Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Crusaders owe Ballymena for last year's title heartache, says Snoddy

By Gareth Hanna

There's a certain amount of poetic justice on offer for Crusaders this weekend.

Last season, a 3-0 defeat at Ballymena United in the penultimate game of the season ultimately cost Stephen Baxter's side the league title, losing out to Linfield by two points.

Now, just over a year later, they can lift the Gibson Cup at the Showgrounds.

Any sort of victory will be enough to do that with Crusaders entering the final day well ahead of second-placed Coleraine on goal difference. For Crues midfielder Matthew Snoddy, an unused substitute on that fateful day last season, there would be no better way to do it.

"To be honest, I didn't even think about that until Stephen (Baxter - manager) said to us about putting it right," he said. "He was just saying we owe them one, which we do. They rubbed it in our faces a bit when we lost the league there.

"It's the perfect opportunity to go there and put right what happened last season."

Snoddy, 24, didn't start a single league game last season as he sat out with injury. With four Premiership goals, he's played a significant role this time out and admits he will be feeling the nerves in the build-up.

"It's going to be tough sleeping all week to be honest," he laughed. "I struggled to sleep last week let alone this week. It's exciting. This is where you want to be. You want to play in big games and there's no bigger game than this, going to Ballymena to win the league. There's no bigger incentive than this."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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