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Long raine ended

Coleraine 3-1 Cliftonville

Cliftonville suffered their first opening day reverse since 1998 as Coleraine inflicted defeated at The Showgrounds this afternoon.

Trailing 2-0 at the break courtesy of Evan McLaughlin taking full advantage of defensive hesitancy, the Reds offered some hope of a comeback when Ryan Curran planted a header into the bottom corner on 57 minutes.

Though the visitors rallied in search of an equaliser – and Ronan Hale rattled the woodwork from distance – Coleraine weathered the storm before adding a third through Jamie Glackin with virtually the last kick of the game.

The deadlock was broken just after the half-hour mark when McLaughlin bundled the ball home from close range after Josh Carson’s cross from the left had snaked through to the back post and the same player struck again seven minutes later when he made the most of indecisive Cliftonville passing and raced through to slot past Fynn Talley.

The Reds pulled a goal back just before the hour courtesy of Curran’s header from a Levi Ives cross and Hale came close to making it 2-2 with a fierce blast that came back off the woodwork.

At the other end, Dean Jarvis and Matthew Shevlin struck the frame of the goal before the Bannsiders wrapped things up when Glackin’s long-range effort got the better of Talley.

Cliftonville: Talley, Ives, Addis (Moore, 87 mins), Gallagher (Rory Hale, 55 mins), R Curran, McDonagh (Mallon, 66 mins), Lowe (C Curran, 55 ins), Gormley, Casey (Doherty, 46 mins), Turner, Ronan Hale. Unused subs: Gartside, Coates.