Causeway Chronicle

Derby day opener brings back memories

By Michael Anderson 

Remember this scene at the Showgrounds?

It was Coleraine’s opening league game of the season.

The date..October 16 2020 and no away fans were present as football began to get back to a semblance of normality after Covid.

Ballymena United were the opponents that night and the Sky Blues triumphed 1-0, with a goal from Kofi Balmer.

The official attendance that night was given as 450.

Coleraine and their fierce rivals will again meet in the league opener at Ballycastle Road on August 5.

Despite that defeat, the Bannsiders have  held the upper hand on opening day clashes with their neighbours.

All the previous Day One encounters came in the old Ulster Cup.

Coleraine won four of those five meetings.

One thing is for certain…come August 5 and there will definitely be a much bigger crowd packed into the Showgrounds to watch this latest instalment.

And hopefully a better outcome for the Bannsiders!

* Thanks to Hunter McClelland for his help.

Coleraine fan Stephen Dixon was in the ‘away’ end when Coleraine and Ballymena had their only previous opening day league meeting. Away fans were still banned from attending games in 2020, with home numbers restricted.

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson