League Cup final: Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

It's a champagne moment for Dungannon Swifts as they celebrate their League Cup triumph
It's a champagne moment for Dungannon Swifts as they celebrate their League Cup triumph

Dungannon Swifts have secured their first senior trophy with a Windsor Park victory over holders Ballymena United in the League Cup final on Saturday.

Ryan Mayse rifled home the opener for Dungannon and he stabbed in to complete his double after a Kyle Owens header brought the Sky Blues level.

Cormac Burke curled in a superb third and the Swifts held firm after captain Ryan Harpur was sent-off on 82 minutes.

It was deserved win for Dungannon against a disappointing United side.

The Swifts suffered a penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of Linfield in the 2007 Irish Cup final and they were determined to taste senior cup glory for the first time.

Ballymena lost the Co Antrim Shield decider last month and they again struggled to produce their best when it mattered most.

Ballymena keeper Ross Glendinning can only watch on as Cormac Burke's shot hits the net
Ballymena keeper Ross Glendinning can only watch on as Cormac Burke's shot hits the net

Mayse started the scoring on 11 minutes, connecting on the half-volley from Harpur's headed knock-down to rifle high into the net.

The lead lasted just six minutes as Owens rose highest to nod in an inswinging corner from Leroy Millar.

United keeper Ross Glendinning kept out a Burke effort but he was again beaten by midfielder Mayse after 37 minutes.

Kris Lowe sent in a cross from the right and Mayse's initial effort was blocked by Glendinning but he reacted quickest to the rebound to restore Dungannon's advantage.

Burke added a third for Dungannon in the 55th minute with a superb curling strike beyond Glendinning and into the corner of the net.

It was reward for a strong start to the second half and Ballymena failed to muster a sustained period of pressure as they sought to make a comeback.

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Paul McElroy squandered a good chance to extend Dungannon's lead before the impressive Stuart Addis denied United midfielder Conor McCloskey for the second time in the game.

Harpur was shown a straight red card after an off-the-ball clash with Kofi Balmer but the resilient Swifts were not breached as they earned a historic success.

What they said:

Dungannon boss Rodney McAree: "The years of hard work that my mother and father put in at this club - this is a little bit of a reward.

"I'm so proud of the players, staff, committee and chairman - everyone who has helped us to get to this point.

"We have a tendency to get a great bunch of boys in and around us but this is as tight-knit a bunch as I have seen at Dungannon Swifts and they will enjoy this moment.

Ballymena manager David Jeffrey: "Dungannon were quicker, better and passed the ball more incisively.

"I said before the game it would be whichever side turned up on the day and Dungannon were the better side.

"I'm delighted for Rodney (McAree) but bitterly disappointed for our supporters because we didn't perform as well as we could."

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