Ballymoney stepped into the unknown away to Dungiven and as early as the first minute nearly tested Lagan in the home goal when a poor defensive header found McKenna who fired a fierce volley just over.
Ballymoney dominated the early play with Gillan, Stewart and Lyons causing all sorts of problems in the home defence. However in a rare Dungiven attack the visitors defended well until a poor header gifted O’Hara who had no hesitation volleying past Coyle in the Ballymoney goal in the 11th minute. Not to be outdone Ballymoney attacked from the restart and Hanna found Gillan unmarked who promptly rounded Lagan in the home goal to equalise in the 12th minute. This gave the visitors belief and with verbal direction from manager Peter Cairns on the bench Ballymoney dominated this period of play. Ballymoney again came close when Lyons saw his goal bound chance cleared of the line in a goalmouth scramble. With half time approaching Con O’Boyle broke down the left and crossed to Gillan in space to drive low and hard across the goal into a crowded box resulting in a scrambled clearance from the home defence. Half time: Dungiven 1 v Ballymoney United 1
Ballymoney got off to a positive start dominating the early stages and but for a great save from Lagan in the home goal Stewart would have given the visitors the lead. Ballymoney were thwarted on the quick break as there are no linesmen at this level the off side decisions are left to the referee, and on occasions touch and go. To counteract this Gillan took the ball to the by line and crossed back to Stewart who made no mistake on 55 minutes to give the visitors a well-deserved lead.
It was all Ballymoney at this stage and once again the visitors were again deprived of extending their lead when a combination of Gillans speed and the referee’s reaction disallowed the goal for offside on 62 minutes. Gillan was causing the Dungiven defence all sorts of problems and once again Lagan in the home goal brought of a brilliant save when goal was written all over the effort. Ballymoney were rewarded for their efforts on 85 minutes when Gillan intercepted a poor back pass rounded Lagan and tapped into the empty net, no offside this time.
With time running out Dungiven came close when Boyle struck the post from a McIlroy pass, Dempsey kept his composure and tidied up the incident. Final Score: Dungiven 1 Ballymoney United 3