Belfast Telegraph

Just don't tell Paddy about lovely football

By Billy Weir

Just don't tell Paddy about lovely football

This is advanced warning of an icy blast coming from a north-westerly direction.

Nothing to do with the weather, but if one more person tells Paddy McLaughlin that Institute play some lovely football, they'd better hotfoot it over Glenshane Pass before he catches up with them.

Stute seem to have taken over the mantle that belonged to Dungannon for so many years, but while the Premiership new-boys do indeed knock the ball around superbly well, McLaughlin, a no-nonsense defender in his playing days, will be hurting at how many goals they have conceded so far.

And some crucial late ones among them too, goals that cost them points against Glenavon and Crusaders, and with 37 shipped in already, he knows he can't rely on his side's exciting attacking play to always bail them out.

"We knew coming down here that Institute were going to play good football, get it out from the back and pass the ball well," said Ronnie McFall after Glentoran's 3-3 draw at the Brandywell.

McLaughlin was last seen heading over Glenshane with a bag of salt, some polar bear repellent and a copy of The Big Boy's Book of Lovely Football on the way to Ballymena for a game that could end up any score.

Great to see that Kane is able to play again

FAR be it from me to admit that Coleraine defender Steven Douglas can talk a bit of sense at times, but he did just that at the weekend and on a great subject - the return of Lyndon Kane.

Possibly local football's unluckiest player, the talented full-back made his return from injury on Saturday against Ards and things couldn't have gone much better with a clean sheet and three points.

More importantly, Kane played 80-odd minutes of the match and showed no ill-effects from the broken metatarsal that left him on the sidelines for eight months, including missing out his hometown club's Irish Cup triumph.

"There was no sign of him taking things easy," said Dougie. "He put in some shift and was absolutely spent when we finally managed to get him off before the end.

"It speaks volumes for the calibre of the man that he has come through such an ordeal a second time yet remained so positive."

Indeed it does, let's hope he gets nothing but lucky breaks from now on.

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