NI League Cup: Ballymena beat Coleraine to reach final

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League Cup: Jeffrey pleased with Sky Blues victory over Coleraine

Ballymena United scored three goals in extra-time to beat derby rivals Coleraine in the semi-finals of the Northern Ireland League Cup.

Tony Kane scored the first with a penalty after a Steven Douglas foul on Cathair Friel was adjudged to have been just inside the area.

Coleraine then felt they should have had a penalty when the ball bounced up and struck the hand of Allan Jenkins.

Cathair Friel and Darren Henderson made sure of Ballymena's victory.

Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney was sent off for disputing the decision not to award his team a spot-kick for the hand ball incident.

Ballymena, who have never won the League Cup, will play Carrick Rangers in the final on 18 February.

Carrick, one from bottom of the Premiership, beat Glenavon 1-0 in the other semi-final at Mourneview Park.

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney was sent off by referee Evan Boyce
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney was sent off by referee Evan Boyce

The match burst into life in extra time when referee Evan Boyce pointed to the spot when Douglas fouled Friel. It was a tight call as to whether the incident was inside the box.

But Kane converted from the spot, then Friel forced in number two and Henderson headed in a superb third from Kane's delivery.

What they said

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey: "I am very pleased but we have won nothing yet so I am not getting carried away.

"But to get to a final is fantastic and I am delighted for the board, staff and supporters but particularly for the players.

"It was not a three-goal game. It was extremely tight and it was going to take something like a penalty or a piece of brilliance.

"We scored the penalty and then the final two goals were phenomenal.

"I have to pay special tribute to Darren Henderson because he has had a challenging time this year. We have tried to support and help him and he has worked so hard."