Belfast Telegraph

Creeping Carrick to Mourneview misery: Five talking points from Saturday's Irish League action

Carrick Rangers' Lee Chapman scored his side's second at the Showgrounds.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker.
Carrick Rangers' Lee Chapman scored his side's second at the Showgrounds. Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker.
James McLaughlin was claiming a hat-trick at the Showgrounds.

It was another big day in the Irish League with top two Coleraine and Cliftonville keeping pace.

The Bannsiders remain one point clear after both did their jobs on Saturday afternoon.

So what were the afternoon's big talking points?

1. James McLaughlin bags landmark Bannsiders goal - but which one was it?

When fate conspired to steal James McLaughlin's 50th celebrations from under his nose, the striker made sure there were no questions asked.

The 29-year-old is adamant he had notched his 50th goal for Coleraine when his side's opening goal of their 4-0 win over Glenavon hit the net.

His team-mates rushed to him to celebrate and the stadium announcer awarded him the goal.

But it could be one for the dubious goals panel as it could have been Caolan Marron that diverted the ball into his own net.

Sign In

However, McLaughlin's not so silly. He made sure the night's 50th goal festivities would go ahead regardless but converting the second goal, after being teed up by Eoin Bradley.

The same man bagged the Bannsiders' third in the second half and, a typical striker, claimed the hat-trick along with a signed match ball. Say nothing.

ine v Glenavon 41.jpg
James McLaughlin was claiming a hat-trick at the Showgrounds.

2. Conor McDermott does a Jonny Addis!

Whoever said the Irish League is devoid of quality (you know who you are) had their words rammed back down their throat  once again this afternoon.

For the second time this season, a Danske Bank Premiership goal was scored from over the halfway line as Cliftonville's Conor McDermott lobbed Warrenpoint goalkeeper Berat Turker for his side's second of a 3-0 win at Solitude.

The first man to do it this season was Ballymena United's Jonny Addis. Have a look at both goals here:

 v Warrenpoint 06.jpg
Conor McDermott celebrates his wondergoal against Warrenpoint.

3. Carrick creeping up the table unnoticed

Whisper it quietly but Carrick Rangers are just a point off seventh place! Who saw that coming?

Niall Currie's side beat Ballymena 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.

The result means they have now won three of their last four Premiership matches and that's their best return of top tier points from four matches since November 1994, when they had won three and drawn one.

Carrick are now seven points clear of the play-off place and looking up.

ymenavCarrick 017.jpg
Carrick Rangers' Lee Chapman scored his side's second at the Showgrounds. Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker.

4. Sean makes his mark at Stute

Sean Connor took charge of Institute in the middle of September, with the club have lost six of their first seven league games.

The new man certainly seems to have made a difference. There was a 1-0 defeat to Cliftonville in his first game but since then, it's a record of just one defeat in eight games.

Saturday's 1-1 draw with Glentoran means Stute are now five points clear of basement side Warrenpoint and within three points of Glenavon.

2019-11-08_spo_54747484_I1.png
Sean Connor

5. Glenavon's misery goes on

Speaking of the Lurgan Blues, it has not been a pleasant season at Mourneview Park. After their 4-0 defeat to Coleraine, they're in 10th and three points away from ninth-placed Dungannon. They've picked up just one win in their last eight matches (bar the Mid Ulster Cup).

Imagine a Mid-Ulster Derby in the season-ending promotion-relegation play-off. Their rivals Portadown currently lead the Championship but with Loughgall three points behind with a game in hand, they're far from assured of automatic promotion.

2019-11-02_spo_54592312_I1.png
Gary Hamilton

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph