1. ITV Report

Dungannon Swifts win first senior trophy with League Cup success

Dungannon beat Ballymena on Saturday night at Windsor Park. Photo: Pacemaker
  • Ballymena Utd 1-3 Dungannon Swifts

History was made in the BetMcLean League Cup final as Dungannon Swifts secured their first senior trophy with a 3-1 win over Ballymena United at Windsor Park on Saturday night.

Underdogs Dungannon upset the odds with Ryan Mayse the hero with two goals as Rodney McAree’s side got the better of David Jeffrey’s team who were bidding the land the trophy for the second year in a row.

Dungannon's only ever senior cup final appearance was in 2007 when they lost on penalties to Linfield in the Irish Cup, boss McAree was a member of that squad.

Credit: Pacemaker

They certainly made sure they were not going to leave empty handed on this occasion with a superb performance and they fully deserved their first senior silverware.

After a rather subdued opening ten minutes the game came to life in spectacular fashion as Dungannon took the lead. It was a magnificent goal smashed into the net off the underside of the bar by Mayse.

It came following a superb set-up by Ryan Harpur whose cushioned header from Paul McElroy’s cross fell into the path of Mayse and his well struck shot flew past goalkeeper Ross Glendinning.

Swifts keeper Stuart Addis did well to deny Willie Faulkner from levelling on 16 minutes, tipping a goal-bound shot away for a corner.

Credit: Pacemaker

However, Ballymena were back on level terms when Leroy Millar’s inswinging corner was forced over the line by Kyle Owens.

On 25 minutes a sweeping move by Dungannon almost brought reward with Cormac Burke seeing his dipping shot from distance palmed away from goal by Glendenning.

Dungannon forged ahead again on 38 minutes with Mayse grabbing his second goal of the game. A good ball into the box by Seanan Clucas was met by Mayse, Glendinning made the initial save but the Swifts striker snapped up the loose ball to make it 2-1.

It was a dream start to the second half for the Swifts as they surged into a 3-1 lead on 54 minutes with another stunning goal. There seemed to be nothing on when Burke received the ball, but a delightful right foot shot flew past the keeper and Dungannon had a huge two goal cushion.

Credit: Pacemaker

McElroy had a great chance to extend the lead on 64 minutes when he was in acres of space at the back post but directed his header well wide of the United goal.

Addis produced another top class save to deny United a way back on 68 minutes when he pushed away a shot by Conor McCloskey.

With ten minutes to go Dungannon were reduced to ten men when captain Ryan Harpur was shown red after an off the ball incident with Kofi Balmer.

But Ballymena were unable to make any inroads and at the final whistle Dungannon and their fans could begin celebrating a huge milestone in the club's history.

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