Crusaders players celebrate at the final whistle (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)
Saturday, 18 April 2015
Crusaders have officially been crowned Danske Bank Premiership champions following this two-goal defeat of Glentoran at Seaview.
Despite effectively clinching the title last weekend due to their vastly superior goal difference, Stephen Baxter's needed to go through the formalities this afternoon to be mathematically out of reach.
David Scullion might have fired the Glens in front as early as the second minute but he just couldn't squeeze the ball over the line from a Curtis Allen cross.
But, three minutes later at the other end, Declan Caddell fired Crusaders in front when he nipped in to dispossess Johnny Addis to knock the ball past Elliott Morris.
William Garrett then almost levelled for the visitors on 12 minutes with a curling free-kick just wide of the target.
Colin Coates almost made it 2-0 on 24 minutes with a header from a corner which Stephen McAlorum cleared off the line while, moments later, Diarmuid O'Carroll tested Morris as the Crues looked to extend their lead.
Marcus Kane came within a whisker of levelling for Glentoran five minutes after the break after striking the base of the post from 25 yards.
O'Carroll then squandered a 70th minute opportunity to secure the points for Crusaders when he fired over from the spot following a foul on Jordan Owens.
Jordan Stewart almost grabbed a share of the spoils for Glentoran in stoppage time only to be denied by an acrobatic stop from Sean O'Neill.
However, the Crues put the seal on their title celebrations with a 93rd minute second after Paul Heatley was played through to get in behind the defence to slot home.
Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Coates, Robinson, Caddell, Clarke, Whyte, Heatley, O'Carroll, Owens, McClean subs Hanley (not used), Leeman (not used), Magowan (replaced Clarke 53), O'Hanlon (not used), O'Flynn (not used)
Glentoran: Morris, Garrett, Kane, McCaffrey, Birney, Scullion, Allen, McAlorum, Addis, Nelson, McCullough subs Stewart (replaced Scullion 59), Henderson (replaced Garrett 46), Gordon (replaced Nelson 74), McKee (not used), Hogg (not used)
Referee: Keith Kennedy
|Billy Joe Burns|
|Paul Heatley||90 +3|