Tony Kane congratulates Shane McGinty on scoring Ballymena's winner (©INPHO/Brian Little)
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Ballymena United secured second spot, and with it a place in the Europa League, with victory over Glenavon in a rip roaring encounter at The Showgrounds.
Andy McGrory opened the scoring for United on nine minutes after Jonathan McMurray squared the ball into his path when Caolan Marron failed to deal with a cross over the top.
Glenavon levelled ten minutes later through Seamus Sharkey's thumping header from Conor McCloskey's inswinging corner but, just three minutes after that, McMurray restored Ballymena's lead with a volley from the edge of the area.
Adam Lecky added a third for the Sky Blues on 56 minutes when he pounced on the loose ball after Stephen Murray lost possession but, a couple of minutes later, back came the visitors through Jamie Singleton with a turn and finish past Ross Glendinning into the corner.
Singleton had the ball in the net after that but his header was ruled out offside before play switched again with McMurray seeing a curling effort tipped onto the crossbar.
The drama continued with another Glenavon equaliser just four minutes from time, this time through a wonderful half volley from Andrew Mitchell after he had latched onto a ball through the home defence.
Yet, barely two minutes after that, this enthralling game took another twist when substitute Shane McGinty, barely on the pitch and with virtually his first touch, fired into the top corner.
It proved to be the winner but not without another late scare for the home crowd when Eoin Wearen came within a whisker of snatching a point for Glenavon with a smashed effort off the bar.
Ballymena United: Glendinning, Kane, Addis, Whiteside, McCullough, McGrory, Balmer, Ervin, Lecky, McMurray, Watson subs Williamson, Quigley, Mayse, McGinty, Faulkner, Nolan, Shevlin
Glenavon: Tuffey, Marron, Marshall, Daniels, Mitchell, Harmon, McCloskey, Singleton, Murray, Wearen, Sharkey subs Hall, Barr, Norton, Jenkins, Hamilton, Stewart, Hunter
Referee: Lee Tavinder
|Tony Kane||90 +3|
|Conor McCloskey||90 +3|