Stephen Baxter's Crusaders defend their title in opening match against Portadown

Stephen Baxter’s Crusaders defend their title in opening match against Portadown

CRUSADERS launch the defence of its Irish Premier League title today with a home match against Portadown.

It will be a tough encounter at Seaview with Ronnie McFall’s men looking to get off to a good start to their 2015/16 season.

The Ports are still sore at losing the Marie Curie Irish Cup Final 1-0 to Glentoran.

The club felt Michael Gault was pulled down by William Garrett when he was straight through on goal.

No penalty was awarded and bizarrely Garrett wasn’t even sent off, to the fury of manager Ronnie McFall and his players.

Less than a mile away in North Belfast, Cliftonville travel to Mourneview Park in Lurgan to play Glenavon (Live on Radio Ulster

The Reds have just signed defender Fra Brennan from Dungannon Swifts.

It will be interesting to see how Solitude club can cope this season without the goal machine Joe Gormley who left for Peterborough Utd.


Premiership new boys Carrick Rangers start their campaign against the Swifts at Stangmore Park.

Gary Haveron has been confirmed as manager of Carrick, who have added top-flight experience to their Championship winning squad.

Joe McNeill, Mark Surgenor, Mark Miskimmin, Gary Browne, Chris Keenan and Barry Johnston have come in as Rangers aim for a long-term stay in the Premiership.


Linfield are chasing a first league title since 2012 and Warren Feeney’s side welcome Ballymena United to Windsor Park.

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney has assembled a squad of locally based players with the Bannsiders taking on Irish Cup winners Glentoran at the Showgrounds.

Warrenpoint Town and Ballinamallard United were involved in a basement battle last season and they resume hostilities at Milltown.


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