UK news Irish League reaction: 'Congratulations to Linfield' - Coleraine star admits defeat in title challenge while Larne boss agrees with contentious penalty call last news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Coleraine hero Stephen Lowry has congratulated Linfield on their pending league title success after the Blues’ advantage stretched to eight points.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "Coleraine hero Stephen Lowry has congratulated Linfield on their pending league title success after the Blues’ advantage stretched to eight points. That was thanks to the leaders' victory over Crusaders, while the Bannsiders and Glentoran held each other to a 1-1 draw at the Oval.It leaves Linfield needing just one win – or even two draws – from their last three games to be officially crowned Irish League champions for a world record-equalling 55th time.And for former Blues midfielder Lowry, the gap is now too big for his own side to overcome.“Without doubt,” he said. "We have to give credit to Linfield, the season they’ve had. It looks like they’re going to be title winners so we congratulate them and the position they’ve got themselves in.”It was Lowry who scored Coleraine’s late leveller at the Oval, cancelling out Ruaidhri Donnelly’s opener, for a result that keeps the Bannsiders one point ahead of their hosts.That could be crucial come the European reckoning, with only second place guaranteed a Europa Conference League spot.“It’s cat and mouse now between us and the Glens,” he said. “We’ve three games left; three very, very tough games and they’ve got three very tough games. We all know about the windfall that Europe brings and how important it is to clubs like Coleraine and Glentoran. There’s a lot to play for. We’re still in a strong position but we’re not home and hosed by any stretch.“A defeat tonight would have made it a hard last three games for us (but) we’re still ahead of them and it’s all to play for now for us.“We’ve played Glentoran three times in a short space of time and in all three games we’ve been behind before getting draws. We’ve shown great character. Tonight I think it’s the worst performance of the three. I’m not saying we played badly but I thought Glentoran were coming on strong. They’ve rotated their squad a good bit; we don’t have the luxury of a big squad. We’ve played the same players a lot but this team never knows when it’s beaten. We get a lot of that from the manager; he instils great belief in us. Teams don’t like to play us, we’re difficult to beat.”Now just four points behind the Glens are Tiernan Lynch’s Larne, who beat Cliftonville 2-1 at Solitude thanks to two David McDaid penalties.
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.Chief among the talking points was the second spot-kick decision after Dylan Mottley-Henry was adjudged by referee Shane Andrews to have been fouled by Daniel Kearns, a decision that has split opinions.“I thought it was a penalty,” said Lynch. “I thought that he caught his trailing leg. When that happens in the box, it’s a penalty, thankfully for us.”It’s only a second win in seven meetings with the Reds since Larne’s 2019 promotion and, for the boss, fitting retribution for the 1-0 reverse at the same ground earlier in the season.“We knew it was going to be a completely different game from the last time we came here because we learned from that,” he said. “We made sure that we were very solid. We left ourselves very open and got punished early. We knew it needed to be a different game and thankfully it was. “We limited them to very little. Whenever we scored the second goal, they threw the kitchen sink at us but we stood firm and we still tried to play when we could.”Elsewhere, Glenavon came from behind to beat derby rivals Portadown 4-1 and stay three points clear of Ballymena United in the race for the final play-off place.United kept up the chase with a 4-0 win at Carrick, where Trai Hume opened the scores.“Every game’s important,” he said. “We need to get wins and get goals because it could come down to goal difference.”To that end, United’s goal difference is now better than the Lurgan Blues’ by 16 goals.Glenavon’s win allowed Warrenpoint to leapfrog Portadown into ninth thanks to their late win over Dungannon Swifts as Brandon Doyle scored the rebound after Roy Carroll had saved a penalty.“You know what you get with Roy,” said Point boss Barry Gray. “He’s a top class keeper with a huge number of years experience. He used all of that tonight to try and calm the situation and come away from it. It wasn’t the best penalty we’ve ever seen but credit to Brandon for being in the right area when it counted.“That shows how hungry we were to make it three wins in a row going into another Irish Cup match.”"
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