Relive the final day of the Danske Bank Premiership 2017/18 season by scrolling to the bottom and working your way up.
It’s been an exciting finish to a fantastic season. I don’t know about those involved in matches today but I’m exhausted after typing through it! Thanks for joining us today on our first live blog.
Linfield, Cliftonville, Ballymena and Glentoran will definitely have a European play off to concentrate on as the season concludes. Dungannon, Ards and Warrenpoint have consolidated their place in the Danske Bank Premiership. Carrick have a play off to save thier top flight status but sadly for Ballinamallard, after 6 seasons, they will return to the NIFL Championship.
Coleraine will now have to get their chin up and look to the Irish Cup Final. A result that could impact Glenavon as the Lurgan Blues sealed 3rd place – should Coleraine win the Irish Cup then Glenavon will have their automatic qualification for Europe confirmed.
What a fantastic season for Coleraine, regardless. One defeat all season but in the end Crusaders came strong and a final day comeback shows the resiliance that Stephen Baxter’s men have. That will go some way to putting the disappointment of last season behind them. The Gibson Cup is making its way to Ballymena Showgrounds for the title celebrations before it returns to Seaview!
Here is the final league table:
FULL TIME at Ards 3-4 Dungannon Swifts. The Swifts take 8th place.
FULL TIME at The Ballymena Showgrounds! Crusaders have won a third Premiership title in four years!
Carrick Rangers will face Newry City AFC in a promotion/relegation play off.
FULL TIME also at The Oval, Glentoran 1-3 Ballinamallard United, and Milltown, Warrenpoint Town 2-3 Carrick Rangers. Ballinamallard are relegated.
FULL TIME at Mourneview Park. Crusaders fans are celebrating already. Hard luck to Coleraine but they couldn’t do enough on the day to get over the line.
GOAL Ards 3-4 Dungannon Swifts, Terry Fitzpatrick(pen). What a match! And a fitting moment for Fitzpatrick to convert the late penalty to seal Dungannon’s win.
Into added time for Coleraine. They’re relying on a Crusaders collapse in the 4 minutes of added time in that match.
GOAL Ards 3-3 Dungannon Swifts, Rhyss Campbell. The match has turned again as Dungannon equalise.
GOAL Glentoran 1-3 Ballinamallard United, Calum Birney. Glentoran’s goal will almost certainly end the Mallards’ hopes of staying up.
GOAL Ballymena United 1-2 Crusaders, David Cushley. So often the man for a wonder strike, Cushley may well have just sealed the league title for the Crues with a fantastic finish.
GOAL Warrenpoint Town 2-3 Carrick Rangers, Danny Wallace. All of a sudden things are looking uncertain at the foot of the table again.
Brian Jensen makes a fantastic save to deny Braniff. Is that the key moment in these final minutes that ensures Crusaders take ownership of the Gibson Cup?
GOAL Glentoran 0-3 Ballinamallard United, Josh McIlwaine. The Mallards are against the strongest of tides in their battle against the drop but they’re making one hell of a go of it!
GOAL Linfield 1-2 Cliftonville, Jimmy Callacher. Linfield pull one back as they seek a 3rd place finish. Callacher heads in from a Kirk Millar corner.
GOAL Ballymena United 1-1 Crusaders, Philip Lowry. It’s not over yet! Lowry forces the ball over the line to equalise for Crusaders taking the North Belfast side back on top of the table!
GOAL Glentoran 0-2 Ballinamallard United, Sean Noble. Dear, dear, dear. What a sorry end to the season for the Glens, successive defeats to the then bottom placed team is very much looking likely. Mallards are still way behind on Goal Difference, surely it isn’t possible now…
Ballymena go close yet again, Leroy Millar this time. Crusaders are all out for this leaving themselves open at the back.
GOAL Ards 3-2 Dungannon Swifts, Jonny Frazer. It’s a game which has little bearing on the rest of the league but it’s one of the most exciting today! Henry Muldrew recently published a player watch on Frazer.
Suddenly the action at the bottom of the table seems to have gone cold. Conversely; it’s all go at the top. Glenavon are in control at Mourneview but Coleraine are hanging on. Crusaders are pushing forward in dire need of a goal with just under 25 minutes to go but remain one goal down to Ballymena.
The Live table:
GOAL Ballymena United 1-0 Crusaders, Cathair Friel. Just as I say that…WOW! Are the Sky Blues going to help deliver the Gibson Cup to their rivals Coleraine?
GOAL Ards 2-2 Dungannon Swifts, Adam Brown. The County Down side level things up. 11 goals in the league so far today but none in either of the title deciding games!
