Belfast Telegraph

Carrick Rangers avoid relegation with play-off win against Institute

Carrick Rangers 4-1 Institute (5-2 on aggregate)

By Graham Luney

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.

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