United gain revenge over Glenavon

�Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 22nd March 2014'Danske Bank Irish Premier League - Ballymena United v Glenavvon FC at Ballymena Showgrounds 'Mandatory Credit - Picture by John McIlwaine/Presseye.com'Ballymena's David Cushley in action against Glenavaon's Rhys Marshall
�Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 22nd March 2014'Danske Bank Irish Premier League - Ballymena United v Glenavvon FC at Ballymena Showgrounds 'Mandatory Credit - Picture by John McIlwaine/Presseye.com'Ballymena's David Cushley in action against Glenavaon's Rhys Marshall

Ballymena took the honours 2-1 in this possible Irish Cup final rehearsal.

Both semi-finalists are already planning ahead for their April 5 showdowns against Queen’s University and Crusaders, but they still served up a keen contest.

On their last visit to The Showgrounds in August Glenavon came away with a 6-3 win so revenge this time around for Glenn Ferguson’s side.

Glenavon fans will now be relieved their side sealed a top six finish last Saturday before falling to two successive league defeats since then.

United had an opening on 12 minutes, Tony Kane’s long throw fell to Mark Surgenor who got in a shot but James McGrath did well to gather his effort.

Glenavon’s first threat on goal came on 29 minutes with Guy Bates seeing his shot deflected over by Taylor.

A few minutes later the visitors should have been ahead, a neat pass from Gary Hamilton was cleverly dummied by Shane McCabe for Andy McGrory but he could only find the side netting from a great position.

Glenavon were to rue that miss on 36 minutes with United taking the lead. Johnny Taylor’s header from a Tony Kane free kick was superbly saved by McGrath but the ball fell to Darren Boyce whose goalbound shot was deflected high into the net by Mark Patton.

Bates was out of luck again when did well to create space for a shot which flew inches wide.

The visitors continued to look dangerous and from a neat Bates lay-off, McGrory could only shoot tamely at keeper Shanahan.

Glenavon did get back on level terms on 63 minutes with a delightful goal from Patton,

The winger brought the ball onto his right foot and curled a great effort past the keeper into the top corner.

It was game on, or so the visiting fans believed until Boyce grabbed his second of the day to put Ballymena back in the driving seat just five minutes later.

Alan Davidson picked out the run of Alan Teggart, the winger cut the ball back for Boyce to volley home.

David Cushley’s free kick was then palmed behind by McGrath but Glenavon had chances to earn a point with James Singleton and David Rainey not far away.

Glenavon suffered another blow with Rainey limping off near the end with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

Glenavon: McGrath, Lindsay (captain), McGrory, Marshall, McCallion, Singleton, McCaul, Bates, Patton, Hamilton, McCabe.

Subs: Neil, Murphy, Kilmartin, Rainey, Mulvenna.

Referee: W. Campbell.