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Summary

  1. League Cup final
  2. Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd
  3. Ryan Mayse scores twice for Swifts, Burke adds the third
  4. Kyle Owens nets Ballymena goal
  5. Swifts captain Ryan Harpur sent-off on 82 minutes

Live Reporting

By Stephen Alexander and Alvin McCaig

All times stated are UK

Over and out

That's all from us after a thrilling day of league and cup action which saw Dungannon Swifts claim their first senior trophy with a 3-1 win over Ballymena United in the League Cup final.

In the Premiership, Linfield moved to within three points of thrid-placed Glenavon with a 2-1 win at Cliftonville, while Warrenpoint Town eased their relegation fears by beating Carrick Rangers by the same score.

Join us again next Saturday when the focus switches back to the Premiership.

That winning feeling

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Dungannon Swifts players celebrate with their supporters after the club's 3-1 win over Ballymena United in the League Cup final.
Pacemaker Press
Dungannon Swifts players celebrate with their supporters after the club's 3-1 win over Ballymena United in the League Cup final.

Proud day for Joe

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

There will be few prouder men than Swifts stalwart Joe McAree who, after being involved with the Stangmore Park club for 46 years, watched his son Rodney guide the club to its maiden senior trophy success.

What they said

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

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.

Rodney McAreeDungannon Swifts manager

What they said

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Words really can't describe that feeling. It's surreal - the stuff you dream of as a youngster. A reporter had told me this week that I hadn't scored in 14 games so I was due one and it was great to get two. It will take a couple of weeks to sink in.

Ryan MayseDungannon Swifts winger

History-makers

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Anyone outside of Ballymena supporters will be delighted tonight. They will be talking about these guys in 50 years' time.

Lee DohertySaturday Sportsound summariser

What they said

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

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.

David JeffreyBallymena United manager

FULL-TIME

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

There'll be a new name on the League Cup trophy as Dungannon Swifts clinch their first silverware as a senior club.

Scenes of joy on the Swifts bench.

Last chance gone?

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Conor McCloskey cuts in from the left flank once again but his curling effort drifts wide of the far post - is that Ballymena's final fling as League Cup holders?

MAN OF THE MATCH

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Ryan Mayse's first half double strike and his assist for Cormac Burke's third Dungannon goal earns him the man-of-the-match accolade.

Five more minutes for Swifts to hold out

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

The fourth official indicates five minutes of injury time - more biting of nails for Dungannon fans.

Experienced head proving vital

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Dungannon's longest-serving player Terry Fitzpatrick, who came on after Harpur's dismissal, has won a couple of free kicks, eating up vital seconds on the clock - exactly what Swifts need in the closing minutes.

The defining moment?

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Is this the moment that Dungannon Swifts sealed their first trophy as a senior club? Ballymena goalkeeper Ross Glendinning can only watch on helplessly as Cormac Burke's shot puts Dungannon 3-1 ahead.
Pacemaker Press
Is this the moment that Dungannon Swifts sealed their first trophy as a senior club? Ballymena goalkeeper Ross Glendinning can only watch on helplessly as Cormac Burke's shot puts Dungannon 3-1 ahead.

RED CARD

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Dungannon were cruising but they'be been reduced to 10 men after captain Ryan Harper is shown a straight red card following an off-the-ball clash with Kofi Balmer. Eight minutes left.

All to play for

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Ballymena goalkeeper Ross Glendinning punches clear during the League Cup final.
Pacemaker Press
Ballymena goalkeeper Ross Glendinning punches clear during the League Cup final.

GREAT SAVE!

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Sky Blues midfielder Conor McCloskey is denied by a wonderful Stuart Addis save for the second time in the game. McCloskey breaks through the middle and his shot is arrowing towards the corner of the net but a full-length Addis gets a hand to the ball and the danger is cleared.

Cormac's cracker

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Cormac Burke celebrates after putting Dungannon Swifts 3-1 ahead against Ballymena United.
Pacemaker Press
Cormac Burke celebrates after putting Dungannon Swifts 3-1 ahead against Ballymena United.

CLOSE!

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

Paul McElroy wastes an opportunity to add a fourth for Dungannon - he is picked out at the back-post by Jarlath O'Rourke's pinpoint cross but heads high and wide from close range. A bad miss and one Dungannon could rue.

Party begins for Swifts fans

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

There's jubilation among the Dungannon support and they are doing the Poznan as their team take a grip on this final.

Can Swifts start to believe?

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

The next 10 minutes are vital for Dungannon - they have to get through them with the score still at 3-1, then you start to believe they can take the cup back to Stangmore.

Darren MurphySaturday Sportsound summariser

GOAL

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Ballymena Utd

The Swifts go two in front courtesy of a superb curling strike from Cormac Burke. Dungannon are rewarded for a strong start to the second half with Burke working himself into space before bending the ball around Ross Glendinning from 20 yards. Ballymena have just under 30 minutes to make a comeback as their grasp on the League Cup begins to slip away.

