COLERAINE would be punished for a lacklustre first-half as they were beaten by Institute at The Showgrounds…
The Bannsiders would hand a start to young ‘keeper Billy McDowell, as well as giving more minutes to Conor McKendry and Jack O’Mahony following injury.
It would only take five minutes for the first chance of the game to arrive as McKendry would slip the ball into the path of Cathair Friel. The striker would burst through on goal but would be thwarted by a smart save from the visiting ‘keeper.
However, the deadlock would be broken five minutes and in fine style. The ball would land at the feet of Cormac Burke 30 yards from goal and the ex-Coleraine midfielder fired a piledriver into the back of the net.
Both teams would enjoy a sustained period of possession but it would be Institute who would double their lead on 35 minutes. The lively Jamie Dunne would burst down the left-hand side and his dangerous cross was diverted into his own net by Aaron Jarvis.
A double change at half-time would see Rodney Brown and Trialist 1 come on at the expense of Dean Jarvis and Jack O’Mahony.
It wouldn’t take long for that double change to take effect as the Bannsiders halved the deficit on 48 minutes. A strike from McKendry would cannon back of the post and Friel was in the right place at the right time to stab the ball into the net.
A minute later, the hosts thought they drew level as McKendry’s effort was tipped around the post by Dylan Doherty as James McLaughlin was introduced from the bench just before the hour mark.
The Stripes would create two late chances to try and salvage a draw as Friel poked wide after good play by Trialist 1, before the same player couldn’t adjust his feet in time to convert from McLaughlin’s dangerous cross.
A defeat for Coleraine who will be happy to have more minutes in the tank.
COLERAINE: McDowell, D. Jarvis (Brown ’46 mins), Mullan, A. Jarvis, McKendry (McLaughlin ’58 mins), Carson, Wilson, Glackin, O’Mahony (Trialist 1 ’46 mins), Brennan, Friel.
Referee: Diarmuid Harrigan