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Uploaded Saturday, 9th Mar, 2019 at 19:59

Date: Saturday, 9th March, 2019; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 2313;
Coleraine [0] [0]
Ballymena United [2] [4]
Venue: Coleraine Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Evan Boyce; Assistant 1: George Argyropoulos; Assistant 2: Mark O'Brien; 4th Official: Ian McNabb;
[0-1] McGRORY, Andrew (31 mins), [0-2] LECKY, Adam (36 mins), [0-3] McGRORY, Andrew (49 mins), [0-4] McGRORY, Andrew (88 mins)

ANDREW McGrory helped himself to a hat-trick in the derby as Ballymena United swept 10-man Coleraine aside with a 4-0 win at Coleraine Showgrounds.
United made the trip to the Ballycastle Road with 4 changes to the starting XI from last week's disappointment at Seaview, with Albert Watson making his second debut for the club. There was a shake up in formation to with Andy McGrory and Steven McCullough in the middle of the park and Kofi Balmer on right wing back duty.
With most of the game played in awful conditions as a mixture of a heavy pitch, rain, strong winds made it difficult for both sides, United had an early storm to weather as Coleraine started well. Inside 45 seconds Ross Glendinning was called into action to deny Ian Parkhill with a one handed save and from the resulting corner Aaron Burns headed inches wide.
After seeing out the opening 10 minutes Ballymena got themselves into the game and their first chance fell to Johnny McMurray. McGrory played in the forward with a neat ball over the top but McMurray's deflected shot went wide. Further half chances came and went for both teams before a key moment on 27 minutes when Coleraine were reduced to 10 men. McMurray raced onto another ball from McGrory but as he closed in on goal he was brought down by Gareth McConaghie, who was the last man, leaving Evan Boyce no choice but to send the defender off.
Just 3 minutes after the sending off the visitors broke the deadlock. Leroy Millar had a shot blocked but Adam Lecky kept it alive by finding an unmarked McGrory who saw his first header hit the underside of the crossbar, but his second header on the rebound found the net.
5 minutes later Ballymena went two up with a goal that confused most of the Coleraine Showgrounds at first. Balmer did well to keep a deep cross alive at the back post and put a ball of his own in which went goalwards off Lecky. Chris Johns looked to have scrambled the ball off the line but as play continued no one in the ground noticed the linesman's flag up to say the ball had crossed the line. There is still some debate as to whether Lecky or Dylan King got the final touch, but with Coleraine's bench and players dismayed, United didn't care as they took a 2-0 lead to the break.
Within 4 minutes of the restart Ballymena moved 3-0 to the good. The excellent Balmer swung an inviting ball into the back post which was headed back across goal by McMurray to the waiting McGrory who slammed home is second.
It was almost 4 shortly after when Watson embarked on a delightful burst forward, with his cross being knocked down for McCullough who stung the palms of Johns. As the home side looked for any sign of a way back Doherty cut inside to get a shot away but it was easy pickings for Glendinning to save and at the other end Millar teed up McGrory who curled an effort just over.
The final 20 minutes had little to report in terms of goalmouth action for either side with Ballymena's outstanding defence stopping any chance of a Coleraine breakthrough. Ryan Mayse came on in the final 15 minutes, replacing McMurray who put in a fantastic shift upfront, and Mayse helped the Braidmen find a 4th with 2 minutes left. A kick from Glendinning somehow made its way through everyone and was latched onto by Mayse who went through one on one before seeing his effort well saved by Johns, but McGrory was quickest to the rebound and got to the ball just ahead of Johns to poke him his third of the game in front of an ecstatic Sky Blue support.
After an out of sorts performance in the Irish Cup defeat last Saturday, the Sky Blues more than made up for it with a fine showing today, with special mention to Albert Watson who looked right at home in his first Irish League game for 6 years, not giving Eoin Bradley a sniff all game. Another huge win sees Ballymena close the gap to Linfield and extend their advantage over Crusaders.
Ballymena United host Glentoran in the Danske Bank Premiership next Saturday afternoon, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Conor Quigley, Scot Whiteside, Steven McCullough, Andrew McGrory, Kofi Balmer, Jim Ervin, Adam Lecky ( 84), Leroy Millar, Johnny McMurray ( Ryan Mayse 79), Albert Watson ( 71).

Subs not used: Jordan Williamson, Tony Kane, Jonathan Addis, Shane McGinty, Andrew Burns, Matthew Shevlin.