Season set for grand finale as Belfast rivals battle it out for Europa League windfall

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After Windsor win, the Glens are aiming for another shock victory at Solitude. Image: NIFL

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Cliftonville say extra security measures will be in place for today's Europa League play-off final against Glentoran at Solitude.

The Glens have sold the full allocation of tickets for their stand and away supporters will not be admitted to other parts of the stadium. 

Ronnie McFall's men stunned derby rivals Linfield in their play-off semi-final, beating the Blues 4-3 at Windsor Park on Wednesday after being 2-0 down.

The caretaker manager says they'll need more of the same this afternoon...

Cliftonville lost the Irish Cup final to Coleraine a week ago, but bounced back with a 4-0 play-off victory over Ballymena.

Reds boss Barry Gray is praising his players for their response to last Saturday's setback....

Today's winners are guaranteed a £200,000 payment from UEFA for reaching the Europa League first qualifying round.

Kick-off time is 3pm but fans are being advised to arrive early because of the security.

Meanwhile, NIFL has issued a statement about rising attendances. Here it is in full:-

The NI Football League celebrated yet another boost in attendances, as during the past season the one millionth supporter made their way through the turnstiles.

Since the formation of the NI Football League in 2013, collective attendances totalling 1,122,546 have been recorded in the five seasons to date, marking a staggering 21% increase on the same five-year period that preceded the formation of the new league.

Despite the infancy of the NI Football League, total attendances marked fifth consecutive annual increase, with an additional 5,000 supporters attending Danske Bank Premiership games – a 2% rise on the previous 2016/2017 campaign.

Managing Director Andrew Johnston said, “We are obviously delighted that local football continues to grow each year – so it’s amazing that we have had one million fans experience our league in such a short period of time!”

“There has been collective effort from ourselves, clubs, partners and the local media to promote the NI Football League and supporters who have joined us in huge numbers and have been rewarded with arguably the most exciting Danske Bank Premiership season in decades”.

Last month, Crusaders clinched the prestigious Gibson Cup trophy on the final day of a pulsating Premiership title race, to narrowly overcome challengers Coleraine.

The NI Football League would like to pay tribute to all the Premiership clubs for their continued efforts in increasing attendances at games and most importantly thank all of the fans for their loyal support of the local game this season.






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