Belfast Telegraph

Sky's the limit for Crues and Bannsiders in final


Windsor showdown: Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley (right) and
Crusaders’ Chris Hegarty will meet in the League Cup final
Windsor showdown: Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley (right) and Crusaders’ Chris Hegarty will meet in the League Cup final
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Coleraine and Crusaders' BetMcLean League Cup final clash has been confirmed for Saturday, February 15 and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

The game, which has been set for a 7.30pm kick-off to allow it to be shown live, will be played at Windsor Park.

It will be a happy return to the Belfast venue for Coleraine, who reached the final with a stunning 3-0 win over defending champions Linfield in the last-four.

This season's final is a rematch of the 2011-12 showpiece, which was won by Crusaders, and Stephen Baxter's men will be keen to lift the trophy for the first time since then.

The Bannsiders are aiming to break a 32-year duck in the competition and become League Cup champions for only the second time having tasted success only once, in the 1987-88 season.

Further details will be released in due course for the first major final of the domestic season, with tickets set to go on sale in early January.

Meanwhile, Coleraine and Crusaders are in for more live TV action after being confirmed as part of BBC Northern Ireland's latest live coverage of the Danske Bank Premiership in the New Year.

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Indeed, the league match between the Bannsiders and Crues will be the first of two live games shown on the BBC, with the clash at The Showgrounds taking place on Friday, January 10.

Then, Baxter's men travel to Windsor Park to take on league leaders Linfield on Friday, February 21 in what could be a season-defining game for both.

Both games will have a 7.45pm kick-off, with live coverage beginning at 7.30pm on BBC Two Northern Ireland.

Elsewhere, Spanish giants Valencia have given the go-ahead for their youth team to defend the STATSports SuperCupNI Premier title next summer.

The news is a massive boost for organisers as they finalise entries for the 2020 north coast event.

The two goalscorers in Valencia's final win over Newcastle United this year - Hugo Gonzalez and Pedro Aleman - are top scorers for their Uefa Youth League team so far this season, highlighting the quality of the squad the club sent to the event in their debut appearance.

STATSports SuperCupNI chairman Victor Leonard said: "This is exciting news. Valencia are one of the most highly-respected clubs in European football and it was an honour for us to welcome them at this year's tournament.

"The fact they are coming back is huge. I know the club's officials who accompanied the players last summer were impressed with the standard."

The STATSports SuperCupNI will start with the traditional opening parade of teams and welcome ceremony in Coleraine on Sunday, August 2.

Finals night is scheduled for the Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday, August 7.

Belfast Telegraph


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