FIRST HALF THREE SETS SKY BLUES UP FOR THE WIN
Ballymena United marked their final home game of the season with a three-goal defeat of Carrick Rangers.
The Sky Blues raced into a commanding lead inside the first ten minutes, before adding a third with less than half-an-hour on the clock.
David Parkhouse opened the scoring on six minutes after turning to fire a right-foot shot into the bottom corner after the ball fell for him from Conor Keeley's original attempt.
Then, a couple of minutes after that, former United defender Mark Surgenor nodded the ball into his own net after attempting to clear a ball from the right.
And United stretched their lead further still on 25 minutes through skipper Leroy Millar with a delightful chip beyond the reach of keeper Aaron Hogg.
To their credit, Carrick came out brightly after the break and crafted a couple of early opportunities through Daniel Kelly, a turn in the area before dragging the ball low and wide before a header from a David Cushley cross which Jordan Williamson held.
But the game increasingly had an end of season feel to it with few chances created at either end, although Paul McElroy did come close late on with an effort that Hogg did well to push over.
Ballymena United: Williamson, Waide, McCullough, Henderson, Barr, Parkhouse, Keeley, Millar, Graham, Smith, Nelson subs Johnston (not used), Redman (replaced Nelson 78), Kelly (replaced Henderson 66), McElroy (replaced Parkhouse 66), Kane (replaced Waide 46), Place (not used), McMullan (replaced Smith 88)
Carrick Rangers: Hogg, Forsythe, Surgenor, Ervin, Cushley, D. Kelly, Gawne, Glendinning, Carson, Tilney, Anderson subs Skeet (not used), Gordon (replaced Forsythe 40), E. Kelly (replaced Tilney 77), Kalla (not used), Chambers (replaced Anderson 68), Waite (not used), McKiernan (replaced Gawne 77)