Crunch time for Ports

Portadown’s season effectively centres on 90-plus minutes of football this weekend with the first of two games against relegation rivals Carrick Rangers inside three fixtures.

Brian Neeson has had an impressive season in the Carrick goal. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye

IRISH LEAGUE: Callaghan hails “fantastic” Neeson

Carrick Rangers fans have long been claiming they have the best goalkeeper in the league.

The post split fixtures for the Danske Bank Premiership have been announced.

IRISH LEAGUE: NIFL confirm post-split Premiership fixtures

The Northern Ireland Football League Premiership Management Committee has confirmed the post-split fixtures for the Danske Bank Premiership.

Clifford Adams will take charge of Ballyclare Comrades.

IRISH LEAGUE: Ballyclare hoping new boss brings ‘Midas touch’

Ballyclare Comrades are bringing in an entirely new management team following the resignation of Stephen Hughes - but there is no dissention at Dixon Park.

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Quiz: can you identify these European football clubs by their nicknames?

Nicknames are either funny, confusing or sometimes downright nonsensical. Football clubs are no different.

Coleraine's Eoin Bradley celebrates after he scored the opener in his side's win over Coleraine

IN PICTURES: 10 of the best photos from Irish League matches at the weekend

It was another action packed weekend in the Irish League with wins for Ards, leaders Crusaders, Coleraine, Glenavon and Ballymena.
Crusaders Billy Joe Burns scores during the game at Seaview in Belfast.
 PHOTO Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

IRISH LEAGUE: It’s not over yet says Baxter after Crusaders see off Carrick

Crusaders opened up a 10 point gap on title rivals Linfield, who play Cliftonville tonight, with this emphatic 3-0 victory over Carrick Rangers.

Philip Lowry celebrates his goal for Crusaders against Carrick Rangers. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

IRISH LEAGUE: Crusaders take another step towards title with victory over Carrick

Crusaders inexorable march to a third consecutive Danske Bank Premiership title continues following a comfortable 3-0 win over struggling Carrick Rangers.

Stephen Baxter

IRISH LEAGUE: Crusaders must think like Rory to see off Carrick

If Crusaders are going to become masters of the Danske Bank Premiership again this season, they’re going to have to channel their inner Rory McIlroy.

BT Sport have bought the rights to show live Champions League games.

No more Champions League on terrestrial TV following £1.2bn BT deal

The Champions League is set to vanish from terrestrial TV following BT Sport’s £1.2bn deal for the rights to show Europe’s top football competition.

David Jeffrey

IRISH CUP: David Jeffrey and Oran Kearney ready for ‘massive’ Cup encounter

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey and Coleraine boss Oran Kearney are both licking their lips in anticipation of Saturday’s Irish Cup quarter-final showdown at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

Aaron Callaghan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

IRISH LEAGUE: Carrick boss walks the walk so players can talk the talk

Carrick Rangers boss Aaron Callaghan offered his players a show of faith in the final moments before last weekend’s kick-off against Glenavon - by walking out.

Larne's outgoing manager Davd McAlinden. 
Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

IRISH LEAGUE: McAlinden unsure of managerial life after Larne

Larne manager David McAlinden has admitted he doesn’t know if he will return to management.

Kyle McVey closes down Guy Bates.

IRISH LEAGUE: Goalkeepers grab the spotlight as Carrick Rangers and Glenavon finish level

It was honours even on an afternoon in which the two goalkeepers grabbed the plaudits between Carrick Rangers and Glenavon.

Kyle McVey closes down Guy Bates.

IRISH LEAGUE: Stalemate between Carrick and Glenavon

Carrick Rangers 0 Glenavon 0

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

IRISH LEAGUE: Glenavon boss Hamilton hoping for progress on all fronts at expense of Carrick Rangers

Manager Gary Hamilton is planning Glenavon’s final push on all fronts in pursuit of a top-six league finish and a return to the Irish Cup showpiece stage.

Carrick Rangers manager Aaron Callaghan during the League Cup final defeat by Ballymena United at Seaview. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

LEAGUE CUP: Callaghan unable to add to his Seaview scrapbook with Carrick

Aaron Callaghan’s time as a player at Seaview in the 1990s featured a string of silverware with Crusaders but Saturday failed to provide another day to remember within the Belfast venue.

Carrick Rangers captain Mark Surgenor (right) and former Ballymena United team-mate Allan Jenkins battle for the ball on Saturday in the League Cup final. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

LEAGUE CUP: Call to arms from Carrick captain Surgenor

For the second time in three seasons the final whistle of a League Cup final was followed for Mark Surgenor only by regrets and a runners-up medal.

United's Allan Jenkins scores the opener

PICTURE SPECIAL: Ballymena United celebrate as they lift the League Cup at Seaview

Ballymena United got their hands on the League Cup after beating Carrick Rangers 2-0 at Seaview on Saturday.
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Ballymena's Allan Jenkins pictured after scoring his teams first goal

LEAGUE CUP FINAL: Ballymena United break Carrick Rangers hearts with landmark trophy thanks to Jenkins and McCloskey

Goals by Allan Jenkins and Conor McCloskey in the closing moments of each half handed Ballymena United a first League Cup victory in club history to break Carrick Rangers hopes and hearts with a 2-0 success.

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