Football/Soccer

Coleraine are ticking along nicely according to Stephen Lowry

A Ruaidhrí Donnelly screamer gave Cliftonville victory over Glenavon at Mourneview Park on Saturday afternoon Picture by Arthur Allison/Pacemaker
Padraig O Meiscill

Danske Bank Premiership: Dungannon Swifts 0 Coleraine 2

STEPHEN Lowry knows a thing or two about winning titles thanks to his spell at Linfield, so his words of calm will have been welcomed by Coleraine boss Oran Kearny following Saturday's win in Dungannon.

Lowry hit the net twice for the Bannsiders against the Swifts to help them maintain their position at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership table.

“Saturday's definitely don't get much better than that,” said Lowry of the win and his brace.

“Maybe it was the rest midweek that did me the world of good, but it's always nice to score two goals. It's a tough place to come. These games are never straightforward and Dungannon would probably have taken a draw today.

“I think Dungannon played quite well in the first-half. They're getting a lot of bad results recently and it wasn't easy coming here today. We're delighted with the three points and we'll move on to next week.

“We're ticking along nicely but as Oran [Kearney] says there's only 14 games played now. There's a long way to go and, being there before, it's important we're there in January time. That's really the main thing. It's about being in the pack now. If we stay of free of injuries, we'll not be far away, but we're not getting carried away by any means.”

Lowry added: “We had a few more chances, but we scored our goals at good times – we scored one in the first-half and one in the second-half – and we're keeping it really tight at the back. The back four is very settled now.”

Saturday's game was played in atrocious conditions at Stangmore Park, with footballing quality at a premium, and Lowry was happy to admit his goals could charitably be described as scrappy.

“I think it [the ball] was a wee bit behind me to be honest, it was more hit and hope rather than anything,” he said of his first-half opener.

“I think I just wrong footed the 'keeper and he was caught behind the defender but, listen, it's one of them ones that, if you don't shoot you don't score, so I'm delighted with it.

“The second just sat up nicely for me. I think I was meant to be on the edge of the box but there was a few guys sitting, so I just made my mind up to go in and thankfully it landed for me.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Cliftonville stayed within a point of the league leaders with a 2-1 victory on the road at Glenavon. Joe Gormley opened the scoring with his 17th goal of the season. Andy Hall levelled before half-time, but Ruaidhrí Donnelly grabbed the winner on the hour mark with a wonderful effort from just inside the area.

Crusaders lost further ground at the top due to a 1-1 home draw with Institute, while Linfield kept the pressure on with a 2-0 win against Carrick Rangers at Windsor Park.

Larne put three past Ballymena United at the Showgrounds, while basement club Warrenpoint were hammered 4-0 at home by Glentoran.

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