Coleraine and Cliftonville book spots in BetMcLean League Cup final in March

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Coleraine and Cliftonville will go head-to-head in the Bet McLean League Cup final in March.

The holders hammered Warrenpoint 6-1 in their semi-final at the Showgrounds on Tuesday night.

Matthew Shevlin hit a hat-trick - while visiting defender Gavin Peers was sent off in the first half. 

The Reds beat Ballymena 3-0.

Match reports below. 


Holders Coleraine crushed Warrenpoint Town at The Showgrounds to continue their defence of the BetMcLean League Cup.

The Bannsiders needed just five minutes to open the scoring when Conor McKendry lifted the ball over the 'Point defence to find Matthew Shevlin who duly fired a first time effort into the bottom corner.

McKendry might have found the net himself from distance but Conor Mitchell punched the effort away while Stephen Lowry almost added a second when he just missed out making a connection to a corner.

Warrenpoint came close to levelling on 37 minutes after Stuart Hutchinson laid the ball off for the unmarked Thomas Maguire but he could only fire over from around 15 yards out.

At the other end both McKendry and Josh Carson threatened before, on the stroke of half-time, McKendry eventually succeeded with a shot from the edge of the box after bypassing a couple of challenges.

Just prior to that Warrenpoint had been reduced to ten men after Gavin Peers was booked for a second time following a foul on Eoin Bradley.

Coleraine made their numerical advantage count just over ten minutes after the break when Shevlin doubled his tally with a back post header from a McKendry delivery.

'Point were thrown a glimmer of hope a short time later, however, courtesy of Kealan Dillon's strike from the edge of the box which took a deflection on its way past Gareth Deane.

But any hopes of a comeback were well and truly dashed just after the hour as Shevlin bagged his third of the evening from the spot after he had been upended in the box by Luke Gallagher.

Matthew Shevlin - hat-trick

Coleraine's fifth arrival on 79 minutes through substitute James McLaughlin who latched onto a Cathair Friel flick to fire beyond Mitchell.

Jamie Glackin then completed the scoring four minutes from time with a well executed strike from the edge of the area into the bottom corner.

Oran Kearney's side will lock horns with Cliftonville in the decider next March after the Reds hit three goals without reply against Ballymena United at Solitude.

Coleraine: Deane, Kane, Brown, McKendry, Lowry, Bradley, Carson, O'Donnell, Glackin, Traynor, Shevlin subs Henderson, Mullan, Jarvis, McLaughlin, Wilson, Kelly, Friel

Warrenpoint Town: Mitchell, Deasy, Ball, Peers, Dillon, O'Sullivan, Gallagher, Wade Slater, Maguire, Hutchinson, Byrne subs Coleman, McVeigh, Mullen, Masterson, Moorhouse, Quinn, Shotayo


Cliftonville swept to a comfortable three-goal defeat of Ballymena United at Solitude.

The Reds enjoyed the majority of possession right from the start although the first effort of note fell to Ballymena's Ryan Waide with a cross-cum-shot which looped the wrong side of the far post.

However, the deadlock was broken in Cliftonville's favour just before the half-hour mark when a low Joe Gormley cross from the wide on the right was dummied by Paul O'Neill into the path of Ryan Curran who made no mistake from close range.

Curran almost doubled Cliftonville's lead on 35 minutes with an effort from outside the box which looked destined for the top corner but he did make it 2-0 moments from the break with a successfully converted spot-kick awarded after United keeper Jordan Williamson was adjudged to have upended Gormley.

Gormley then put the issue beyond doubt just six minutes into the second half after a Conor McDermott ball into the area was played back for him to send it rising high into the net despite Williamson getting a hand to it.

And he almost added a fourth towards the end only to chip his effort onto the roof of the net.

The Reds will meet holders Coleraine in the final next March after the Bannsiders continued their defence of the trophy with a crushing defeat of Warrenpoint Town.

Cliftonville: McNicholas, McDermott, Ives, C. Curran, R. Curran, O'Neill, McDonagh, Lowe, Addis, Gormley, Turner subs Dunne, Harney, Foster, Donnelly, Doherty, Coates, Kearns

Ballymena United: Williamson, Redman, Wilson, McElroy, Waide, McCullough, Kane, Barr, McGrory, Keeley, Millar subs Johnston, Chapman, Henderson, Bramall, Parkhouse, Graham, Smith

Ryan Curran, struck twice for Reds

The final will be played in March on a date to be decided. 

NIFL issued a statement before the games on Tuesday:

The NI Football League can advise supporters of an update to this season’s BetMcLean League Cup Final.

Following consultation with all four semi-finalists the NIFL can confirm the League Cup final will now be scheduled for March 2022 on a date to be confirmed.

The decision to reschedule the final later in the football calendar will assist in growing the competition and maximising the event for all parties involved.

The date, kick-off time and arrangements will be confirmed and communicated later this month.


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