As we near the end of August, Irish League fans can reflect on a frantic opening month of the season. Crusaders and Dungannon look particularly impressive while Larne are snapping at the heals of the front two after a 2-2 draw at Seaview last week. Read on for our predictions for Matchday Five of the Irish League.
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Carrick Ranger’s industrious start may hit another road block in this weekend’s opening fixture. After a dismal conclusion to their game last week, Ballymena will be eager to get back in the win column and secure a victory at Taylor’s Avenue. Spirited defeats against Larne and Cliftonville showed enough of Carrick to make clear this game may not be wholly comfortable for the Braidmen. Expect Jeffrey’s men to have enough to get the win here however.
Prediction: Carrick Rangers 1 – 2 Ballymena United
Perhaps the tie of the round here. Gary Hamilton’s men enter the game in the bottom half of the table, while an inconsistent Coleraine have secured a win and three draws in their opening fixtures. The Braidmen will take great confidence from their single victory however, a 4-2 win at Windsor Park is not to be sniffed at. Coleraine contest the game without suspended striker Eoin Bradley and the loss of his presence may be a significant factor in the outcome. Expect another high-scoring draw for Kearney’s men once again.
Prediction: Glenavon 2 – 2 Coleraine
Not many would have expected this to be a top two clash. After an impressive start to the campaign, last week’s fixture with Larne proved rather underwhelming result for the Seaview faithful. Dungannon meanwhile have seemingly rectified the defensive frailties of last season on their way to three wins from their opening four games. The experienced Crusaders front-line should have too much firepower for the young Dungannon defense however. Expect a comfortable result here for the Crues.
Prediction: Crusaders 2 – 0 Dungannon Swifts
It’s been a season of pain thus far for Warrenpoint. Still yet to score a goal in the league this season many are predicting the drop for the club. The travelling Cliftonville will be looking to pile on the misery. Gormley and co. look set to deliver the goods for The Reds.
Prediction: Warrenpoint Town 0 – 4 Cliftonville
After a dramatic brace from Robbie McDaid secured victory away at Ballymena last week, Glentoran will be eager to make it two in a row here. Institute’s impressive draw away to Coleraine will give them hope but expect Glentoran’s attacking prowess to be the difference here.
Prediction: Glentoran 2 – 0 Institute