COLERAINE 2 BALLINAMALLARD UNITED 0
AET Coleraine won 4-2 on penalties
Coleraine completed a remarkable comeback to set up a meeting with Portadown in the Irish Cup.
The Bannsiders were 2-0 down to Ballinamallard United with five minutes to go but goals from Stephen Douglas and Ruairi Harkin took the game into extra time and then penalties.
The hosts held their nerve as they scored all four kicks, but their was no such luck for the Mallards as Emmett Friars and Ryan Campbell both missed.
It was the home side who looked the most likely to break the deadlock early on.
Ian Parkhill and Ruairi Harkin combined with the latter having a shot blocked by Emmett Friars on nine minutes.
Parkhill was next to try his luck on four minutes later after Ruaidhri Higgins picked him out with a clever pass, but the wide man’s left foot shot sailed wide of the target.
Parkhill did better with an effort on 15 minutes after a bit of pinball in the Ballinamallard defence. He managed to direct his shot on target, Rouse though got down well to deny him.
Against the run of play Ballinamallard struck the opening goal a minute later. Colm McLaughlin stepped out of defence before playing in Ryan Campbell, and his first time shot flew past Michael Doherty.
The Mallards were in the ascendency now and they deservedly doubled their lead on 33 minutes. Shane McCabe’s lofted through ball fell nicely for Adam Lecky five yards out and he coolly slotted past Doherty.
Coleraine introduced Darren McCauley in a bid to get back into the game. But it was Ian Parkhill who almost got his side back into the game as his cross-cum-shot was heading in but for a smart save by Rouse.
The Mallards almost made the game safe with 20 minutes to go. Jason McCartney’s excellent free kick into the box was headed goalwards by Lecky, but Doherty got down well to palm the ball away.
Coleraine pulled a goal back on 85 minutes and it came from the unlikely source of Stephen Douglas. The veteran picked the ball up 25 yards out before firing low past Rouse.
And the comeback was complete four minutes into stoppage time as Harkin created space before lashing a left foot drive past Rouse to send the home support into raptures.
Coleraine had the better of things in the first half of extra time with McCauley drawing a great save from Rouse.
Just before the break McLaughlin fired a volley just wide of the mark with the keeper beaten.
With no more goals it was on to the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Coleraine went first and scored all four spot kicks but Friars and Campbell were the fall guys for the visitors.
Coleraine: Doherty, Kane, Mullan, Beverland, Douglas, Higgins, Harkin, Parkhill (Lyons 61), Brown (Morrow 61), McGonigle (McCauley 46), McLaughlin.
Subs: McCafferty, Watt.
Goals: Douglas (85), Harkin (90+4)
Ballinamallard United: Rouse, Crilly, McCartney, McLaughlin (Smith 120+1), McCabe (Beacom 77), Lecky, Sproule, Elliott (Klobusek 96), Friars, Lafferty, Campbell.
Subs: Feeney, McMenamin.
Goals: Campbell (16), Lecky (33)
Referee: Mervyn Smyth