Super Macs shoot down the Mallards in epic finish

Coleraine's James McLaughlin  celebrates after pulling the scores back to 1-1'Picture by Stephen  Hamilton / Press
Coleraine's James McLaughlin celebrates after pulling the scores back to 1-1'Picture by Stephen Hamilton / Press

It may have been a long time in coming, but it was certainly worth the wait as Coleraine finally laid their Ballinamallard ghosts to rest.

The Bannsiders had gone 12 games without a win over their Fermanagh counterparts in the league.

But the hoo-doo was finally broken in dramatic fashion on Friday night.

James McLaughlin and Jamie McGonigle helped themselves to a goal apiece to seal the comeback win.

“It does get to a point were you do want to put it right,” Oran Kearney told Times Sport after the game.

“I suppose the manner of how we have done it tonight is the most pleasing thing.

“We have six or seven lads out missing from the team and we’ve quite a few young lads in the line up, and I just thought the character they showed to stay in the game and go on and win it was excellent.

“I’m absolutely delighted for the lads.

“Both theams probably matched each other in the opening stages. Although we cancelled each other out, to be fair I think Ballinamallard probably created the better chances in the first half.

“The manner of the goal was disappointing. It was one of those ones were Doc is moving in one direction and the guy has just got enough on it to put it in the other direction and it slowly goes in the net.

“But credit to our lads, we speak about it all the time in this league about mentality, the key thing for us was to stay in the game and to try and make sure we got the next goal.

“Sometimes when the opposition go down to ten men it can be tough as they sit in even deeper and leave even less space.

“But the two goals we scored, both James’ and Jamie’s, were of real quality.

“There’s no doubt in James’ finishing ability and his ability to get into the right areas, and the goal he scored is a typical James goal. I certainly wasn’t surprised with the quality of the finish or the quality of the movement.

“To be fair to Jamie he kept going until the 91st minute, and when it broke on to his right foot I knew it was a goal before it left his foot because he is a class finisher.

“I so pleased for them, but as I said I’m delighted for all the lads.

“They kept going and deserved to get the win in the end.”

The sending off of James McKenna three minutes into the second had a big impact on the game.

But as Kearney admitted afterwards his side still had to do their job.

“To be honest there was two players in front of me so I didn’t see the incident clearly,” he said.

“But I’ve spoken with Whitey after the game and he said from where he was standing he felt it was justified.

“As we saw last week dismissals change games, but with a team like Ballinamallard and the pace they have they always carried a threat.

“The negative side of me was worried about leaving the back gate open and getting stung on the counter attack.

“Stephen Douglas and Aaron Canning marshalled things very well there, but more than anything we made the extra man count.

“Sometimes teams with a man advantage don’t do that, but we kept going and kept the positive mentality and we finally ground them down.”