COLERAINE - BETMCLEAN LEAGUE CUP CHAMPIONS 2019/20!
Coleraine are the BetMcLean League Cup champions after coming from behind to defeat Crusaders at Windsor Park.
It's the Bannsiders first success in the competition since victory over Portadown back in the 1987/88 season and makes up for five final losses in the years that followed.
But it seemed ominous for Oran Kearney's side when, after just ten minutes, Coleraine old boy Jamie McGonigle fired the Crues in front after latching onto a poor clearance from keeper Chris Johns to send a composed finish into the net.
And McGonigle proved to be something of a problem for Coleraine when, soon after, he sent over a free-kick from the right to which Jordan Forsythe just failed to connect followed swiftly by a chance dropping wide from another attempted clearance.
Coleraine started to come into the game more as the first half progressed with James McLaughlin offering up a looped header from Jamie Glackin's free-kick but they almost fell further behind on 32 minutes when McGonigle tested Johns with another shot on goal which the keeper made heavy work of dealing with.
However, the tide started to turn soon after.
The Bannsiders were awarded a spot-kick on 37 minutes after Billy Joe Burns and Rodney Brown were adjudged to have brought down Jamie Glackin inside the area with Stephen Lowry calmly stepping up to slot the ball into the bottom right corner.
Then, seven minutes into the second half, the turnaround was complete. Josh Carson's corner floated over from the right caused problems for Crues keeper Sean O'Neill with McLaughlin forcing the ball home from close range.
The Crues attempted to respond with Forsythe having a go from distance which Johns easily dealt with but, with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, Ian Parkhill produced a good stop from O'Neill with a half volley from Glackin's pass.
Indeed, Coleraine looked to kill the game off as McLaughlin connected with a Curtis Allen cross but his header flew over the bar.
With time fast running out the Crues stepped up a gear in stoppage time. McGonigle headed straight at Johns before, moments later, he found himself unmarked in a dangerous position but failed to make the most of it when he blasted the ball over the bar.
Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Canning, Lowry, McLaughlin, Carson, O'Donnell, Parkhill, Glackin, Traynor subs Gallagher (not used), Douglas (not used), Jarvis (replaced Traynor 24), Bradley (not used), McConaghie (not used), Fitzpatrick (replaced McLaughlin 83), Allen (replaced Mullan 55)
Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Lowry, McGonigle, Caddell, Forsythe, O'Rourke, Owens, Brown, Heatley, Dummigan subs Doherty (not used), Beverland (not used), Hale (replaced Caddell 76), Cushley (replaced Forsythe 71), Thompson (not used), McGinley (replaced Heatley 63), McElroy (not used)