29 Apr 2023
© Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press Chris Shields doubled Linfield's lead at Solitude

Linfield secured a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League while Coleraine, Glentoran, Ballymena United and Dungannon Swifts all wrapped up their league campaigns with three points apiece.

The Blues needed a positive result to clinch European football this summer and did it thanks to goals from Jimmy Callacher and Chris Shields against Cliftonville at Solitude.

Callacher opened the scoring after just nine minutes with a powerful finish from Kirk Millar’s corner. Shields then doubled up from the spot early in the second half, awarded after Eetu Vertainen had been taken down.

Glentoran made sure of third spot and home advantage in the play-offs with a 2-1 win away to Crusaders.

Scoreless for almost the entire first half, Junior Uzokwe edged the Glens in front in stoppage time from close range, with Terry Devlin then hitting a second just before the hour while Jay Boyd grabbed a late consolation for the Crues.

Matthew Shevlin hit two goals as Coleraine swept to a 3-0 home win over champions Larne. The Premiership’s leading scorers bagged his first early in the second half before doubling up just after the hour. Jamie Glackin then wrapped the scoring up right at the end.

In Section B Dungannon Swifts defeated Newry City by the odd goal in three at Stangmore Park. Joe Moore edged the Swifts in front with less than a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock, but the on form James Teelan levelled for City late in the first half. However, Mayowa Animasahun hit Dungannon’s winner in stoppage time.

Irish Cup finalists Ballymena United limbered up for the decider thanks to a Josh Kelly strike on 52 minutes giving them victory over Carrick Rangers at The Showgrounds while Glenavon and Portadown played out a scoreless draw at Mourneview Park.