A SPIRITED second half performance by Dungannon helped them to a 20-16 victory in the annual Jack Kyle Cup tie at Stevenson Park.
Ballymena, with a much better record in the AIL, started favourites and forged ahead to a 13-0 interval advantage.
Dave O'Hara kicked penalties in the fifth and 12th minutes which were followed by a converted John Nicholl try just before the half-time break.
Dungannon, against the expectation of most of the spectators, gallantly fought back and controlled most of the possession in the second period.
Jake Finlay reduced the arrears with a penalty and then scrum-half James Bates set up their first try.
Bates linked with Stephen Todd from the base of a ruck for the back row forward to crash over for Finlay to goal.
O'Hara made it 16-10 with a third penalty but Bates again stamped his authority on the tie when a quick pass allowed John Joe Kane to find some space and race in for another converted try to put the home team one point in front.
Towards the close of play Finlay kicked another penalty to end the scoring in an entertaining and exciting tie, Dungannon taking the trophy away from Ballymena who won last year at Eaton Park.