| 14.4°C Belfast

Crusaders players lie down? You can banish those thoughts

It looks like the Danske Bank Premiership title race is going right to the wire and you can cut the tension with a tennis racquet.

There's a lot at stake. Linfield want the title back while Cliftonville are out to make history and retain the championship for the first time.

I was at Seaview on Saturday where Crusaders and Linfield produced some tenacious tackling – that's the politest description I can make following some of the challenges.

It was a pulsating contest featuring five goals and two red cards as Crusaders duo Paul Heatley and Chris Morrow saw red. Long after the final whistle, the accusations and counter-accusations were hurled.

Even rival bosses David Jeffrey and Stephen Baxter had a 'verbal disagreement' after the game and there's nothing wrong with that – two passionate managers defending their players.

There were claims some Crusaders players said they were going to 'lie down' against the Reds at Seaview on the final day of the season, allowing Cliftonville to win the league.

Not surprisingly, Baxter rubbished those claims.

It's just mind games – Linfield know they may need an enormous favour from the Crues.

Cliftonville may have to win the title the hard way by rolling over their neighbours on Saturday, April 26 but that's the way it should be.

Any suggestion Crusaders players will allow their stomachs to be tickled by the Solitude aces is complete balderdash.

The Crues players will feel they owe the Reds a dose of pain after the penalty shootout loss in the League Cup final.

Cliftonville enjoyed getting their hands on that trophy again but the Gibson Cup is the one they really want.

Belfast Telegraph