Ballymena 11-3 Ballynahinch
Ballymena dashed Ballynahinch's hopes of claiming the First Trust Ulster Senior Cup for the first time with a hard-earned victory at Ravenhill.
ULSTER SENIOR CUP FINAL
Ballymena (8) 11
Pens: Strydom 2
Ballynahinch (3) 3
An early Edz Haimona penalty put Hinch ahead but a Matt Waterhouse try and a Dirkie Strydom penalty put the AIL Division 1 side 8-3 up at the break.
Ballynahinch put in a big third quarter effort but the Ballymena defence held firm to deny their opponents.
Strydom's 60th minute penalty completed the scoring for the holders.
The Braidmen had the best player on the field with young Andrew Trimble picking up the man-of-the-match award.
He caused all sorts of problems to the Hinch defence, and it was his initial break that set up Waterhouse's 31st mionute try.
Ballymena captain Bryan Young was sin-binned midway through the second half but Hinch, despite producing a lot of pressure, were unable to capitalise.
Ballynahinch's last realistic chance of getting back into the game went abegging when Haimona missed a 65th minute penalty.
Ballymena: D Strydom; M Waterhouse, A Trimble, H Jones, A Maxwell; I Humphreys, P Spence; S McConnell, S Rodgers, B Young (capt), D O'Kane, I Caldwell, A Graham, J Taggart, M McComish.
Replacements: A Monson, P Rogers, W McAllister, I Campbell, D Houston.
Ballynahinch: J Cullen; S Seymour (capt), R Hedley, E Haimona, G Kyle; D Harris, M Glenn; T Morton, C Armstrong, L Johnston, J Gunson, G Rourke, A Dickson, R Devonshire, B Wilson.
Replacements: A Glenn, B Leslie, R Craig, J Gillespie, J Manning.