Ballymena United 1
Dungannon Swifts 3
League Cup (Final)


Ballymena United
1 - 3
Dungannon Swifts 

League Cup (Final)
Saturday, February 17th, 2018
Windsor Park
Attendance: 2,995
5:30 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Kyle Owens (17)
Ryan Mayse (11)
Ryan Mayse (37)
Cormac Burke (55)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Rodney McAree

Starting Eleven
1. Ross Glendinning
2. Tony Kane
21. Jim Ervin
19. Kofi Balmer
4. Kyle Owens
14. Andrew Burns
11. Conor McCloskey
12. William Faulkner
23. Leroy Millar
27. Jonathan McMurray
9. Cathair Friel
Stuart Addis .18
Chris Hegarty .3
David Armstrong .5
Ryan Mayse .8
Paul McElroy .9
Ryan Harpur .10
Jarlath O'Rourke .12
Kris Lowe .15
Seanan Clucas .16
Cormac Burke .19
Grant Hutchinson .21

Bench
15. Patrick Weir
28. Conor Quigley
5. Jonathan Flynn
24. Francis McCaffrey
16. Matthew Shevlin
Andrew Coleman .1
Douglas Wilson .4
Terry Fitzpatrick .6
Alan Teggart .11
Rhyss Campbell .27

Substitutions
Patrick Weir for Andrew Burns (65)
Matthew Shevlin for William Faulkner (65)
Francis McCaffrey for Kofi Balmer (83)
Douglas Wilson for Seanan Clucas (46)
Alan Teggart for Ryan Mayse (75)
Terry Fitzpatrick for Cormac Burke (82)

Cautions
Kofi Balmer (35)
Andrew Burns (53)
Conor McCloskey (90)
Leroy Millar (90)
David Armstrong (35)
Terry Fitzpatrick (90)

Red Cards
None. Ryan Harpur (81)
Match Officials

Tim Marshall (Referee)
Mark O'Brien & Kristian Hanna (Assistants)
Keith Kennedy (Fourth Official)


Match Report


Dungannon Swifts are the BetMcLean League Cup champions for 2018 after beating a disappointing Ballymena United 3-1 in the final at the National Stadium.

There was a nervy moment inside the first minute for Dungannon when Johnny McMurray almost got on the end of a slack David Armstrong back pass, but he did just enough to find Stuart Addis. The first real attempt on goal came on 11 minutes and resulted in Dungannon breaking the deadlock. Paul McElroy managed to keep the ball in play on the left wing and crossed for Ryan Harpur at the back post. The Swifts captain was completely unmarked and headed the ball down for Ryan Mayse, who smashed the ball home off the underside of the bar.

The Sky Blues looked to hit back quickly with Willie Faulkner have a dangerous shot blocked before Conor McCloskey cut inside and forced Addis into a great save. From the resulting corner, Ballymena found an equaliser. The corner from Leroy Millar was met by Kyle Owens in the 6 yard box who got a vital touch to head home his 5th goal of the season in all competitions.

After early Dungannon dominance United were starting to see more of the ball and a cross from McCloskey was turned over the bar by McMurray after a first time shot. On 26 minutes it was Ross Glendinning's turn to pull off a fantastic save. Cormac Burke had time to cut inside on the left and his dipping effort looked to be going in before Glendinning brilliantly tipped it over the bar.

At the other end The Swifts failed to fully clear a corner and ex-Dungannon man Andrew Burns was able to get a low shot away, but it was easily gathered by Addis. Dungannon began to look the superior side again in the final ten minutes of the half, with Harpur heading a corner over after being slightly unbalanced, before Mayse grabbed his second to put the Co. Tyrone side ahead once more. A cross from Kris Lowe found Mayse who saw his first shot well saved by Glendinning, but Ryan Mayse was quickest to the rebound and poked the ball home from close range to give Dungannon the half time lead.

United were slow out of the blocks at the start of the second half and after a very quiet 10 minutes Dungannon scored again to make it 3-1. A cross from Mayse made its way to Cormac Burke on the edge of the box and after a couple of touches he curled the ball nicely into the bottom corner as Glendinning simply watched on.

Ballymena were restricted to half chances at best, mostly down to their own poor play, as they looked for a way back into the game. Millar did well to work a cross from the right and found Kane, but with the ball behind him he volleyed well wide. With 25 minutes left McElroy really should've made it 4-1. Burke crossed for the striker at the back post who somehow had acres of space and all the time in the world but he managed to head wide.

David Jeffrey turned to Matthew Shevlin on the bench, as well as Patrick Weir who made his Sky Blue debut. McCloskey was almost the man to bring Ballymena back into it after a curling effort from the edge of the box was fantastically saved by Addis, tipping the ball round the post. That McCloskey chance came on 69 minutes and was the last time Ballymena found any quality to worry The Swifts.

There was little happening for either side until the 81st minute when Dungannon were reduced to 10 men. In an off the ball incident captain Harpur caught Kofi Balmer, with the linesman spotting it, advising Tim Marshall to give Harpur his marching orders. On 83 minutes Balmer couldn't carry on due to an injury and was replaced by Fra McCaffrey.

With Ballymena flat and time running out they couldn't take advantage of the extra man. In added time Millar turned an Owens knock down well over the bar before McCloskey struck wide before the final whistle sounded. Dungannon cruised home to deservedly lift their first senior trophy and capitalise on a performance from defending champions Ballymena that was simply not good enough to challenge in a major final.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (www.ballymenaunitedfc.com)



Squad Statistics (as at February 17th, 2018)


2017-2018 All Time
Age
Ross Glendinning (GK)24 28 - 58 -
Andrew Burns25 151151
Jim Ervin32 35 - 1622
Tony Kane30 32626539
Kofi Balmer17 19 - 201
Kyle Owens25 2957512
Leroy Millar22 185777
William Faulkner28 2319611
Conor McCloskey26 3546710
Cathair Friel24 35158038
Jonathan McMurray23 2076224
Patrick Weir (sub)22 1 - 1 -
Francis McCaffrey (sub)24 201426
Matthew Shevlin (sub)19 2375612



League Table (as at February 17th, 2018)



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Pld W D L +/- Pts

* - Table split into two divisions of six.