Ballymena return to the top six

Darren Boyce celebrates after putting his side 3-1 up
Darren Boyce celebrates after putting his side 3-1 up

Ballymena United 3 Warrenpoint Town 2

Ballymena United reclaimed a top six place in the Danske Bank Premiership with a hard-fought win over Warrenpoint.

In a low-key first half, Ballymena took the lead on 24 minutes when David Cushley intercepted a wayward pass in midfield and ran through to beat the advancing Jonathan Parr.

United doubled their lead from the panlty spot in first half stoppage time after Parr was red-carded for bringing down Allan Jenkins. Cushley sent stand-in keeper Shaun Parr the wrong way from the spot.

Warrenpoint started the second half with skipper John Boyle taking over in goal but even with 10 men, it was the visitors who pulled a goal back on 67 minutes when Ruairi Devlin’ provided a through ball for sub Stephen McCabe to chip over the advancing Shanahan.

Ballymena looked to have clinched the points when Darren Boyce volleyed home with eight minutes left but Warrenpoint set up a nervy finish when Stephen Hughes’ speculative shot squirmed under home keeper Aaron Shanahan with two minutes left.

Ballymena United: Shanahan, Ervin, Taylor, Stewart, McBride, Kane, Davidson, Jenkins, McLellan, Boyce, Cushley. Subs: Taggart, Teggart, Surgenor, McCullagh, Kelly.

Warrenpoint Town: Parr, King, Boyle, Cowan, M Hughes, Mulgrew, S Parr, S Hughes, Smith, Freeman, Havern. Subs: Kearns, D Hughes, McCabe, Devlin, Grant.

Referee: Damien Basketfield (Banbridge).