Belfast Telegraph

Five things we learned from this week's Irish League action

It was an interesting week in the Irish League - but what can we take from it all? Graham Luney has a look.

Linfield lack ruthless touch

The Blues left their shooting boots at home when they travelled to Dundee United and it remains a mystery how they lost that game after creating several chances. Boss David Healy will look for his men to sharpen up in front of goal quickly, particularly as their next two matches are league clashes with Coleraine at the Showgrounds and Crusaders at home.

Reds have turned corner

Following that thrilling comeback win over Linfield, Cliftonville may have taken their eye off the ball against Warrenpoint Town but, after thrashing PSNI 7-0 in the League Cup in midweek, Barry Gray’s side kept their foot on the accelerator. There was always a danger intensity levels would drop but arguably that 2-0 win on Saturday was more important that the win over the Blues. Maybe the ship has been steadied.

Glens get job done

Glentoran were poor in the televised clash against Crusaders and they needed to show some fight against Ards on Saturday. Curtis Allen took his chance well and it was a badly needed win which highlighted character after the shocking display earlier in the week.

Ports need a lift

There’s interesting developments in the Championship where Portadown are in ninth position after winning only three of their opening nine matches. On Saturday they lost 2-1 defeat at home to Ballyclare Comrades. Boss Niall Currie and his new look squad are finding the going tough but it’s time the new arrivals started to repay the faith shown in them by their manager.

Irish League family united

There’s a healthy competitive edge in domestic football but, when tragedy occurs, the Irish League unites and speaks with one compassionate voice. When news of the sad passing of Crusaders fan Billy Whiteside in Scotland filtered through, supporters of all clubs offered their sincere condolences to the Crues and the Whiteside family. The 3-0 victory for Crusaders over Cove Rangers was an impressive result but events off the pitch put everything else in perspective. Billy’s son Tommy, the club’s treasurer, will take some comfort knowing he has the support of the Irish League community.

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