Jamie McGonigle further enhanced his glowing reputation thanks to his Boxing Day double.
The Dungiven teenager was unlucky not to walk away with the match ball as he wreaked havoc on the Ballymena defence.
Alan Blayney had to be at his best to keep McGonigle and the Bannsiders at bay.
The 19-year-old was his typical unassuming self afterwards though, and was more delighted with the result than his own personal exploits.
“I’m happy with the two goals and as long as we won the game that’s all that matters,” he told Times Sport.
“It’s a good Christmas present that’s for sure.
“Both goals happened quickly. The first one was played through to me all I could think about was the same chance I had at the end of last season and the keeper blocked me.
“All I could think about this time was he definitely wasn’t getting this one.
“I was thinking about putting it in the corner, it took a bot of a bobble off the pitch as I went in on goal so I had to flick it past the keeper.
“The second was more of a snapshot after Rodney headed it back, it was a simple finish really.
“We were determined to give the fans something back after losing the last four games. It’s a belated Christmas present for them and hopefully now we can kick on again from this today.
“You don’t even need a team talk for a derby match. You just go out and do the best you can and do all you can to get the result.
“Thankfully we did that and produced a performance and a result which is very pleasing for us all.
“As a team now we want another cup run and we will be going into the cup match full of confidence after that performance today.”
McGonigle burst on to the sscene towards the end of last season after impressing with the Reserves.
Even in those early games you could see the young forward had something about him.
And this season he has gone from strength to strength as he cemented his place in the first team squad.
But he is determined to keep working at his game and develop even further.
“I know myself I’ve developed a lot this season,” said the affable teenager.
“Oran sees a difference in me and my dad has been pointing out a few things he has noticed in how I’m playing.
“I’ve been holding up the ball better and creating a few goals this season.”