Irish Cup: Ballymena United beat Queen's to reach final

Ballymena United have beaten Queen's University 3-0 at the Oval to reach the Irish Cup final for the first since they won the cup in 1989.

Alan Davidson scored the first two and Mark Kelly got a late third to send the Sky Blues into the 3 May showpiece.

Davidson netted a superb shot into the top corner in the 35th minute and broke through to add another five minutes after the interval.

Substitute Kelly netted a close-range third a few minutes from time.

The best chance for Queen's came late in the first half, just after they had gone behind.

Defender Daniel Culbert got on the end of a Mark Prenter cross but saw his header brilliantly saved by United keeper Aaron Shanahan.

Before delicately directing a shot past Queen's keeper Declan Brown for 2-0, Davidson had struck the bar with a dipping shot from outside the area.

The university side put up a spirited display but needed more firepower up front.

They looked beaten when Davidson but the Premiership side two goals up, and when recent recruit Kelly nipped in to convert an Allan Jenkins cross for 3-0 it was definitely all over.

"We knew it would be difficult and that we would have to be on our game," said United manager Glenn Ferguson who made nine cup appearances as a player.

"The first half was really difficult but Alan Davidson came up with a bit of class to settle the nerves for us.

"It was a great finish and Alan was unlucky not to get a hat-trick."