Irish Cup: Ballymena beat Larne 2-0 at Seaview to make decider


Ballymena United produced an Irish Cup upset with a 2-0 victory over Premiership leaders Larne in the Seaview semi-final.

It was a deserved win for the Sky Blues with Larne stopper Rohan Ferguson denying Sean Graham in the first half.

Craig Farquhar headed United in front on 69 minutes from a Ross Redman corner.

Dougie Wilson sealed the win seven minutes from time with a wonderful free-kick into the top corner.

United may be struggling in the league but they impressed in north Belfast and advanced to their third final in four years as they ended Larne’s unbeaten run of 16 games.

Things could have been even easier for Ballymena after missing out with the two biggest chances of an otherwise uneventful first half.

Larne keeper Rohan Ferguson produces a superb save to deny Sean Graham at Seaview
Larne keeper Rohan Ferguson produces a superb save to deny Sean Graham at Seaview

The first fell to Graham, whose point-blank header from a Redman cross drew the save of the game from Ferguson.

Larne where let off the hook once again when former Inver hero Davy McDaid had time and space on the edge of the penalty area but drilled just wide.

Ballymena had a penalty appeal turned down in the 62nd minute after Graham’s shot struck Shaun Want’s hand at close range but referee Jamie Robinson waved away the United protests.

Ballymena youth graduate Farquhar opened the scoring in the 69th minute after rising highest to power home from Redman’s delivery.

Wilson doubled the Sky Blues lead with a delightful free-kick, bending the ball around the ball from 20 yards and into the top corner.

It was a lacklustre display from Larne although they created two decent chances in the second half – Joe Thomson volleyed straight at Sean O’Neill while Andy Ryan headed off-target.

Their wait for a first Irish Cup triumph goes on while Ballymena will prepare for the 7 May decider against the winners of Saturday’s other semi-final between holders Crusaders and Dungannon Swifts.

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