It's the well-used cliché at this time of the year but it was a real Christmas cracker at the Showgrounds as Coleraine got the derby monkey off their backs.
Damien Whitehead's double in the first-half had them in dreamland, and when it threatened to turn into a nightmare in the second period, when the home team drew level, up popped Stephen Carson to win it.
The Ballymoney man, who enjoyed spells at Rangers and Dundee United, was a constant threat all day but despite all his trickery since joining the Bannsiders it was his first win over Ballymena United.
"In the second-half we never came out of the traps, and to be fair to Ballymena they went for it, and they maybe deserved something from the second-half, but this was for the fans today," he beamed afterwards.
"I'm delighted I had the chance to win it and I'm thankful that my touch was good. We battled well, and maybe we were a bit fortunate, but I'll take that any day because I'd never beaten Ballymena before and it was a good one for the fans.
"I got hurt playing for the reserves last week and didn't think I was going to make it, so it was maybe a wee bit of fate, and it was destined to be."
Lady luck played its part in the end perhaps but at the start they came roaring out of the blocks and couldn't have got off to a better start.
They were two-up in just 14 minutes and without the superb reflexes of Paul Murphy in the home goal it's no exaggeration to say they could have been five in front. Murphy's first test came from his own player in the fourth minute, with Craig McClean hammering Carson's cross goalwards and only stopped by a superb save.
Three minutes later Carson's crossing ability again cause bedlam, Murphy blocking Whitehead's effort and then Ryan McLaughlin somehow blazing the rebound wide.
There was no escape in the 10th minute, Carson involved again, his centre flicked on by Davy Patton and when Darren Murphy and Whitehead went for the ball the Coleraine striker claimed the final touch.
It was 2-0 four minutes later, McLaughlin surged out of defence, slipped the ball to Patton and his first time pass left Albert Watson swinging at thin air and Whitehead showed his class by taking a touch and curling the ball past the despairing dive of Murphy.
United were simply pitiful in the opening 45 minutes but somehow managed to pull themselves back into the game with a rousing come-back.
Former Bannsiders' favourite Mark Picking surged into the box on the hour mark and his shot along the ground rattled into the net, albeit with the help of a deflection of John Neill.
In the 73rd minute it was 2-2, Stuart King's corner superbly met by Fitzgerald and when the keeper tipped his flashing header onto the bar, Lee Patrick nodded it over the line at the second time.
The home fans were still hopping up and down when they were caught with a classic counter punch, Tommy McCallion waltzing down on goal, sucking in the defenders and allowing Carson time to amble through and coolly slot the ball under Murphy's body.
It was cruel blow for United boss Tommy Wright, who despaired at his side's dismal first-half display.
"We just didn't turn up, but it was individual errors that cost us, but in saying that we had to be glad at our goalkeeper keeping us in the game," he said.
BALLYMENA UNITED: P. Murphy, Callaghan, McClean, Scates, Albert Watson, Haveron, Picking, Patrick, Fitzgerald, Kelbie, D. Murphy. Subs: King, Friel, Aidan Watson.
COLERAINE: O'Hare, McLaughlin, Beatty, Gaston, McVey, Whitehead, Neill, Anderson, Patton, McCallion, Carson. Subs: Cassidy, Heneghan, Boyce.
Referee: David Malcolm (Bangor)