Wilson enters fray

Dungannon Swifts 2-1 Ballymena Utd

We're under way in the second half and the Swifts have made a change at the break - Douglas Wilson replaces Seanan Clucas.

Goal-den opportunity

Dungannon Swifts 2-1 Ballymena Utd

A lot has been made about Dungannon's inability to score goals but they haven't had a difficulty scoring goals against Ballymena in recent games between the sides.

Darren MurphySaturday Sportsound summariser

Swifts lead against run of play?

Dungannon Swifts 2-1 Ballymena Utd

Ballymena, to me, have probably been the better team but Dungannon will be delighted at having the lead.

Lee DohertySaturday Sportsound summariser

Mayse day so far

Dungannon Swifts 2-1 Ballymena Utd

Ryan Mayse celebrates the first of his two goals for Dungannon Swifts in the opening half of the League Cup final.
Press Eye
Ryan Mayse celebrates the first of his two goals for Dungannon Swifts in the opening half of the League Cup final.

HALF-TIME

Dungannon Swifts 2-1 Ballymena Utd

Dungannon go in ahead thanks to Ryan Mayse's double. The Swifts are on course for a first major trophy in the Irish League but there's still plenty of time for the holders to deny them a bit of history.

Midfield tussle

Dungannon Swifts 2-1 Ballymena Utd

Ballymena's Willie Faulkner battles for possession with Dungannon's Kris Lowe.
Press Eye
Ballymena United's Willie Faulkner and Dungannon's Kris Lowe battle for possession.

GOAL

Dungannon Swifts 2-1 Ballymena Utd

The Swifts are back in front and it's Ryan Mayse again as he stabs home from close range on 37 minutes. Chris Lowe sent over a cross from the right and Mayse's initial shot was kept out Glendinning before he pounced on the rebound to complete his double.

Dungannon Swifts 1-1 Ballymena Utd

That looked nasty! - Swifts pair Seanan Clucas and Grant Hutchinson clash heads and both are floored. Thankfully the magic sponge does the trick and they are back up and into the action.

Glendinning to the rescue for Sky Blues

Dungannon Swifts 1-1 Ballymena Utd

Cormac Burke tries his luck from 30 yards and his powerful, bending strike it tipped over by alert United keeper Ross Glendinning. Both sides look dangerous every time they attack and I don't think we've seen the end of the scoring.

Keeper capers

Dungannon Swifts 1-1 Ballymena Utd

I've got to ask what about the goalkeeper for the goal. I don't know if he will say he was impeded but it was a soft, soft goal for Dungannon to concede.

Liam BeckettSaturday Sportsound summariser

GOAL

Dungannon Swifts 1-1 Ballymena Utd

Dungannon's lead lasts just six minutes as Kyle Owens rises highest to nod in from Leroy Millar's corner. The big defender was no more than a yard out when he connected with the inswinging delivery. The corner was awarded after Swifts keeper Stuart Addis made a superb save to turn round Conor McCloskey's curler from 20 yards.

GOAL

Dungannon Swifts 1-0 Ballymena Utd

Ryan Mayse rifles into the roof of the net to give Dungannon an 11th-minute lead. It was the first chance of the match and it was a clinical finish from the midfielder, who blasted in on the half-volley from Ryan Harpur's knock-down.

Bright start from Swifts

Dungannon Swifts 0-0 Ballymena Utd

Dungannon have bossed possession in the early minutes although there's nothing to report in terms of goalmouth action. It's a fine evening in south Belfast but winter has taken its toll on the usually immaculate Windsor surface and there'll be a few bobbles to contend with.

Teams out at Windsor

Dungannon Swifts 0-0 Ballymena Utd

There's a cracking atmosphere as we begin the pre-match handshaking - United are in their white away kit with Dungannon in their traditional royal blue.

Cathair's cracker sends Ballymena into decider

Dungannon Swifts v Ballymena Utd (17:30)

A brilliant long-range goal from Sky Blues striker Cathair Friel sealed a 3-1 extra-time victory over Cliftonville in the semi-final at the Showgrounds.

That is how you secure a place in a cup final!

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Winning League Cup would be 'huge achievement' - McAree

Dungannon Swifts v Ballymena Utd (17:30)

Swifts boss Rodney McAree scored in the Irish Cup defeat by Linfield in 2007

What they said

Cliftonville 1-2 Linfield

Same old, same old, isn't it? The second half team versus the first half team. Same players, completely different performance levels. It takes us to go 2-0 down before we play our game, then we pass it around and batter them for that period. It's hugely frustrating. We had opportunities in and around the edge of the box but we didn't pull the trigger quickly enough.

Barry GrayCliftonville manager

What they said

Carrick Rangers 1-2 Warrenpoint Town

We gave ourselves an absolute mountain to climb by going two down via two horrific goals to concede and we weren't good enough to fight back. It just simply wasn't good enough on the day and we gave them something to hold onto, and to be fair to them they held onto it. We should have been a hell of a lot better from the first whistle and we weren't.

David McAlindenCarrick Rangers manager