Irish Premiership: Opening day wins for Coleraine and Linfield

Stephen Lowry of Coleraine
Stephen Lowry made a successful return to Coleraine after four seasons at Linfield

Last season's runners-up Coleraine showed they plan to be challengers again by beating Warrenpoint Town 3-0 on the Irish Premiership's opening day.

Ian Parkhill, Stephen Lowry and Eoin Bradley netted for the Bannsiders who lost just one match during last season but ended two points behind Crusaders.

Linfield made a winning start away to Glenavon with new boy Daniel Kearns scoring the only goal at Mourneview.

Elsewhere, there were victories for Cliftonville, Ballymena and Institute.

Champions Crusaders kick-off their title defence at home to Ards on Monday night.

Daniel Kearns scores for Linfield
Daniel Kearns scored the winning goal on his Linfield debut

Despite being without a string of key players Coleraine, who made up for missing out on the league title by lifting the Irish Cup last May, had little trouble seeing off Warrenpoint Town at the Showgrounds.

Ian Parkhill drilled in a well-struck 38th-minute opener and Lowry, back with the Bannsiders after a spell with Linfield, nipped in to make it 2-0 before the interval.

Striker Bradley pounced on a mistake by Town keeper Jonny Parr to make it 2-0 in the first minute of the second half.

Linfield, title winners on 2017 but fourth in last season's table, took all three points from their trip to Lurgan.

Glenavon striker Andy Mitchell missed an early penalty and Kearns forced in the winner from just a few yards out in the 29th minute.

Former Northern Ireland keeper Roy Carroll made a fine late save to deny Glenavon a draw.

Jay Donnelly's stoppage-time goal gave Cliftonville victory at the Oval
Jay Donnelly's stoppage-time goal gave Cliftonville victory at the Oval

Michael McCrudden's well-taken 19th-minute goal gave Institute a 1-0 win over the other newly-promoted side Newry City at the Brandywell.

Institute are playing their home matches at Derry City's ground because their own pitch at Drumahoe was destroyed by flooding.

Cliftonville came from behind to secure a 2-1 win away to Glentoran who had taken a 34th-minute lead through John McGuigan's shot which went in off the far post.

Joe Gormley shot in the equaliser and Jay Donnelly snatched the Reds' win in stoppage-time.

William Faulkner's opener and a Tony Kane penalty gave Ballymena United a 2-0 win away to Dungannon Swifts who later had defender Chris Hegarty sent-off when a rash challenge brought him a second yellow card.

Danske Bank Premiership
Coleraine3-0Warrenpoint Town
Dungannon Swifts0-2Ballymena Utd
Institute1-0Newry City
BetMcLean League Cup first round
Lurgan Celtic4-0Armagh City
PSNI1-0Banbridge Town
Queen's University3-4Lisburn Distillery

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