Bannsiders hit for five

Coleraine were hit with a Cliftonville whirlwind at a cold and blustery Solitude last night going down 5-0 to the league leaders.

The Reds caused a mini-storm to surge 12 points clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Three first half goals laid the foundations for victory, with Aaron Canning’s own goal in the eighth minute being followed by further strikes from Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley.

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Stephen Garrett and Eamonn Seydak wrapped up the points with two more late goals in the second half.

The triumph sees Tommy Breslin’s men stretch their lead to double figures at the summit after Crusaders’ game with Lisburn Distillery victim to the weather.

Cliftonville now have 10 games standing between themselves and a first Premiership title in 15 years - it is hard to see who can stop them lifting the Gibson Cup.

The Reds forged in front as early as the eighth minute with a touch of good fortune from visiting defender Canning.

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Ryan Catney was the instigator, surging down the right before delivering a vicious low cross that Canning could only divert into the bottom corner of his own net.

It was cruel luck on the visitors who had made a bright start to the game forcing home keeper Conor Devlin into two good saves early on, notably in the second minute with Ruairi Harkin’s dipping free-kick forcing a great save from Devlin.

On 17 minutes it was 2-0 with talisman Boyce bagging his 26th goal of the season.

Garrett delivered the cross from the left that was flicked on by Catney, and Boyce was afforded too much space and time to drill home from close range. Gormley added a third five minutes before the break with a low shot from the right side of the box that nestled in the bottom corner.

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A disjointed second half then unfolded as the difficult conditions thwarted any fluid football.

Coleraine were appealing for a penalty when Curtis Allen tumbled inside the box in the 77th minute, but referee Raymond Hetherington was not convinced.

Substitute Shane Jennings then forced a simple save from Devlin with an effort from 25 yards.

Reds skipper George McMullan then almost caught Coleraine keeper Doherty off guard with a defensive clearance that held in the wind, but the ball bounced just over the crossbar.

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It was 4-0 in the 83rd minute with Garrett using his pace and endeavour to create the space before guiding his shot past Doherty.

The scoring wasn’t finished there, with full-back Seydak adding a fifth when he swept home a superb left-foot shot three minutes from time.

Garrett almost found a sixth goal in injury time, but his first time effort from eight yards cannoned off the post.

But on the grand scheme of things, it mattered little.

CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, McGovern, Johnston (Knowles 84), McMullan (Cosgrove 82), Garrett, O’Carroll, Seydak, Catney, Gormley (Donnelly 73), McVeigh, Boyce.

Subs not used: Caldwell, Templeton.

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COLERAINE: Doherty, Beverland, Hegarty, McVey (Ogilby 49), Scullion, Allen, Harkin, McIlmoyle, Canning, Boyce (Jennings 55), Tomelty (Owens 64).

Subs not used: Watt, McMullan.

Referee: Raymond Hetherington