IRISH LEAGUE: Coleraine striker is fired up for derby clash

In-form striker Jamie McGonigle says Coleraine are determined to lay down another marker when they travel to Ballymena United tonight (Tuesday).

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 9:52 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:43 am
Danske Bank Premiership, 18th March 2017. Glenavon v Coleraine. Coleraine's Jamie McGonigle celebrates after scoring to make it 1-1 during Saturday's match at Mourneview Park Photo by TONY HENDRON/PRESSEYE.COM

The Bannsiders moved up to third place on Saturday after McGonigle’s brace helped them see off Glenavon.

A win would strengthen their grip on that position, but the young striker knows the Sky Blues will be hurting following their Irish Cup quarter final hammering by their old rivals.

“We want to lay down another marker before the Irish Cup semi final,” McGonigle told Times Sport.

“Saturdaywas a good marker, but it’s over now and on to the next game.

“We will prepare the same and make sure we go about our business in the right way again.

“It’s one game at a time and that’s where our focus is now.

“Ballymena will be out for revenge similar to what we were in the cup game.

“But there are no easy games in this league, you just have to make sure you prepare well and go out and do your job.”

Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney was delighted to see McGonigle reach 17 goals for the season on Saturday.

“It’s a great return for Jamie, but we’re not shocked,” he said.

“Yes Jamie has had his days when it hasn’t just worked for him, but he has a great mindset and attitude, and I’ve saw it from day one, he is a fantastic one touch finisher, and a good finisher in general. He will only get better the more he plays.”

Kearney is also expecting a tough game at Warden Street against their old foes.

“I’m sure Ballymena will be hurting from the last game, but they have had a great season,” he said.

“Winning the cup takes both mental and physical energy out of people and we possibly got them at a good time.

“I don’t see Tuesday night being as straight forward. It’s important that we dust ourselves down and get ready for another big derby.”