IRISH LEAGUE: Coleraine and Glenavon play out thrilling draw

Eoin Bradley fires in an overhead kick against Glenavon at the Coleraine showgrounds. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press
Eoin Bradley fires in an overhead kick against Glenavon at the Coleraine showgrounds. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Coleraine 1 Glenavon 1

Coleraine and Glenavon shared the spoils in a thrilling 1-1 draw at The Showgrounds.

Both sides produced some great football in difficult conditions on the Ballycastle Road.

The visitors edged in front eight minutes into the second half as Andy Hall poked home from close range, but the lead lasted only seven minutes as Eoin Bradley curled in a delightful free kick to level things up.

In an end-to-end final quarter both Mark Sykes and manager Gary Hamilton were dismissed by referee Ian McNabb.

Oran Kearney's men almost made the perfect start as they carved open the Glenavon defence inside 35 seconds.

Jamie McGonigle's clever back heel sent Eoin Bradley race clear, but Johnny Tuffey was off his line quickly to block the shot.

A minute later a poor back header by Mark Sykes allowed McGonigle to nip in, but again Tuffey was out quickly to nick the ball off the striker and clear the danger.

A long ball by Stephen O'Donnell picked out Darren McCauley in the box on 19 minutes, he showed good skill, but Rhys Marshall stood up well to block his shot..

Chris Johns did well to push away a Sammy Clingan shot on 37 minutes after the visitors had been awarded a free kick for a foul on Cooper.

The Bannsiders were handed the opportunity to break the deadlock on 42 minutes after they were awarded a penalty.

McGonigle showed great strength to get in front of Marron in the box, before he had his heels clipped by the defender.

Glenavon remonstrated with referee Ian McNabb with Tuffey picking up a booking. But the keeper had the last laugh as he pushed away Ciaron Harkin's spot kick.

The Bannsiders were punished on 53 minutes as Hall slotted the ball home after Marshall had headed down Burns's corner.

But the lead lasted only seven minutes as Bradley curled home a sublime free kick to tie things up again.

Bradley almost grabbed a spectacular second four minutes later as he latched on to McGonigle's flick, but his overhead effort was straight at Tuffey.

And the keeper pulled off another excellent save to deny Bradley again a minute later, pushing his looping header over the bar.

Glenavon boss Hamilton lost his cool with the fourth official with 15 minutes to go and ended up being sent to the stands.

The visitors had their skipper Tuffey to thank again on 80 minutes as he somehow held on to Harkin's volley, before he was left helpless from McCauley's dipping shot, which clipped off the bar a minute later.

Chris Johns showed his ability in goal to deny Mitchell from point blank range with four minutes to go.

The Lurgan Blues were then reduced to ten men as Sykes saw red for a challenge on Bradley, but they held on for a point.