Europa League action: First leg misery for local clubs

Both Ballymena United and Coleraine suffered first leg defeats in their Europa League first qualifying round ties in Norway on Thursday night.

David Jeffrey's side lost 3-0 to Odd leaving the Sky Blues with a mountain to climb in the second leg at Seaview next Thursday.

The home side struck the first goal after just 34 seconds to deflate the visitors, but United matched their opponents for the remainder of the half and almost pegged a goal back with efforts from Cathair Friel and Johnny McMurray.

Odd added a second just after the restart and although Ballymena fought hard a third and crucial third goal arrived in added time to put the Norwegian side in command of the tie.

Coleraine were also in Norway, but ended up crashing to a 7-0 defeat at the hands of FC Haugesund.

Any hopes of keeping the tie alive all but ended in the first half as Haugesund built up a 3-0 lead.

It did not get any easier for Oran Kearney's side in the second half as the goals continued to flow leaving their first venture in Europe in 13 years ending in a 7-0 defeat.

There was a heavy first leg defeat too for Derry City in Denmark as they went down 6-1 to FC Midtjylland.

The only bright note for the visitors came when Ronan Curtis scored on 66 minutes, but by that stage the Candystripes were already trailing 5-0.