Causeway Chronicle

Reds ‘Hale’ hat trick hero Ronan 

Coleraine. 0 Cliftonville 3

After extra time

Cliftonville delivered a crushing knockout blow as Coleraine crashed out of the Irish Cup tonight.

A hat trick from Ronan Hale in extra time decided a contest which saw both teams reduced to ten men.

New signings Rory Brown and Jack Scott – Jamie McGonigle missed out as his international clearance didn’t come through in time – couldn’t stop their side falling at the first hurdle.

All attention will now turn to bringing in further signings and trying to secure a top six finish in the league.

It was a disappointing night for local lad Lyndon Kane who was sent off on his 300th appearance for the club.

The visitors – disrupted by a team selection mix up and withdrawal of Chris Gallagher prior to kick off – had the first clear sight of goal after a busy opening by both teams – Sean Stewart turning Ben Wilson’s fifth minute cross wide when he could and should have scored.

Debutant Brown, back at Ballycastle Road for his second spell, palmed away a Shea Kearney 21st minute drive after a poor clearance.

It was Coleraine’s other new starter, Scott, who had an opportunity just before the half hour.

Stuart Addis lost possession, Jamie Glackin released Lee Lynch whose cross found Scott but he delayed and the chance was gone.

Brown was called into action again ten minutes before the break to gather a Rory Hale effort.

Jamie Glackin was then inches away from connecting with a teasing Lee Lynch cross.

It was more of the same in the second period.

Cliftonville saw plenty of the ball, Coleraine defended well in numbers and both goalkeepers were relatively untroubled.

Coleraine’s hopes of progressing were boosted ten minutes from time when substitute Sam Ashford was somewhat harshly shown a red card for a challenge on Dean Jarvis.

But the numbers were evened up in the final minute when Kane was shown a red card for a second bookable offence – another controversial dismissal.

And so to extra time where Brown produced a fine stop to keep out Rory Hale’s well struck 93rd minute shot.

But then up stepped Ronan Hale with his sensational hat trick.

He got the ball rolling with a super strike  after 103 minutes!

It was a goal worthy of winning any match he smashed home his sixth goal in six games from outside the box.

Hale made certain with five minutes remaining as he took advantage of a slip by Darren Coke to cooly finish.

And he still had time to complete his treble sixty seconds later as he ran through unchallenged to slot home.

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson