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Saturday 28th April v. Crusaders (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Wednesday, 14th Dec, 2016 at 00:31

Date: Tuesday, 13th December, 2016; Competition: Northern Ireland League Cup - Semi-Final; Attendance: N/A;
Ballymena United [0] [0] AET 3
Coleraine [0] [0] AET 0
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Evan Boyce; Assistant 1: Andrew Neeson; Assistant 2: Mark O'Brien; 4th Official: Keith Kennedy;
[1-0] KANE, Tony (pen 95 mins), [2-0] FRIEL, Cathair (103 mins), [3-0] HENDERSON, Darren (113 mins)

BALLYMENA United booked a League Cup Final date with Carrick Rangers after defeating Coleraine 3-0 at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
The game's first chance fell to Fra McCaffrey on 15 minutes when he was played in by Cathair Friel, but his shot was tame at Chris Johns in the Coleraine goal. On 23 minutes Friel again became the provider, teeing up William Faulkner, but his shot was also stopped by Johns. Coleraine's first good chance and arguably their best chance came four minutes later when David Ogilvy was found free at the back post via a David Kee free kick, but he couldn't keep his shot on target.
Before the end of the first half Ballymena went close again. First Anthony Kane picked up on a loose Coleraine ball but Johns got down well to stop his effort. Then with one minute left, Friel couldn't sort his feet after a Kane corner and the ball eventually fell to Allan Jenkins, who somehow sent the ball wide.
Ballymena started the second half as they'd finished the first with good opening chances. Friel and Johnny McMurray combined well, but the latter was again denied by the Coleraine goalkeeper. It was then Friel's turn with a flurry of opportunities, the best coming on 54 minutes. Faulkner did well to find Friel in the box, but his shot was somehow saved on the line by the impressive Johns.
As United continued to press, Coleraine almost broke the deadlock at the other end from a corner. Ogilvy again miscued a chance before Rodney Brown had his shot deflected onto the post and United were able to clear. Both sides had chances to win it late on in normal time. For United, Friel failed to connect with the ball from close range, and then in added time, James McLaughlin hit a powerful effort straight at Ross Glendinning.
Extra time sprung into life 5 minutes in when Friel was hacked down just inside the penalty box. Kane stood up and kept his 100% record this season from the spot as the Sky Blues took a 1-0 lead.
Tony Kane and Cathair Friel celebrate the opening goal, a penalty taken by Tony Kane
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On 98 minutes, Coleraine had a penalty shout of their own when they felt Kyle Owens had handled the ball. The appeals were waved away and Kearney was sent to the stands for his arguments against the decision.
Referee Evan Boyce sends Oran Kearney to the stands
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2 minutes before half time in extra time, United gained breathing space when Leroy Millar did well to break through and squared it to Friel, who tapped home the game's second goal.
Cathair Friel celebrates after doubling the score
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Another good Johns save stopped Friel making it three, but substitute Darren Henderson did add the third in the 113th minute through a header, finishing off a Kane cross after a great team move.
Darren Henderson surrounded after scoring the third and final goal of the game
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The game went on to finish 3-0 to the delight of a boisterous home support as Ballymena booked their place in the League Cup final for the second time in the club's history with victory their biggest rivals.
One young fan showing his love for the Sky Blues
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Manager David Jeffrey was delighted at the performance tonight
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Ballymena United are back in league action on Saturday, travelling to the National Stadium to face second placed Linfield.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane, Kyle Owens, Allan Jenkins, Willie Faulkner, Cathair Friel ( 106), Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar, Johnny McMurray ( 13 Darren Henderson 107), Fra McCaffrey ( Gavin Taggart 102), Adam McCracken.

Subs not used: Alan Blayney, Danny Wallace, Caolan Loughran.