Carrick Rangers avoid relegation with play-off win against Institute
Carrick Rangers 4-1 Institute (5-2 on aggregate)
Carrick Rangers will live to fight another season in the Danske Bank Premiership.
The team, who are looking for a new manager after Aaron Callaghan stepped down at the end of April, won the tense Premiership play-off against Championship side Institute 5-2 on aggregate on Friday night.
With the tie finely balanced at 1-1 going into the rematch at the Belfast Loughshore Arena, there was plenty of tension in the air but the top flight side held their nerve and won the second leg 4-1.
Carrick, who finished second from bottom in the Premiership after only winning five of their 38 matches, broke the deadlock through Kyle McVey but Sammy Morrow hit a quickfire equaliser.
Steven McCullough's deflected free-kick restored the home side's lead on 25 minutes and Declan O'Brien made it 3-1 with a 20 yard strike on 72 minutes.
The hosts extended their lead in the 79th minute when O'Brien slotted home a penalty after Martin Murray had been sent tumbling by Mark Scoltock. The defender was shown a second yellow card as Stute's night took another unfortunate twist.
Institute, who finished runner-up in the Championship behind promoted Warrenpoint Town, must now lick their wounds and regroup for another promotion push while Carrick will breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Belfast Telegraph Digital