Ballymena United 2 Coleraine 0
Cathair Friel and Tony Kane goals sealed Boxing Day delight for Ballymena United as their strikes saw off Coleraine 2-0 at the Showgrounds.
But Coleraine will rue a number of missed chances that coulde have changed the out come of the game.
The home side had the first chance of the match in the 10th minute. However Johnny McMurray’s shot was deflected wide.
From the resulting corner Coleraine half cleared, Tony Kane whipped in a cross and Cathair Friel headed home to make it 1-0. The perfect start for the Sky Blues.
The Bannsiders had a great chance in the 18th minute as Adam Mullan’s header from a corner was well saved by Ross Glendinning in the United goal.
Three minutes later Coleraine had another chance but Darren McCauley blazed over when he should have done better.
United had another chance in the 24th minute. Friel connected with a corner but Lyndon Kane cleared the danger from the edge of the box.
McCauley then hit a shot from the edge of the box. His effort flew wide with Glendinning watching on.
It was 2-0 just before the break through a wonderful strike from Kane after Friel’s shot had rattled the post. The defender curling home a right footed effort from 25 yards.
Coleraine could have made it 2-1 seconds into the second half but Ian Parkhill’s shot was well saved by Glendinning.
Coleraine came more into the game as United seemed content to keep their 2-0 lead.
United’s Glendinning was called in to action in the 61st minute. The keeper reacting quickly to push away a Jamie McGonigle effort.
In the 79th minute McGonigle fired over for Coleraine when he should have done better.
Ballymena United: Glendinning, T.Kane, Jenkins, Faulkner, Friel, Ervin, Millar, McMurraty, McCaffrey, Loughran, McCracken.
Subs: Blayney, Gage, Taggart, Henderson, E Kane.
Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Douglas, Ogilby, McAuley, McCafferty, Kee, Lyons, Parkhill, McGonigle.
Subs: McConaghie, Edgar< Doherty, Allan, Whiteside.
Referee: Andrew Davey.