FOOTBALL: Coleraine book place in NW Cup final

Ian Todd sess off Kyle McVey''�2012Derek Simpson
Ian Todd sess off Kyle McVey''�2012Derek Simpson

A 3-0 victory over Championship Two neighbours, Portstewart, saw Coleraine through to the final of the NW Cup.

They will meet Championship One side Institute.

It was Paul Owens who came closest to opening the scoring.

Having scored twice direct from corners against Glenavon in January, he almost repeated the trick here, taking advantage of the wind to float a dangerous ball right under the crossbar, which was only cleared by a vital intervention from a defender.

Aaron Boyd was unfortunate not to open his account for the season soon after, when his shot rebounded off the post with Portstewart goalkeeper Joel Madison well beaten. But Coleraine got the goal they deserved before the break, young full back Ryan Campbell putting Mark Gillan clear with a fantastic pass and the former Ballymoney striker slotted home.

After the break, Craig Moore almost capped his full debut with an excellent goal, but his acrobatic effort was deflected behind.

A rare opportunity for Portstewart saw substitute Connor Allen fire wide from point blank range, but that was as close as they’d come to causing an upset.

Coleraine settled the contest with two goals late in the game. The first was an own goal, with the unfortunate Ryan McAllister putting through his own net under pressure from Gillan. Then Aaron Boyd completed the scoring late on with a well-struck effort. There was still time for Madison to deny Gillan a second and for sub Ryan McNamee to rattle the crossbar with a bullet header from close range.