Ryan Mayse and Dean Curry in action (©INPHO/Jonathan Porter)
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
Ballymena United bounced back from Saturday's disappointing performance to hit Institute for six at The Showgrounds.
'Stute squandered the opportunity to take an early lead when, on four minutes, Aaron Jarvis saw his spot-kick, awarded for handball, well saved by Ross Glendinning.
Ballymena had chances before and after the penalty so it was perhaps no surprise when they moved in front on 13 minutes through Ryan Mayse's 25-yard drive into the top corner, giving Martin Gallagher no chance.
And Mayse made struck again ten minutes after that to double United's lead with a left-foot chipped finish beyond Gallagher from 12 yards.
The rampant Sky Blues further extended their advantage barely three minutes later with Albert Watson this time finding the bottom right after Mayse knocked on a corner.
Not content with an already commanding lead, United stretched that to four goals on 37 minutes when Leroy Millar met a Tony Kane corner to nod home at the back post.
Ballymena came storming out of the blocks in the second half, finding the net again barely with 30 seconds gone but Conor Quigley's header was ruled out offside.
However, 'Stute reduced the deficit on 55 minutes after Paul Smith curled a finish from the edge of the area past Glendinning into the top corner.
But rather than face a possible comeback the Sky Blues restored their four-goal cushion with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining when Adam Lecky got his name on the scoresheet after tucking away Mayse's cross to the back post.
Then, with five minutes left, it was 6-1 after a Shane McGinty shot took a huge deflection off debutant Shaun Leppard to find the net.
Ballymena United: Glendinning, Kane, Quigley, Addis, Mayse, McGrory, Winchester, Ervin, Lecky, Millar, Watson subs Williamson (not used), Whiteside (not used), McGinty (replaced Winchester 80), Burns (replaced Ervin 83), Shevlin (replaced Lecky 80), McMurray (not used)
Institute: Gallagher, R. Morrow, C. McLaughlin, Bonner, D. Curry, J. Morrow, Jarvis, McIntyre, McCready, Smith, Leppard subs Kelly (not used), Dunne (not used), S. Curry (replaced McIntyre 46), Moorehead (replaced J. Morrow 66), Scoltock (not used), E. McLaughlin (replaced McCready 79)
Referee: Andrew Davey