Ballymena United required penalties to squeeze past the challenge of Championship Two side Ballymoney United after the sides drew 2-2 after extra time at the Showgrounds.
The visitors grabbed the lead in the 13th minute when Stuart Addis brought down Eoin Bradley in the penalty area.
The keeper somehow escaped with only a yellow card but Bradley picked himself up to tuck home the resultant spot kick.
Ballymena got back on level terms on 68 minutes as skipper Aaron Stewart headed powerfully home at the back post from a Peter Duffin corner.
Ballymoney moved back in front seven minutes into the first period when Bradley collected a through ball from Diarmuid Larkin, stepped inside the challenge of Michael Ruddy and calmly slipped the ball past Addis.
Two minutes into the second period of extra time, United drew level as Tony Kane found the top corner with a pinpoint free kick from the edge of the penalty area to take the tie to penalties,
In the shootout, Ballymena held their nerve to convert all five penalties, while Stuart Addis kept out Eoin Bradley’s effort.