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Ballymoney United 1 Coleraine 4

By Tom Roberts

Rejuvenated Darren Boyce helped fire league leaders Coleraine safely past neighbours Ballymoney United last night.

Boyce, back for a third spell with the Bannsiders, engineered the vital breakthrough after United had offered early resistance.

The striker raced clear to blast a rising shot past United keeper Bryan Moore after 25 minutes.

Ten minutes later Boyce threaded over a cross and, when Curtis Allen’s initial shot was blocked, Mark Gillan fired in the rebound against the club he left earlier in the summer for the Showgrounds.

When Gillan’s progress in the box was halted by Kyle Buckley’s tackle on 37 minutes, referee Eddie Ferguson awarded a penalty and Allen duly obliged.

United substitute Stephen Lyons reduced the arrears on the hour when the Coleraine defence failed to close him down.

Ruairi Harkin restored Coleraine’s three-goal advantage with a stunning 20-yard free kick catching Moore stranded on his line.

Coleraine striker Allen and substitute David Scullion both squandered opportunities to stretch the Premiership side’s winning margin.

And in injury time Moore produced a fine block to deny Allen.

Ballymoney United: Moore, Watson (Dempsey 72), Buckley, Wilkinson, Getty, McClelland, McKenna, Craig, Christie (Reid 46), Gillan, Keane (Lyons 46). Subs. Gaston.

Coleraine: Doherty, Canning (McMullan 87), Ogilby, Beverland, Colligan, McIlmoyle (Scullion 57), Lowry, Harkin, Boyce, Allen, Gillan. Subs. McVey, Watt, Owens.

Referee: Eddie Ferguson (Coleraine).

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