Burns double hands Swifts a survival boost
Dungannon 2 - B'mallard 0
Andrew Burns headed home a splendid double to boost Dungannon Swifts' survival chances with a thoroughly deserved victory over Ballinamallard at a wet and windy Stangmore Park.
Burns headed home his first on 16 minutes and repeated the dose nine minutes into the second half to earn Swifts a fourth league win.
The victory takes Dungannon level on points with Institute and five clear of basement side Warrenpoint Town.
The result also drags the Mallards back into the relegation mix. The visitors and Liam McMenamin in particular will look back on this as an afternoon to forget after the visiting right-back, along with Abiola Sanuzi, was sent off following their part in an altercation five minutes from time.
Mallards boss Whitey Anderson had no complaints and admitted Swifts were the better team.
"I have no complaints about the result. First and foremost, Dungannon deserved to win the game and we lost our discipline totally," he said.
Understandably, opposite number Darren Murphy was in upbeat mood.
"It's a big win and it has tightened it all up at the bottom. Winning has brought Ballinamallard back to within three points and the other results went for us as well," he said.
"That's what you have to do when you're in a scrap, get as many people involved as possible.
"I'm delighted for the players and have told them to go and enjoy themselves tonight."
With regular skipper Ryan Harpur and Matt Hazley both suspended, Swifts were almost caught cold in the opening minute. Johnny Lafferty's perfect ball over the top released Liam Martin but Andy Coleman was smartly off his line to make an excellent stop.
And midway through the half, Martin's team-mate Jason McCartney drilled inches wide. By then the Mallards were already trailing after Burns headed a Jamie Glackin left-sided corner back across goal and inside the far post.
The Swifts should have doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time but Glackin curled wide.
Glackin, though, made amends just nine minutes into the second half when his perfectly-flighted corner kick again picked out Burns to nod home.
Thereafter it was all too comfortable for the Swifts as Sanuzi, Mitchell and Glackin all failed to get on the end of a driven low cross from the marauding Lowe.
Mallards stopper Stefan McCusker then produced a blinding fingertip save to thwart Mitchell who had outpaced Steve Feeney and cut inside centre-back partner Mark Stafford before letting fly.
Gary Liggett, a late replacement for Mitchell, almost grabbed a third when connecting with a Terry Fitzpatrick pass, but again McCusker rode to the rescue.