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Coleraine book derby semi-final date with Ballymena

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COLERAINE earned their place in the semi-final of the Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup semi-final coming from behind to secure a 3-2 victory over Larne at Inver Park last night.

Coleraine booked their place in the semi-final draw the hard way, coming from behind twice to secure victory and will now face derby rivals Ballymena at the end of March.

Larne settled well and threatened on a couple of occasions through Martin Donnelly who drew a save from custodian Chris Johns and had another effort deflected off the crossbar.

Larne were on top and holding possession well as Coleraine looked lethargic and lacking in attacking ideas in the final third.

Larne were assertive, piling on the pressure on a rock-solid Coleraine defence while then home side continued to hold possession well from the back with Watson, Flowers and Cosgrove looking comfortable.

An injury to Ian Parkhill introduced Eoin Bradley to the game just before the break, but it was the home side who were to break the deadlock through a Jeff Hughes deflection off the head of Lyndon Kane into the bottom corner.

At the break, Coleraine were lucky not to be further behind following the unrelenting pressure from the home side in the opening 45 minutes in which they held possession well.

Coleraine introduced Aaron Jarvis  in place of Aaron Traynor at the break, and moved Stephen O’Donnell into the heart of defence which had an immediate impact to quell the impressive Donnelly for the home side

Coleraine progressed and  ventured further upfield which brought rewards as Bradley’s deft lay-off to McLaughlin saw the striker drill the ball past Devlin to level at 1-1.

Coleraine looked rampant. Even after Hughes had regained the lead for Larne, there never looked any doubt among the visiting support that Coleraine would get back into the game.

Midway through the second half, Coleraine were awarded a penalty following a hand-ball in the Larne defence.  Stephen Lowry tucked the ball beyond Devlin to level again at 2-2.

Both Coleraine and Larne produced end-to-end football as they searched and probed for a winner.

However, it was Coleraine who showed true character with a winner three minutes from time when Jamie Glackin flicked the ball on to Eoin Bradley and the striker turned his marker and drilled the ball under Devlin to ensure the win and put Coleraine through to the semi-final.

LARNE: Devlin, Flowers, Watson, Sule (A. Mitchell ’78 mins), McDaid, Donnelly, Lynch, Cosgrove, Hughes, Jarvis, Herron.

Subs Not Used: C. Mitchell (GK), Kelly, Randall, Ramsey, Tilney, Andrade.

COLERAINE: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Canning, Lowry, McLaughlin, Carson, O’Donnell, Parkhill (Bradley ’37 mins), Glackin, Traynor (Jarvis ’46 mins).

Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Douglas, McConaghie, McGuckin, Allen.

Referee: Shane Andrews

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