COLERAINE continued their dominance of Ballymena United with this clinical festive defeat of the Sky Blues at The Showgrounds.
The Bannsiders started the brighter with Ryan McIlmoyle firing straight at Wayne Drummond early on from a Curtis Allen ball over the top.
Allen later might have done better himself from the edge of the area only to produce a poor finish from a Gareth Tommons pass.
At the other end Gary McCutcheon caused an anxious moment on 27 minutes with a curling drive just past the far post.
But United suffered a blow eight minutes later when Mark Surgenor was shown a straight red card following a two-footed challenge on Ciaran Clarke.
The deadlock was broken on 55 minutes following a horrendous error by David Munster which allowed Shane Jennings to dispossess him and flick the ball back for Stephen Lowry to delicately finish beyond Drummond.
Coleraine doubled ther advantage on 74 minutes following an Aaron Canning ball which allowed Allen to finish with a solo effort.
Coleraine: Cullen, Beverland, Ogilby, Lowry, Allen, McIlmoyle, Canning, Watt, Jennings, Tommons, Clarke subs McNulty (not used), Scullion (replaced Clarke 61), McCauley (not used), McIvor (replaced Lowry 87), Bradley (replaced Jennings 73)
Ballymena United: Drummond, Kane, Vauls, Stewart, Taggart, McCutcheon, Jenkins, Carson, Surgenor, Downey, Munster subs Baker (replaced Carson 60), Costello (not used), Woods (replaced Jenkins 79), Lowry (replaced Downey 73), Rodgers (not used)
- Ryan McIlmoyle cuts a swathe through the Ballymena defence (Picture: Gareth Irvine/PressEye.com)