Dungannon hit back late on to retain Kyle Cup
Dungannon 27 Ballymena 24
Dungannon needed three tries in the final 10 minutes to retain the Jack Kyle Cup in the annual Boxing Day fixture against Ballymena at Stevenson Park.
The teams were level at 10-10 at the interval before the visitors surged to a 24-10 advantage after 63 minutes.
Earlier, Ballymena had taken the lead after 11 minutes with a try by winger James Bovill, but the home team hit back eight minutes later with a Darren Simpson effort goaled by Jake Finlay. After 16 minutes, Johnny Rosborough touched down and Finlay added a penalty before the turnaround.
Dungannon had Paul Armstrong yellow carded, and that allowed Ballymena to take advantage when hooker Andrew Ferguson crossed for Bovill to convert. Bovill increased the lead when he added the points to a second Rosborough try.
With nine minutes remaining, Dungannon fought back gallantly and a superb surge led to a try by winger Matthew Montgomery.
Flanker Stuart McKenzie was next to go over for Armstrong to convert.
Then an Armstrong score in the 79th minute completed the sensational comeback.