Weekend of celebration for Ballymena as season ends

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It's been a weekend of celebrations for football fans in north Antrim.

Ballymena marched into the Europa League with a 2-1 victory in their play-off against Glenavon at the Showgrounds on Friday night.

After also winning the League Cup earlier in the season, then finishing fourth in the Premiership, the Braid fans were in fine form.

Midfielder, Cullybackey man Leroy Millar says qualifying for Europe on home turf is special.

Former Glenavon striker Kevin Braniff grabbed the winner after coming on as a sub.

He says the £200,000 Euro windfall for qualifying will be put to good use.

Sky Blues defender Kyle Owens is the brother of Jordan Owens, who's qualified for the Europa League with Crusaders.

Kyle says he's confident Ballymena will challenge the Crues and champions Linfield next season.

This year saw the emergence of Ballymena and Coleraine as top four teams, with both now into Europe.

Sky Blues striker, former Bannsider Darren Henderson says it augurs well for big derby games next season.

With Ballymena boss David Jeffrey set to make new signings, Henderson says he could soon be on the move - but wants to stay.

It was also a big weekend for Coleraine with full-back Lyndon Kane agreeing a new three-year contract.

Steven Douglas, David Ogilby and David Kee have signed one-year deals while Neil McCafferty and Gary Twigg will be leaving the club.

Glentoran have signed versatile Daniel Kelly from Carrick and one of the top young players in the Championship, attacking midfielder Corey McMullan from Ballyclare Comrades.

Striker Michael McLellan is moving to Ards from Linfield.



Carrick Rangers have maintained their Premiership status.

They beat Institute 4-1 on Friday night to win the promotion-relegation play-off 5-2 on aggregate.



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