Jamie McGonigle comes on for Coleraine at Mourneview Park as the Bannsiders look to press forward for that crucial goal.
GOAL Ards 1-2 Dungannon Swifts, Jarlath O’Rourke. The Swifts have turned it around at Clandeboye and take the lead.
Glenavon go close early in the second half, Mark Sykes effort is saved by Chris Johns before Stephen O’Donnell keeps out Andy Mitchell’s follow up. A crucial moment in the Bannsiders’ chase for title glory.
And we are back underway again across the Danske Bank Premiership. What twists are ahead of us this afternoon?
Time for a break and to stick the kettle on to boil. The concluding 45 minutes of the 2017/18 Danske Bank Premiership awaits!
So as it stands.. Crusaders lead the way for the Gibson Cup. Ballinamallard United look to be heading down to the Championship and Glenavon would be sitting in hope of a Coleraine Irish Cup Final win to grant them automatic qualification for Europe as the 3rd placed team.
Here are the top and bottom halves of the table as they stand…
Half-Time across the Danske Bank Premiership:
Ballymena United 0-0 Crusaders
Glenavon 0-0 Coleraine
Linfield 0-2 Cliftonville
Ards 1-1 Dungannon Swifts
Glentoran 0-1 Ballinamallard United
Warrenpoint Town 1-3 Carrick Rangers
GOAL Ards 1-1 Dungannon Swifts, Mark Patton. Patton equalises for the Swifts at Clandeboye Park with a superb individual goal in the battle for 7th place.
There’s still no change at the top. Glenavon v Coleraine and Ballymena United v Crusaders are both still goalless as we enter the last few minutes of the first half.
Across the water: Northern Ireland international Rory McArdle has a goal for Scunthorpe against MK Dons in League 1.
GOAL Warrenpoint Town 1-3 Carrick Rangers, Alan O’Sullivan. Point doing their best to keep the excitement in the bottom half of the league as they pull one back against Carrick.
GOAL Warrenpoint Town 0-3 Carrick Rangers, Michael Smith. Rangers making it count when it matters, Ballinamallard have a lot of work to do if they want to avoid the automatic drop!
And here’s the bottom half on current standings:
Here’s how the top half of the table looks as it stands:
Goal line clearance at Ballymena! Jim Ervin to the rescue to deny Gavin Whyte an opener.
GOAL Linfield 0-2 Cliftonville, Daniel Reynolds. Cliftonville have doubled their lead through Reynolds. A fantastic statement of intent from the Reds ahead of their Irish Cup Final next week.
GOAL Linfield 0-1 Cliftonville, Jude Winchester. Cliftonville set about making their man advantage work in their favour. Jude Winchester curls one into the net from 25 yards. Advantage to Glenavon for 3rd place, then…
We’re just reaching the 20 minute mark in today’s games and the story is as it was in the top half of the table, Crusaders and Coleraine still goalless in their games with the Crues holding the significant goal difference advantage. At the bottom, both Mallards and Carrick are making their chances count but Carrick have the advantage of an extra goal on the day and 6 overall in the goal difference competition.
GOAL Warrenpoint Town 0-2 Carrick Rangers, Darren Henderson. Carrick don’t miss a trick as they extend their lead, and goal difference advantage, at Point.
GOAL Glentoran 0-1 Ballinamallard United, Sean Noble. It’s all happening now as Ballinamallard take the lead at The Oval bringing them back to level points with Carrick Rangers.
RED CARD Linfield (Robert Garrett) The midfielder is shown a straight red for a lunge on Cliftonville’s Winchester. The score is still 0-0.
Today is reminiscent of one of the most exciting finishes to an Irish League season – 1993/94:
GOAL Warrenpoint Town 0-1 Carrick Rangers, Eamon McAllister. Carrick strike first in their battle against relegation. as it stands they now have a 2 point advantage over Ballinamallard.
Confirmation that James Nesbitt’s plane arrived in time for him to make it to Mourneview Park – phew! What a relief…
BBC have their open mic commentary format today again, that could quite quickly descend inito bedlam later today!
GOAL Ards 1-0 Dungannon Swifts, Michael McLellan. We’re underway in all matches and with less than a minute gone we have our first goal!
A reminder of today’s fixtures:
Ballymena United v Crusaders, Glenavon v Coleraine, Linfield v Cliftonville, Ards v Dungannon Swifts, Glentoran v Ballinamallard United, Warrenpoint Town v Carrick Rangers
Earlier today we published our preview of the final day of the Danske Bank Premiership. With lots still to play for, we’re pleased to be here to take you through the day live as it happens with the title and relegation still to be decided! As explained above, make sure you refresh the page for the latest updates.