Published Saturday, 08 February 2014
Jim Ervin stops Michael Gault from scoring during on Saturday afternoon. (© Pacemaker)
Only seven of the eight fixtures went ahead on Saturday, with Ballinamallard's clash with Glenavon postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
It was the Sky Blues who drew first blood when captain Allan Jenkins rose highest to power home a header from David Cushley's 25th minute corner. But the hosts equalised ten minutes later when Phillip Lowry converted Mark McAllister's cross from close range.
However, David Cushley's superb half-volley past Jonny Tuffey in the 66th minute proved decisive.
The Blues pressed for an equaliser in a frantic last ten minutes which saw Ivan Sproule hit the post, but Ballymena held on to claim their place in the quarter-finals.
In the other all-Premiership tie to go ahead of Saturday, Dungannon Swifts were 3-2 winners over Coleraine in a real thriller at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
Grant Hutchinson gave the visitors the lead with a fine curled finish in the 39th minute, but just three minutes later Joe McNeill got the final touch to equalise for the Bannsiders.
Ryan Harpur put Dungannon back in front with a slick finish in the 52nd minute before Johnny Topley found the net in somewhat fortuitous circumstances in the 70th minute, as his wind-assisted cross deceived Coleraine stopper Eugene Ferry and ended up in the net.
Eoin Bradley was on target with a fine free kick, but Dungannon held on for the victory.
Of the other top flight teams involved on Saturday, only Crusaders were able to make sure of their place in the next round with a 4-0 victory over Ballymoney United.
Jordan Owens was the star of the show, netting with a low header in the 23rd minute before volleying home a Gary McCutcheon cross ten minutes before half time.
Owens completed his hat-trick with a firm header in the 73rd minute, with Curtis Dempster adding a fourth goal deep in injury time.
In the other games involving Premiership opposition Warrenpoint Town could only manage a goalless draw at home to Bangor, while Glentoran drew 1-1 with Armagh City.
Phillip Donnelly's fine left-footed effort cancelled out Marcus Kane's opener for the Glens, with Curtis Allen also missing a penalty for the visitors.
Elsewhere in Saturday's Irish Cup action Ballyclare Comrades booked their place in the last eight with a 2-1 victory over Carrick Rangers, while Queen's University were 2-0 winners over Lisburn Distillery at Ballyskeagh.
Irish Cup Sixth Round Results:
Armagh City 1 - 1 Glentoran
Armagh: Donnelly (65)
Glentoran: Kane (19)
(Replay at The Oval on Monday 17 February; kick-off 7:45pm)
Ballyclare Comrades 2 - 1 Carrick Rangers
Ballyclare: Agnew (6), Smith (35)
Carrick: Gibson (45)
Coleraine 2 - 3 Dungannon Swifts
Coleraine: McNeill (42), E. Bradley (88)
Dungannon: Hutchinson (39), Harpur (52), Topley (70)
Crusaders 4 - 0 Ballymoney United
Crusaders: Owens (23, 37, 74), Dempster (90)
Linfield 1 - 2 Ballymena United
Linfield: Lowry (35)
Ballymena: Jenkins (25), Cushley (66)
Lisburn Distillery 0 - 2 Queen's University
Queen's: Fulton (19), Allison (52)
Warrenpoint Town 0 - 0 Bangor
(Replay at Bangor Fuels Arena on Monday 17 February; kick-off 7:45pm)
Ballinamallard United P - P Glenavon
(Rescheduled for Monday 17 February; kick-off 7:45pm)
© UTV News