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

ROUND ONE - Tuesday, 26th November, 1996 - Ballymena Showgrounds
BALLYMENA UNITED 2
(Patton '62; Loughery '75)
CARRICK RANGERS 0
-
Team: Beck, Smyth, Stewart, Allen, McConnell, Bustard, Murray, Gilmore, Feehan, Muir, Patton. Subs (all used): Loughery, Moore, Telford.
Match Description: Ballymena United found it tough to progress to the quarter-finals of the County Antrim Shield against First Division rivals, Carrick Rangers. It took until the 62nd minute when Thomas McLeister stumbled over Ciaran Feehan in the area, and Barry Patton stroked home the resulting penalty. With 15 minutes remaining Dessie Loughery scored a wonderful goal after a mazing run which fooled five or six Carrick players before sealing the win.

QUARTER-FINAL - Tuesday, 3rd December, 1996 - Ballymena Showgrounds
BALLYMENA UNITED 2
(Loughery '40; Patton '84)
CHIMNEY CORNER 0
-
Team: Beck, Carlisle, Stewart, Allen, McConnell, Muir, Murray, Gilmore, Feehan, Loughery, Smyth. Subs: McGreevy, Patton (used), Bustard (used).
Match Description: United's 'B' Division neighbours put up a good fight, but just weren't strong enough as the Skies opened the scoring late in the first half. Mark Carlisles cross was met by Feehan who's header was well saved, but Dessie Loughery was on hand to nod the rebound in off the post. Barry Patton sealed the win with six minutes remaining as he broke free of the Corner defence and drilled a shot into the corner from 16 yards.

SEMI-FINAL - Tuesday, 15th January, 1997 - The Oval
BALLYMENA UNITED 2
(Boyd '87; Feehan '106)
PORTADOWN 1
(Haylock '25)
Team: Beck, Carlisle, Muir, Allen, McConnell, Bustard (sub Feehan), Knell (sub McGreevy), Boyd, Loughery, Patton, Smyth. Sub (not used): Gilmore.
Match Description: Premier League high flyers Portadown took the lead after 25 minutes when Gary Haylock chipped Robbie Beck. United had the better of the second half at the Oval and three minutes from time the inspirational Nigel Boyd equalised when he met a poor clearance on the half-volley to send the game into extra time. Then after 106 minutes of play substitute Ciaran Feehan slotted home the 'Golden Goal' to send United to the final in thrilling circumstances.

FINAL - Tuesday, 25th February, 1997 - Windsor Park - Attendance: 2,000 (restricted)
BALLYMENA UNITED 0
-
CLIFTONVILLE 0
-
Cliftonville won 5-4 on penalties.
Ballymena United: Beck, Carlisle, Stewart (sub Murray 46), Allen, McConnell, Bustard, Knell (sub Muir 95), Feehan (sub Patton 90), Loughery, Smyth.
Cliftonville: Reece, Hill, Flynn, Tabb, Small, Shepard, O'Connor, McCaw, O'Neill (sub Collins 72), Stokes, Donnelly. Subs (not used): Davey, McDonald.
Referee: Alan Snoddy (Carryduff)
Match Description: In the replayed final which had a restricted attendance due to the event of the initial abandoned final, neither team could break the deadlock after 120 minutes of football. The game went to penalty kicks and after four kicks each; Stokes, Small, O'Connor and Hill had scored for Cliftonville whilst Jason Allen, Barry Patton, John Smyth and Ian Bustard had all converted for the Sky Blues to leave it 4-4. Tim McCann tucked away his spot kick, but Peter Murray seen his kick saved by Reece to gift the Shield to the North Belfast Reds.


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