DCSIMG

Ballymena secure Irish Cup final place with victory over Queen’s

Ballymena United's Alan Davidson scores his second goal past Queen's University goalkeeper Declan Brown

Ballymena United's Alan Davidson scores his second goal past Queen's University goalkeeper Declan Brown

 

BALLYMENA UTD 3 QUEEN’S UNIV 0

Ballymena United booked their place in next month’s Irish Cup final with a 3-0 victory over Queen’s University.

A decisive double from Alan Davidson and a late goal from substitute Mark Kelly saw the Premiership side avoid a cup shock against the Championship 2 minnows at the Oval.

Davidson rifled a superb strike into the top corner in the 34th minute before doubling his and Ballymena’s lead two minutes after the break with a cool finish.

Kelly completed the victory with a close-range finish in the 89th minute.

It wasn’t the rout many people had predicted, with Queen’s deserving of plaudits after a spirited display in east Belfast.

Ballymena’s breakthrough arrived in the 34th minute with a superb strike from Davidson, the midfielder picking up possession inside the right edge of the box before dispatching a thunderbolt into the top corner.

Shanahan prevented a Queen’s equaliser three minutes before the break with an outstanding save from Daniel Culbert - the United keeper tipping the defender’s point-blank header onto the crossbar.

Ballymena’s second goal arrived in the 47th minute with Davidson again on target.

David Cushley was the provider, lofting a through ball into Davidson’s path, and the midfielder took a touch before coolly sending the ball past the advancing Brown.

Substitute Kelly - only introduced to the fray in the 87th minute - stabbed home Allan Jenkins’ low cross in the final minute to complete the scoring.

BALLYMENA: Shanahan, Ervin, Taylor, Stewart (Munster 55), McBride, Kane, Davidson, Jenkins, Cushley (Gawley 78), Boyce (Kelly 87), Teggart.

Subs not used: Taggart, Surgeonor.

QUEEN’S: Brown, Culbert, P. Prenter, Ferrin, McDonald, Keenan (McDowell 60), Allison, Hagan (Mulholland 68), Lavery, M. Prenter, Fulton (Harper 84).

Subs not used: Thompson, Black.

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus)

Att: 1284

 

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