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Chris Morrow (34)


Crusaders skipper Colin Coates holds the trophy aloft (Picture: Darren Kidd/


CRUSADERS are the 2011-12 IRN BRU League Cup winners following a 1-0 defeat of Coleraine at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

After a quiet opening the first effort of note arrived on 14 minutes. Stuart Dallas chased down a Jordan Owens punt forward to threaten with an opportunistic strike from a few yards outside the area, albeit under pressure from David Ogilby, which drifted just wide of the far post.

Crusaders came close again on 28 minutes through David Rainey with a volley over the bar after collecting a Colin Coates free-kick.

But the Crues did make the breakthrough six minutes later courtesy of eventual man-of-the-match Chris Morrow when he got on the end of a Dallas through ball to send a shot past Gavin Cullen and into the net.

It was nearly 2-0 three minutes later. Owens didn't properly connect with the ball in front of goal but Morrow reacted quickly at the near post to be only denied by a great Cullen stop.

And a minute after that Coates almost added a second but he couldn't avoid dragging the ball wide from 12 yards after connecting with a corner.

At the other end on 42 minutes Gareth Tommons might have pulled one back for the Bannsiders only to fire just wide from the edge of the area.

Stephen Baxter's side might have doubled their advantage within two minutes of the restart after Owens headed goalwards from a Morrow cross but Cullen got down well at the post to save.

The Bannsiders squandered another opportunity to equalise on 70 minutes when Crues 'keeper Sean O'Neill pushed away a Shane Jennings effort before the same player failed to convert the follow up.

On 76 minutes Johnny Black also came close with a long range effort which swerved away from goal.

Owens had the goal in the Coleraine net three minutes later but his finish from a Morrow run was ruled out offside by referee Brian Turkington.

And a couple of minutes after that Owens was denied again when he could only flick the ball onto an upright.


Tags:  Coleraine  Crusaders