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)