Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Relieved Kearney banks spot in top six

Dungannon Swifts 1 Coleraine 3

For Coleraine manager Oran Kearney, it was a good trip to Stangmore Park as he secured a top six place and took another step towards the season target of finishing fourth.

"The day went as well as it possibly could. We have secured our top six spot courtesy of a 3-1 win, alongside Portadown only managing a draw," said the relieved Showgrounds boss.

"As a manager, you are always looking at the financial implications of making the top six. This is something that has sat on my shoulders but has never been mentioned to the players. Now, thankfully, I can get it off my chest.

"I think the three games that we will have in the top six play-offs will be Cliftonville, Linfield and possibly Glentoran, so the magnitude of those fixtures from a revenue point of view is massive. There are cold hard facts about football and finance is one of them, so it is good to finally secure a lucrative top half finish."

Coleraine were good value for the win but it took a spectacular finish, direct from a corner, from Swifts midfielder Matt Hazley on 19 minutes to provoke them into action.

But Gareth Tommons levelled one minute later when he headed home an Aaron Canning cross.

Coleraine were on top and secured the lead through Stephen Lowry and then the win when Curtis Allen nipped in front of Swifts keeper Jonny Curran to head in after the break.

Darren Murphy was magnanimous in defeat.

"We didn't take our chances, Coleraine did – purely and simply because they have better players. That's the bottom line and you can't do anything about that unfortunately," he groaned.

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