NI League Cup semi-finals: Bannsiders beat Blues as Crues overcome Institute

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Coleraine defeat holders Linfield to make decider

Coleraine eased to a 3-0 win over holders Linfield to book a place in the League Cup decider against a Crusaders side which beat Institute 2-0.

Aaron Canning, Ben Doherty and Aaron Jarvis were on target in a superb second-half display from the Bannsiders in the Windsor Park semi-final.

Crusaders recovered from a slow start to clinch a dominant win over 10-man Institute at Seaview.

David Cushley and Jordan Forsyth netted while Joe McCready was dismissed.

Institute passed the ball well early on with Colm McLaughlin heading a chance over but the Crues soon took control and Stute had impressive keeper Paul Wells to thank as he denied Ross Clarke, Forsythe and Jamie McGonigle.

Colin Coates thought he put Crusaders into the lead with a 35th-minute header which the home players felt had rolled over the line after striking the inside of a post.

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Crues see off 10-man Institute in Seaview semi-final

But the first goal came two minutes later as the excellent Clarke delivered a perfectly-weighted pass to Cushley, who calmly curled in the finish.

Wells denied Heatley either side of half-time with two more superb stops before Forsythe struck Crusaders' second goal on 52 minutes after taking an attempted defensive header out from Evan Tweed on his chest before superbly volleying past Wells.

Institute were reduced to 10 men nine minutes later when McCready stamped on a prostrate Coates in ridiculous fashion after the Crues skipper ended up on the turf following an aerial duel with the forward.

A largely lacklustre first at Windsor Park ended scoreless with few openings in a tight 45 minutes.

Holders and Premiership champions Linfield lost 3-0- at home to Coleraine
Holders and Premiership champions Linfield lost 3-0- at home to Coleraine

The best opening fell to Blues striker Shayne Lavery after he pounced on a poor pass from Lyndon Kane but he saw his attempted lob saved by Chris Johns.

The game came to life after the interval with Doherty screwing wide from Eoin Bradley's cut-back before Jarvis headed straight at Rohan Ferguson.

Johns tipped over a crisp Joel Cooper strike before the visitors broke the deadlock on 61 minutes.

Ferguson failed to clear with a punch from a free-kick and defender Canning was perfectly placed to nod home from close range.

Two goals in three minutes confirmed Coleraine's place in the 15 February final, starting with Doherty seeing his 20-yard shot deflect off Linfield defender Josh Robinson and loop over Ferguson into the net.

Jarvis sealed the victory - Coleraine's third against the Blues this season - nine minutes from time with an unmarked header from Doherty's corner.

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