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Match Reaction

Kearney happy to seal ‘hard fought’ victory

COLERAINE manager Oran Kearney has praised his side’s efforts following Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Ards…

By: Aaron O’Neill

A double from Jamie McGonigle either side of Brad Lyons’ attempt ensured all 3 points for the Bannsiders and the Coleraine boss expressed his delight after Saturday’s victory.

“It was a tough day today we knew it was going to be windy and cold and it’ll not be a game for the history books but in the same stretch it’s the three points that are important,” Kearney said.

“We started well with two cracking goals but I was slightly disappointed with the five minute spell afterwards which allowed Ards their goal.

“When you play an extra game midweek and given the high tempo and the physical effort of the Glentoran game it was important for us to grab the advantage today and not leave it late.

The manager made 3 changes from the side that defeated Glentoran on Tuesday night and the Bannsiders boss is happy with the current situation within the ranks.

“It’s my job to manage the squad and today was about trying to juggle the squad but ensure we got the win as well.”

Saturday’s victory marked a welcomed return for Stephen Dooley who had not featured for the Bannsiders since picking up an injury against Glentoran at the end of January.

Speaking after Saturday’s game Kearney said, “I’m delighted for him (Dooley) it’s been a traumatic and tough time for him.

“It was a tough tackle and he rolled his ankle and did it bad which meant six to eight weeks out.

“We’re at the eight week mark now and he’s itching to get back. We put the reins on him a bit this week just to make sure he is ready for the big games coming up in the next few weeks.

With only 6 league games remaining the Stripes find themselves well in contention at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership. Coleraine are currently on 2 points adrift of league leaders Crusaders with the pair set to clash on Easter Tuesday.

“The boys are buzzing, they’re all really enjoying the ride and it’s brilliant where we’re at,” Kearney added.

“If anyone had have said to them at the start of the year that with six games to go they’d be two points off the top a lot of people wouldn’t have believed it.

“It’s about going and enjoying the ride and giving it everything you’ve got.

“There’s no time for nerves or anything else that goes with it and really it’s Crusaders title to lose as there is no expectation on us.”

Next up for the Bannsiders is Friday night’s game against Carrick Rangers and Kearney is hoping for a similar result.

“It’s important we keep playing matches and going from week to week so that’s why we decided to play on Friday night,” Kearney concluded.

“We’ve got good momentum and we’re happy with where we’re at and the players are just focused for next week’s game against Carrick.”