Nail-biting end to season for Coleraine FC fans

Hunter McClelland, Coleraine FC fan, and actor James Nesbitt (also a fan of the club) pictured at the Coleraine Showgrounds, during the 2017/18
Hunter McClelland, Coleraine FC fan, and actor James Nesbitt (also a fan of the club) pictured at the Coleraine Showgrounds, during the 2017/18

Coleraine FC fans are set for a dramatic final day to the season tomorrow as they battle to lift the league title for the first time in over four decades.

The Bannsiders are currently tied on 88 points with Crusaders, with the north Belfast club in pole position due to its superior goal difference.

Crusaders fan James Branagh pictured with the Co Antrim Shield, which the club won earlier this season

Crusaders fan James Branagh pictured with the Co Antrim Shield, which the club won earlier this season

And after a season in which they have lost just one league game, the in-form Coleraine side is within a whisker of clinching the title.

The last time Coleraine fans saw their beloved club lift the league title was way back in 1974.

By contrast, Crusaders topped the league in both the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons.

Tomorrow, some 1,500 Coleraine fans wil travel to watch their team play away against Glenavon knowing their team needs at least a point to be in with a chance of replicating that success.

However, a win for Crues against Ballymena tomorrow would almost certainly see them crowned champions.

Lifelong Coleraine FC fan 69-year-old Hunter McClelland said there is a major buzz around the town, and a real sense of optimism.

The town is currently bedecked in flags bearing the club’s blue and white colours ahead of next weekend’s Irish Cup final clash with Ballymena.

Former maths teacher Hunter said: “As far as I am concerned this has been our best season in living memory, but we still havent won anything yet. It would be a tragedy if we don’t pick something up.

“Even if we finish level on points but don’t win the league, it would be an unbelievable achievement.”

It is understood actor and Coleraine native James Nesbitt will also be present to cheer on his beloved club tomorrow.

Meanwhile, avid Crusaders supporter James Branagh has spoken of his excitement ahead of tomorrow’s clash at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

The Carnmoney man was just 10-years-old when he watched the Crues win the league in 1995, and is hoping to relive those fond memories.

The 33-year-old bank manager said: “I hope the team can go out and put themselves into the history books. Coleraine have pushed us all season, I totally expect them to get a win against Glenavon.

“Whoever wins will deserve it. It is sad that only one team can win it but that is football and that’s the excitement of it.”