PREMIERSHIP: Oran Kearney proud of his Coleraine team

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney salutes the fans at the end of the match at Mourneview Park on Saturday.    Mandatory Credit�INPHO/PressEye.com/Jonathan Porter
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney salutes the fans at the end of the match at Mourneview Park on Saturday. Mandatory Credit�INPHO/PressEye.com/Jonathan Porter

Oran Kearney spoke of the pride he has in his Coleraine squad after they were pipped at the post for the Danske Bank Premiership title.

The Bannsiders could only manage a draw at Glenavon, while leaders Crusaders came from a goal behind to grab a win at Ballymena United.

It was an agonising end for Kearney’s men, who have been superb all season, losing only one game.

And the Bannsiders boss is proud of what his side have achieved so far.

“We are hugely proud and it has been a fantastic season,” said Kearney after the game.

“There have been so many plus points and performances, with the last six weeks all being cup finals.

“I think how the players have represented the club they can all be proud of what they’ve achieved and pushing so hard.

“I’m sure the lads will be disappointed as there has been a huge amount of emotion thrown into today’s match.

“We will let that clear over the weekend, we didn’t do a huge amount of talking after the game and we will meet up on Tuesday night and will look ahead then.

“We have to accept what has happened over the weekend to move on straight away.”

The Bannsiders were left wondering about ifs, buts and maybes at the final whistle, which was only natural as Kearney said.

“It is only natural to be disappointed,” he said.

“There’s a probably a few what ifs, particularly when both games are 0-0, Darren’s one which clips the bar, Tuffey’s save from Ian Parkhill, those are two moments that if we draw blood first, you’re not sure what impact it would have on the other game.

“When the crowd roar and you understand that Ballymena are ahead, it would have been nice if we could have capitalised on a couple of half sniffs and take the lead.

“There’s a huge amount of what ifs, but the most clear cut thing before a ball was kicked that if Crusaders won their game it was out of our hands.

“Crusaders have won their game so they are champions and I want to congratulate them on that.

“They brought the best out of us and we brought the best out of them. It’s a credit to both clubs about how they’ve gone about their business.

“The league table doesn’t lie and credit to Crusaders as when their chips were down, they have produced the goods to get them over the line.”

The Coleraine boss also praised the fans who came out in force at Mourneview.

“Our support today was terrific and has been all season long,” he said.

“The numbers have nearly doubled and the noise they had made, especially away from home, has been brilliant.

“It would have been nice in the first-half if a couple of those chances had of dropped in, but those are the fine margins.