Ballinamallard Utd 0 Ballymena Utd 2

Ballinamallard's Irish Cup run came to an end at the quarter-final stage as they went down to a 2-0 defeat to Ballymena at Ferney Park today.

In awful conditions, Harry McConkey's side bossed the play for long periods but they could find no way through a resilient Ballymena rearguard as David Jeffrey's side went on to book their spot in the last four.

McConkey though was delighted with the display from his players.

“I am very proud of the players, the performance was excellent in difficult conditions. We bossed the ball for much of the game but we didn’t finish off our good work at times and that’s the only thing we could be guilty of although it would be very harsh of me to be hard on the players,” he commented.

Last season's Irish Cup finalists, Ballinamallard had enjoyed the brighter start to the contest and midfielder John Edgar saw his well struck effort pushed around the post by Ballymena goalkeeper Ross Glendinning before Edgar then headed wide from the resultant corner.

However, with 17 minutes on the clock the visitors opened the scoring as former Mallard Richard Lecky fed Cathair Friel who played the ball across the box to Joshua Kelly and he produced a superb finish beyond Ducks keeper John Connolly.

Glendinning was again called into action as he saved from Ryan Campbell at his near post while at the other end it required a good stop by Connolly to deny Jude Winchester as it remained 1-0 at the interval.

Ballinamallard pressed Ballymena back in the early stages of the second half with a Campbell cross causing panic before the danger was cleared.

However, despite their efforts, the Mallards failed to carve out anything clear cut as the Ballymena defence dug deep.

Substitute Darragh McBrien was next to deliver a wicked cross but again Ballymena cleared and with 15 minutes to play they went on to secure the victory.

Lecky went down on the left hand side of the box from a Ryan Morris challenge and referee Keith Kennedy pointed to the spot. Captain Tony Kane stepped up and dispatched the spot kick to the back of the net to make it 2-0 and the away side were able to see out the tie to seal their progression in the competition.