IRISH LEAGUE: Coleraine continue to prove doubters wrong

Eoin Bradley made his return from injury on Saturday.  Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Eoin Bradley made his return from injury on Saturday. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Coleraine’s draw at Cliftonville on Saturday was the first time they have dropped points this year.

In fact you have to go back to Boxing Day for the last time they failed to pick up all three such has been the consistency in the form.

The key thing is we want to keep it going for as long as possible and try and kick on until the end of the season.

ORAN KEARNEY

They had hoped to close the gap on the third placed Reds, but the game never really got going.

Boss Oran Kearney though was pleased to see his side keep their unbeaten run intact.

“It has been a great run, and to be fair it was well documented over December that it wasn’t good for us, and a couple of defeats in particular weren’t good,” he told Times Sport.

“We challenged the guys to kick on and give a response and have a good second part to the season.

“To be fair to them it would have been easy to rest on their laurels and feel sorry for themselves after a difficult month, but they have got up and going again and put this really good run together.

“The key thing is we want to keep it going for as long as possible and try and kick on until the end of the season.

“We nailed our top six finish last week which was very pleasing.

“There was quite a few people who were writing us off at the start of the season and thought we would be ninth or tenth this season.

“We lost a couple of big players at the start of the season and people assumed that would have a detrimental effect on us, but the guys who have come in have really stepped up to the mark, and credit to everyone around the club it has been a really good season to this point in time.”

The Bannsiders were handed a major boost on Saturday as striker Eoin Bradley made his return from injury following the incident against Portadown which left him with fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

Skinner played the full 90 minutes at Solitude and looked sharp despite a six-week lay off.

Defender Gareth McConaghie though had to leave the action in the first half following an accidental clash with skipper Davy Kee.

The big defender ended up with a broken nose but says he will be okay for the Irish Cup quarter final.

“I got it put in again at the side of the pitch when I came off, which wasn’t pleasant,” he said.

“But I’ll be grand for next week.”

Coleraine will also have James McLaughlin and Ciaron Harkin available again for selection after they missed Saturday’s draw through suspension.

Brad Lyons also looks set to feature after making his comeback from the knee injury he picked up against Tobermore United in the last round of the Irish Cup last month.