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Irish League reaction: Coleraine keeper Gareth Deane hailed for 'world class' save while Ballymena boss David Jeffrey reveals celebration injury


Jonny Addis was denied by a stunning stop. Pic: INPHO/Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Jonny Addis was denied by a stunning stop. Pic: INPHO/Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

Jonny Addis was denied by a stunning stop. Pic: INPHO/Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

It was a big afternoon of 3pm kick-offs in the Irish League with wins for Ballymena United and Warrenpoint Town while Coleraine and Cliftonville tied 0-0 and Portadown earned a 2-2 draw with Larne.

Here’s the reaction to all four afternoon kick-offs.

Coleraine 0-0 Cliftonville: Gareth Deane hailed for ‘world class’ save

Bannsiders goalkeeper Gareth Deane was hailed for a “world class” save to earn Coleraine a draw with table-topping Cliftonville.

It was a point-blank stop that denied Reds centre-back Jonny Addis and had Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins purring on BBC Radio Ulster commentary.

"I kid you not, that's one of the best saves I have ever seen live at a game of football,” he said.

"Honestly, that's a world class save. It looked goal-bound. I can't believe what I've just seen to be honest with you. What a save that was. My God."

The man himself was rather blasé about the whole thing.

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"Not a whole pile to be honest,” former Linfield stopper Deane said, when asked what he knew about the save. “I put my right arm out and it was lucky Lyndon (Kane) had made a good block before it. It’s one of those things, it could fall to one of our boys and they hook it on or unluckily it fell to one of their boys and I had to make a save. It ended up in my hands which was excellent.”

It was a fitting way for Deane to celebrate his new three-year contract at the club.

“I felt a bit under pressure to keep a clean sheet,” he said. “A lot of the boys were keeping me going about my new deal and expecting a clean sheet today. I’m just thankful we got one but unfortunately we couldn’t get the (win).

"I'm loving it (at Coleraine). The fans are brilliant and the boys have taken me in. It's felt easy coming down here. The manager sets high standards, as we did at Linfield, and we want to win things. That's what you want to achieve as a player and fingers crossed we'll have a few trophies in the cabinet over the next few seasons.”

The result leaves the Bannsiders in third, a point behind second-placed Glentoran and still four behind the Reds.

"All the hype has been around the full-time teams and ourselves and Cliftonville have been left behind,” Deane continued.

“I think that game today gives a good indication of what both teams are about. Everyone’s desperate for trophies, it’s not about full-time and part-time teams. We all want to do well.”

Ballymena United 2-0 Crusaders: David Jeffrey reveals celebration injury

Goals from Jude Winchester and Paul McElroy were enough to earn the Braidmen a much-needed win climb to within two points of seventh placed Carrick Rangers while keeping Crusaders behind Linfield in sixth.

In truth, manager David Jeffrey could be forgiven for wishing the last minute clincher hadn’t gone in due to the damage he suffered in his over-eager celebrations.

“With the second goal, I have a confession to make,” he laughed. “I should have remembered I’m 59. I was running down the sideline, so proud and so happy and didn’t I tweak my hamstring. I’m sure there will plenty of people who will laugh about that. Such was my joy and pleasure at what was a tremendous performance.

“We had to give absolutely everything and leave nothing to chance. They were tremendous. Jordan Williamson was amazing. The centre-backs, Conor Keeley and Douglas Wilson both were ginormous, so strong. Andrew McGrory and Stephen McCullough were phenomenal. I call them my two Mr Reliables and today they were that and more. What an unbelievable creative talent Jude Winchester is, and yet he works so hard for the team. Alongside him Leroy Millar, our captain, who was tremendous.

“Young Brendan Barr was absolutely superb and belied his age. He’s been patient, waited for his chance and he has got it.

“Then the three musketeers up top, Kenny Kane, Paul McElroy and Ryan Waide, what a shift they put in.

“Then when Jack Henderson came on, he was superb. I’m immensely proud. This was a tough ask but we stood up.”

Portadown 2-2 Larne: Matthew Tipton contests penalty call as Ports denied

Adam Salley had twice fired the hosts ahead of his 150th appearance for the club but it was another hard-luck story for the 11th placed side as Larne twice battled back.

Ronan Hale and substitute David McDaid got the goals for the visitors, the late equaliser arriving on 89 minutes.

However, it was Hale’s penalty to make it 1-1 that particularly aggrieved Ports boss Matthew Tipton, unhappy with Tim Marshall’s decision to award the spot-kick.

He said: “I didn’t think it was a penalty when it happened, I’ve watched it back and I still don’t think it was a penalty. Michael (Ruddy)’s got his foot in front of Lee Lynch, who has clattered into the back of him and gone over. I wish we’d get penalties like that but he’s given it and we have to pick ourselves up as we did.

“We’re playing against a team who are miles ahead of us in the table and resources but we competed very well. That’s all I can ask and one day it will turn for us and the bounce of the ball will go for us.

“If they keep performing the way they are, it’s hard for me to be too disappointed.

“We are down to the bare bones. We don’t have a big panel of players and we won’t add to the squad until January. If they keep giving me everything they have got, I can’t grumble too much.

“Maybe if we were off the back of a couple of wins, we’d hold on to the 2-1 there today.”

Carrick Rangers 1-2 Warrenpoint Town: Barry Gray relieved at long-awaited win

Portadown are now just two points off the bottom thanks to a Luke Wade Slater brace that helped Warrenpoint to their first league win since the opening day of the season.

After the board had given boss Barry Gray a vote of confidence in midweek, he said the result wasn’t about him.

“It was like a fresh start for us,” he said. “The players had a reaction because they wanted to win the game. Did I help that along the way? Possibly but the players deserve all the accolades they get today.

“The result was paramount for us but the boys’ endeavour to dig in until the final minutes was the most pleasing thing.

“We had times where we had to defend deep and we did that. We waited for the break and when it came, we punished them.

“We’ve been negative in the last 12 weeks, looking at the problems, we need to fix so when we get a performance like that today, we have to make sure we reinforce that the positives were. We need to see now can we build on that going forward.”

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