Ballymena United 2
Donegal Celtic 0
County Antrim Shield (Semi final)

Ballymena United
2 - 0
Donegal Celtic 

County Antrim Shield (Semi final)
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 696
7:45 PM Kick-off

Alan Davidson (63)
Gary Thompson (68)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Pat McAllister

Starting Eleven
1. Dwayne Nelson
3. Ross Black
2. Tony Kane
16. David Munster
6. Aaron Stewart
19. Alan Davidson
8. Gavin Taggart
12. Alan Teggart
7. Gary Thompson
11. David Cushley
23. Jamie Davidson
John Connolly
Peter McCann
Patrick McShane
Ryan Deans
Conor Downey
Shane Dolan
Mark Miskimmin
Ciaran Gargan

18. Stuart Addis
17. Michael Ruddy
9. James Costello
24. Neil Lowry
26. James McCabe

James McCabe for Jamie Davidson (61)
Neil Lowry for David Cushley (78)
Michael Ruddy for David Munster (85)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Hugh Carvill (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

A FIRST final since 2006 beckons for Ballymena United after they overcame Donegal Celtic by 2 goal to nil at the Showgrounds on Tuesday evening.

United threatened early, with Gary Thompson shooting just wide after a penetrative run through the midfield. The Sky Blues then had a decent shout for a penalty turned down on the half hour mark when Ally Teggert appeared to be pulled back inside the box.

Mark Miskimmin threatened for the visitors with a couple of long range efforts, but 'keeper Dwayne Nelson dealt with any impeding threat comfortably, furthering his impressive recent form. The rest of the first half passed by devoid of incident, as a scrappy midfield battle began to ensue.

United started the second hand with fresh impetus, and appeared determined to score first. Jamie Davidson almost did when he turned expertly on the right hand side and let fly a thunderous shot, forcing a good save out of John Donnelly in the DC goal. Soon after David Cushley struck, only to see his shot arrow past the post after good build up play by Alan Davidson.

On 51 minutes, manager Glenn Ferguson introduced his first change of the evening, bringing on young striker James McCabe in place of his counterpart Jamie Davidson. Jamie's namesake Alan then finally opened the scoring on 63 minutes after an angled shot nestled just inside post after a great through ball by Gary Thompson.

Four minutes later the advantage was doubled, James McCabe played an exquisite cross field ball into the path of Gary Thompson, whose calm finished sailed past Donnelly to the delight of the home support.

Alan Davidson could have turned the victory into a rout when he was denied twice as the game neared it's conclusion. His first effort was palmed away to safety before a powerful effort flew just wide.

Late substitutes Neil Lowry and Michael Ruddy helped shore things up as United saw out the rest of the match panic free and book a final spot in the Country Antrim Shield for the first time since 2006.

The Sky Blues will face league champions Linfield in the showpiece decider on November 27th, with the final venue yet to be confirmed.

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Squad Statistics (as at October 30th, 2012)

2012-2013 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)28 16 - 134 -
Ross Black24 8 - 291
Tony Kane25 141423
David Munster33 15 - 454
Aaron Stewart22 15 - 1494
Alan Davidson24 71164
Gavin Taggart27 13 - 1003
Alan Teggart25 1355512
Gary Thompson22 165165
David Cushley23 1639615
Jamie Davidson18 174285
Michael Ruddy (sub)19 9 - 9 -
Neil Lowry (sub)19 92222
James McCabe (sub)19 123123

League Table (as at October 30th, 2012)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Cliftonville 13 9 2 2 29
2. Coleraine 13 7 4 2 25
3. Ballinamallard Utd 13 7 3 3 24
4. Crusaders 13 7 2 4 23
5. Glentoran 13 5 5 3 20
6. BALLYMENA UTD 13 4 7 2 19
7. Linfield 13 5 3 5 18
8. Portadown 13 4 4 5 16
9. Dungannon 13 2 7 4 13
10. Glenavon 13 2 4 7 10
11. Donegal Celtic 13 1 4 8 7
12. Distillery 13 2 1 10 7