Ballymena claimed the scalp of Bruff, who are always a formidable prospect at Kilballyowen Park, as John Andrews’ side moved up to fifth in the Division 1B table.
This was a superbly entertaining game in which Bruff had led 15-14 coming up to half-time, and they were still 25-24 ahead in the 69th minute.
Replacement John Semple helped Ballymena turn the screw in the closing minutes, scampering over for a converted try and kicking a final penalty in a 34-28 win.
The Braidmen went in front thanks to a converted try from South African centre Richard Aingworth, who was scoring for the second week running, but Bruff were back level thanks to a seven-pointer from player-coach Peter Malone.
Ulster prospect Blane McIlroy broke through for Ballymena’s second try, however the hosts hit the front thanks to a Mark Cosgrave touchdown and a Brian Cahill penalty.
But even though captain Tony Cahill added a third Bruff try into the second half and his brother Brian finished with 13 points, the Ulster outfit were just too strong.
At Dubarry Park, Buccaneers accounted for UCD on a 23-17 scoreline. Front rowers Denis Buckley (2) and Garrett Halligan shared out the hosts’ three tries, with Sam Coghlan Murray grabbing his third of the campaign for the students.
Belfast Harlequins exploded into life in the second half of their 39-15 dismissal of Galwegians at Crowley Park.
A try from nippy centre Michael Allen, on the stroke of half-time, put ‘Quins 15-7 in front and they did not look back as Andrew Gillespie (2), replacement Matt Holmes and Rory Blake-Knox all dotted down in the closing 40 minutes.
At the Mardyke, winger Darren Moroney scored UL Bohemians’ first try of the league season as they earned a 19-9 victory over hosts UCC.
Kerry youngster JJ Hanrahan also won the battle of the out-halves, kicking four penalties and a conversion to outdo Brian Kingston, the Students’ only scorer.