Dungannon Swifts 0 Coleraine 0
Neither team got what they wanted, or believed they deserved, but a point apiece was perhaps what was best merited as Dungannon Swifts and Coleraine played the only goal-less draw on day one of the season.
Home manager Dixie Robinson was full of praise for all his players after a battling performance that he rated right up there with his team’s best traditions.
“In the first 45 minutes I couldn’t fault the commitment of my players,” he said. “I just asked them to take the ball a little bit more and show their opponents what they can do. The second half saw as committed a performance as I have seen here.”
Darren McCauley and Curtis Allen should have had Coleraine ahead at the break, but some solid saves from Dungannon’s new keeper Niall Morgan thwarted their attempts.
Swifts’ star midfielder Terry Fitzpatrick had Dungannon’s solitary shot in the opening half, but that was deflected.
Swifts were gifted an opening early in the second half when a mistake from goalkeeper Michael Doherty put Michael Ward in on goal, but defender Damien McNulty applied the pressure to spare visiting blushes.
Coleraine’s Stephen Parkhouse fired inches wide on 50 minutes, while the Laverys, Stefan and PJ, forced saves from Doherty while Craig McClean hit the side-netting.
Two incidents near the end had bearings on the |outcome. Coleraine sub Leon Knight had a penalty claim turned down, while Stefan Lavery was upended on his way to goal, the foul by Howard Beverland deemed worthy of a red card by ref Raymond Crangle.