The final live Sky Sports broadcast from the Danske Bank Premiership this season takes place on Monday night as Coleraine take on Cliftonville at the Showgrounds (kick-off: 7.45pm).
It’s another eagerly anticipated clash in the roller-coaster title race for the Gibson Cup this season, as neither Coleraine nor Cliftonville can afford to drop points if their championship ambitions are to be realised.
Both clubs lost their last games broadcast in front of the live television cameras, but Cliftonville travel to the north coast having lifted the first senior silverware of the season in dramatic fashion – scoring twice in stoppage time to stun Ballymena United to secure the County Antrim Shield last week.
For Oran Kearney, their first chance of silverware is still to come – with the final of the BetMcLean League Cup next month on the horizon against Crusaders at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
Coleraine have enjoyed a decent spell of form since Christmas, losing only once in their last six games, that reverse came against Crusaders in their last televised game. The convincing 4-0 win against Warrenpoint Town last Saturday was another vital three points in the Danske Bank Premiership title race but no team within the top five has drawn more games than Oran Kearney’s men.
Paddy McLaughlin will hope that their dramatic Shield win will be the end of a short blip in form for the North Belfast club, Cliftonville were on the cusp of a third straight defeat on Tuesday having lost their last two Premiership outings and dropping six vital points in the title race in recent weeks.
Cliftonville are unbeaten in the two meetings to date this season; winning 1-0 in December’s encounter at Solitude thanks to a later Conor McMenamin goal after the two sides had drawn 1-1 on the opening day of the season. We have to go back to New Years’ Day 2019 for the last victory for the Bannsiders, who won 4-1 at the Showgrounds under previous manager Rodney McAree.
Players to watch
Coleraine – defender Lyndon Kane has come back stronger than ever from an injury ravaged 18 months which kept him out of the Bannsiders’ historic 2018 Irish Cup win. Kane is now a senior figure in Kearney’s side and has captained the side in the absence of Stephen O’Donnell and is a fans’ favourite with his whole-hearted style of play down the right side.
Cliftonville – A player who could easily have been lining out for the home team but will be donning a red shirt is forward Michael McCrudden. Oran Kearney has been a long term admirer of the former Derry City man who re-joined Paddy McLaughlin after their successful spell at Institute together, he’s still searching for his first goal in a Cliftonville shirt – will it come at the Showgrounds on the televised stage?
Tim Marshall is the referee for this live game with Paul Robinson and Ryan Kelsey as assistant referees on the line. Lee Tavinder is the fourth official.
Admission for this game is as usual for home supporters and pay at the gate for away supporters, no match tickets are required. Prices are set at £12 for adults and £8 for concessions. Information on Coleraine FC’s ticket policies and procedures can be found at www.colerainefc.com.
The live coverage from the Coleraine Showgrounds is available on Sky Sports Main Event as well as Sky Sports Football from 7.35pm on Monday evening. Hosted by Graham Little and with commentary from Paul Gilmour and Steve Lomas.