COLERAINE conclude their 2020/21 Danske Bank Premiership campaign with a visit to Larne as the Bannsiders aim to consolidate their second place finish (KO 5:30pm)…
Danske Bank Premiership
Coleraine couldn’t send the challenge for the Gibson Cup until the final day of the season as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Linfield at The Showgrounds. The visitors’ bright start was rewarded as Mark Haughey headed home at the back post but Coleraine responded as Curtis Allen headed home from Lyndon Kane’s cross. Despite creating several chances before and after that equaliser, Linfield held firm to retain the league title. The Stripes know that three points will cement their second place finish in the table.
Larne come into the fixture on the back of two successive defeats against Linfield and Glentoran. Those defeats ended Larne’s chances of winning a first ever Irish Cup, with the loss against Glentoran meaning Tiernan Lynch’s side failed to earn automatic European qualification. The East Antrim side will have home advantage against either Glenavon or Ballymena United in the semi-final of the European play-offs on Tuesday night.
This will be the fourth meeting this season and the first was back in November as Larne secured all three points at The Showgrounds as a brace from David McDaid proved to be the catalyst for a deserved win for Tiernan Lynch’s troops. The Bannsiders would have a lot of the ball after the break but they failed to overly test Conor Devlin in the Larne goal.
In January, Coleraine made the trip to Inver Park and made a blistering start as a penalty from Stephen Lowry and James McLaughlin’s smart finish had the Stripes well in control after 11 minutes. The Inver Reds grew into the contest and pulled a goal back as Albert Watson headed home from a corner but the Bannsiders held out for a vital victory.
Two months ago, Coleraine would welcome Larne to the Ballycastle Road and aimed to bounce back from a defeat against Cliftonville which ended an unbeaten run on 17 games. Oran Kearney’s men put in a clinical performance as Curtis Allen headed in, before James McLaughlin bagged a second less than 60 seconds after the restart.
“We want to end the campaign on a high,” Kearney said.
“First place is sadly out of reach and it would have been nice to take that sense of excitement into the game and have something to push for, but sadly it’s not to be.
“However, statistically, I want to finish as high up the league as possible and I want to finish in the second position we have earned.”
Due to regulations imposed by the NI Executive, no away supporters will be allowed to enter the stadium.
However, the match will be streamed live via the 247.tv platform HERE
A full list of stream instructions can be read HERE
As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).