Ballymena United claimed their first home victory over Dungannon Swifts since 2007 with a hard-fought 2-1 win at the Showgrounds.
Shane Dolan scored the winner for the Sky Blues less than a minute after Darren Boyce had cancelled out Allan Jenkins’ first half opener for the home side.
United could have been out of sight midway through the second half but Alan Davidson struck the crossbar with a penalty to ensure a nervy finale but United held on to add to their victory at Seaview last weekend.
Ballymena went in front on 15 minutes when Alan Teggart’s left wing corner was powerfully headed home by in-rushing skipper Allan Jenkins.
Goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson had to be alert to prevent Swifts from replying within 60 seconds when he dived to his left to palm away Ryan Harpur’s drive and then reacted quickly to block Darren Boyce’s follow-up effort.
Dungannon levelled on 62 minutes when Darren Boyce’s low drive from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area found its way under the Ballymena defensive wall.
But United were back in front within 60 seconds as Gary Thompson, at the back post in a goalmouth scramble, hooked the back back across goal for Dolan to volley home from close range.
Ballymena were handed a golden opportunity to go 3-1 ahead on 68 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Teggart was brought down by keeper Gareth Buchanan, who was booked.
With regular penalty taker Teggart receiving treatment on the sidelines, the duties fell to Alan Davidson but the man who scored the winning penalty in last season’s County Antrim Shield final, blasted his effort against the crossbar.
Ballymena: Nelson, Kane, McCullagh, Taylor, McBride, Thompson, Davidson, Jenkins, Teggart (sub Ruddy 89), Dolan (sub Liggett 81), Lowry (sub Gawley 46). Subs (not used): Stewart, Surgenor.
Dungannon: Buchanan, McKerr, Grieve, Brennan, McMinn (sub Fitzpatrick 60), Harpur, Hutchinson, McCullough, Boyce, Costello (sub Douglas 81), C Lavery (sub Glackin 58). Subs (not used): S Lavery, Mulgrew.
Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon).