IRISH LEAGUE PREVIEW: Title-chasers look to get one hand on Gibson Cup

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Johnny McNabb

Reporter:

Johnny McNabb

Email:

jonathan.mcnabb@yourlurgan.com

The title race continues in the Danske Bank Premiership this weekend as Linfield and Cliftonville aim to go one step closer to lifting the Gibson Cup.

Linfield – who top the pile by a single point – earned a hard earned win against Crusaders on Easter Tuesday and will need to replicate that performance against Larne tomorrow afternoon. Tiernan Lynch’s side are unbeaten in their post-split fixtures after earning a 0-0 draw against Glentoran last time out.

Cliftonville secured European qualification for next season after a 2-1 win against Coleraine on Easter Tuesday. The Reds, who have already lifted the League Cup, travel to derby rivals Crusaders tomorrow hoping to pounce if Linfield slip up. The Crues’ loss to Linfield in midweek brought an end to their five match winning streak.

In the final game of Section A, Coleraine will be at home for a third successive game and they will be hoping to end a barren run that has saw the Bannsiders only win once in their last eleven games. As for the Glens, they know a top-two finish in the Premiership is now out the window ahead of the end of season Europa Conference League play-off games.

Tuesday night saw Warrenpoint Town being relegated despite winning at the Ballymena Showgrounds courtesy of Alan O’Sullivan’s strike. The ‘Point will hope to end the campaign on a high as they travel to Dungannon Swifts who secured Premiership safety on Tuesday night following a 0-0 draw against Portadown.

That defeat for Ballymena allowed Glenavon to move four points clear in the battle for seventh after the Lurgan Blues won at Carrick Rangers. Gary Hamilton’s side will confirm that position if they seal a derby win against Portadown. The Ports will have to pocket all three points and hope Carrick Rangers lose if they are to avoid an end of season relegation/promotion play-off.

The aforementioned Carrick Rangers travel to Ballymena United tomorrow and know a solitary point will secure their Premiership status for next season. The Amber Army have won all three games against the Sky Blues so far this campaign. United know they need to win to keep the pressure on Glenavon who currently occupy seventh spot.

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BREAKING

Rangers and Man Utd on way to SuperCupNI

Councillor William McCaughey, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, David Jeffrey, manager Ballymena United FC and Victor Leonard, Chairman STATSports SuperCupNI