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06th May 2018

Eoin Bradley ignores manager’s instruction before scoring superb solo goal

Jack O'Toole

When it’s the 94th minute of a cup final and you’re leading 2-1, it’s a pretty standard instruction to take the ball to the opposition’s corner flag and try and kill the game off.

Second-half goals from Darren McCauley and Aaron Burns gave Coleraine a 2-1 lead in their Irish Cup final tie with Cliftonville FC on Saturday before forward Eoin Bradley killed off the game with a superb solo goal.

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney told Bradley to take the ball to the corner after he picked up possession on the halfway line and instead of following instruction, he ran off down the sideline, outran the defence before cutting across the box and dinking a delightful chip over the top of Cliftonville goalkeeper Brian Neeson and into the back of the net.

“Oran told me to go to the corner but I was having none of that there,” Bradley told the BBC.

“It was a long time since I’ve scored here so I wanted to finish it off. I cut across the man and saw Brian [Neeson] come out so I said to myself ‘I’ll dink it into the net’ and it was game over.”

Kearney said time stood still during Bradley’s goal as Coleraine won their first major trophy since they defeated Glentoran 1-0 in the 2003 Irish Cup final.

“It was just pure relief,” Kearney told Belfast Live. “When Skinner’s (Bradley) goal went in, it felt like closure. I just lost myself and I apologised to the referee afterwards because it’s not ideal.

“It was just one of those moments where time stands still, all noise disappears and you lose five or six seconds. I found myself on the pitch and suddenly thought ‘what am I doing here?’

“We’ll breathe out now and enjoy the next few days. I’ll try my hardest to make sure these players soak it all in.”

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