United end years of hurt

Coleraine's Michael Hegarty with Ballymena's David Munster and Gavin Taggart

Coleraine's Michael Hegarty with Ballymena's David Munster and Gavin Taggart

It has been a long time coming but Ballymena United skipper Allan Jenkins can finally celebrate a victory over old rivals Coleraine.

Playing in an unfamiliar striking role Jenkins provided a real captain’s performance scoring twice as the Sky Blues came out on top in the five-goal thriller.

It was Ballymena’s first win over the Bannsiders since October 2009 and the big Scot said he was delighted to finally give the fans some festive cheer.

“You look at the numbers that were down here today to support us, thankfully we were able to repay them with a victory,” said Jenkins after the game.

“We haven’t managed to get a result against Coleraine in my time here. We knew it was going to be a tough ask coming here today.

“Coleraine are not on the best run at the minute but with derby games form goes out the window.”

Jenkins’ brace proved crucial on the day as Coleraine staged a fightback despite their recent poor form.

“It was great play by David Cushley for the first goal, he just rolled it into my path and thankfully it’s gone in off the post,” said Jenkins.

“The second I managed to chest it down and finish it. I thought that goal would finish it but to be fair to Coleraine they kept coming back at us.

“They are a good side and I’m sure it won’t be long before they get out of this bad patch.”

Glenn Ferguson may not have been at Warden Street for as long as some of the players, but he was thrilled for everyone at the club that they finally have this monkey off their backs.

“I’m delighted for the fans, they came out in their numbers today and kept us going right to the finish,” he said.

“I’m also really pleased for the players. I’ve only been here for two years, but there’s players who have been here for a lot longer and they’ve endured those 14 games without a win, and they have really enjoyed that win today.

“It’s a long time to go without a win against your rivals, but they are going home happy tonight.”

However, Ferguson admitted it maybe wasn’t as comfortable as the half time score line suggested.

“It was a very difficult game, Coleraine really put it up to us,” he said.

“I said to the boys at half time not to be getting carried away too much as we had scored against the run of play.

“Our aim was to try and protect Stuart Addis who broke his finger in the first five minutes. He’s in agony now and is heading off to the hospital. We knew Coleraine would throw the ball on top of us.

“As we know 2-0 is a scary score line. Thankfully Allan Jenkins, who worked tirelessly up front all day, scored the third.Coleraine upped the pressure in the closing stages but we stood firm for the win. Did we deserve to win? I think on chances created we probably did.”




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