Dungannon Swifts boss Darren Murphy hailed the battling qualities of his players after a headed double by Andrew Burns secured a precious three points against the Mallards at a rainswept Stangmore Park.
Midfielder Burns headed home a Jamie Glackin corner kick on 16 minutes and repeated the dose shortly after the interval to bank a fourth league victory for Swifts.
“It’s a big win and tightened it all up at the bottom,” said Murphy.
“Winning today has brought Ballinamallard back to within three points and the other results went for us as well.
“That’s what you have to do when you’re in a scrap, getting as many people involved as possible.
“I’m delighted for the players and have told them to go and enjoy themselves tonight.”
The relegation six-pointer ended in controversy with both teams being reduced to 10 men following the dismissals of Abiola Sanuzi and Mallards defender Liam McMenamin.
McMenamin’s sending off summed up a frustrating afternoon for Whitey Anderson and his players.
“I have no complaints about the result. First and foremost Dungannon deserved to win the game and we lost our discipline totally,” he said.
Anderson must have suspected it wasn’t going to be a good day for the visitors when Liam Martin was denied by home goalkeeper Andy Coleman in the opening minute.
Swifts responded and duly broke the deadlock through Burns who headed Glackin’s left-sided corner back across goal and inside the far post.
Nine minutes into the second half Swifts doubled their advantage when Burns ghosted in at the back post to head home another Glackin corner.
The Mallards offered little in the second period.