Cool Kane sets up Sky Blues showdown

Crusaders David Cushley and Coleraine's Lyndon Kane. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
Crusaders David Cushley and Coleraine's Lyndon Kane. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press

Coleraine’s reward for seeing off Crusaders in the League Cup is a mouth-watering semi final derby clash with Ballymena United.

The Bannsiders were paired with their old foes in Saturday’s draw.

Reacting to the draw Oran Kearney told Times Sport he had no preference sho his side faced, he was just happy to be in the last four for the second season in a row.

“There’s four teams left in it, I probably like all the managers, didn’t have any preference in who we played,” he said.

“It’s a derby match, we’ve always done well there and we have a decent record in recent records and we’ll go there in good spirits.

“We’re delighted to be at this stage of the competition again.

“We had every right to lose Wednesday night’s game, the year before against Ards we did lose a game of that context.

“We’ve a lot of work to get done between now and then, it will be important that we go into that game with a wee bit of momentum behind us.”

With three wins on the bounce momentum is certainly building. Wednesday’s win over the Crues felt like a season-defining moment, and it was extra special for defender Lyndon Kane.

The local lad was devastated after he missed a late penalty at Seaview two weeks ago, but he made up for it last week by netting the winning penalty in the shoot-out.

“It was amazing to score the winning penalty, especially after missing against the same opposition 11 days ago,” Kane said.

“I did feel quite nervous which is very unlike me when it comes to penalties, and as people witnessed last night, I didn’t put my name forward to hit in the first five.

“When Crusaders missed, I knew I could score to send us through and when the fans sung my name as I walked up to hit, it calmed my nerves down.

“I picked my corner and thankfully slotted it home. I think you can see from my celebration there was a sense of relief.”

The Bannsiders dominated on the night against Stephen Baxter’s side, but they couldn’t find that crucial goal in normal time.

Jordan Allan edged them in front in extra time before Jack Smith levelled things up again with eight minutes to go.

There was more drama though as Coleraine were awarded a late penalty to win it, Neil McCafferty came off the bench but missed with what was his first touch. Kane though felt his side deservedly triumphed in the end.

“It was a deserved win after our performance on the night,” he said.

“At times we weren’t at our best but we created enough chances to win two games, but we just couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.

“It was a very tough game, and even though Crusaders made a few changes, it was still the league champions.

“Overall, we are just delighted to get into the hat for the next round.”