Gambling on Danske Bank Premiership matches is not renowned as a smart way to bet, but some shrewd punters will perhaps be heading to the bookies today, Dungannon Swifts having drawn nine times and Ballymena with eight draws ahead of this contest. So a share of the spoils was always likely.
And, in truth, after a blistering opening few minutes which saw visiting United hitting the crossbar twice, the game turned out to be something of a non-event.
Gary Liggett was first to strike the woodwork, a thumping 20 yard drive testing the bar before Adam McMinn put the ball behind.
From the resulting corner, a Tony Kane cross was half cleared to Gary Thompson who matched Liggett’s effort for pace but just lacked accuracy, his effort also returning off the woodwork.
Swifts had a chance to take the lead when a speedy break down the left flank ended with a pass from Matt Hazley to Josh Cahoon. The home side’s top scorer hit the target but was denied by keeper Dwayne Nelson.
The trend of shooting against the crossbar continued when Swifts midfielder Hazley tried from an acute angle on the left side. His effort stayed in play for a clearing touch.
The visitors had a terrific chance when Liggett and Alan Teggart linked up to provide for Alan Jenkins. But from just six yards, Jenkins somehow managed to slice his shot over the target.
With a significant wind advantage, Ballymena defender Tony Kane let fly from more than 35 yards with the outside of his right foot, Johnny Curran pushing the ball over the stanchion.
Ballymena again enjoyed the best of the play after the break, Curran pulling off the save of the game on 75 minutes, Liggett’s rocket shot superbly parried then gathered by the keeper.
United sub David Cushley bringing another stunning save from Curran on his low drive from 25 yards.
Swifts had a great chance to steal the win in the last minute remaining but James Costello hit an airshot.
Dungannon Swifts: Curran, Grieve, Montgomery (Topley 77 mins), McMinn, Friars, Hazley (PJ Lavery 48 mins), Cahoon (McKerr 77 mins), Hutchinson, Harpur, Costello, O’Neill. Subs: C Lavery, Brennan.
Ballymena United: Nelson, Kane, Munster, Rodgers, Vauls, Thompson, Taggart, Jenkins, Teggart (Duffin 87 mins), Liggett, Dolan (Cushley 70 mins). Subs: Black, Surgenor, McCabe.
Referee: Mark Courtney (Dungannon).