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Danske Bank Premiership: Crusaders hold on to top spot while Linfield fall to Portadown

Crusaders triumph over Dungannon while Linfield fall to Portadown

Crusaders strengthened their grip on the Gibson Cup by going NINE points clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Dungannon v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership.
Crusaders Paul Heatley pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during this evenings game at Stangmore Park.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Dungannon v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership. Crusaders Paul Heatley pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during this evenings game at Stangmore Park. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Danske Bank Premiership = Cliftonville v Glentoran. Cliftonville's Daniel Hughes with Glentoran's James Ferrin Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Danske Bank Premiership = Cliftonville v Glentoran. Glentoran manager Gary Haveron Picture by Jonathan Porter, PressEye.
Danske Bank Premiership, Cliftonville v Glentoran. Glentoran manager Gary Haveron Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Danske Bank Premiership, Cliftonville v Glentoran. Cliftonville's Jude Winchester with Glentoran's Jonathan Smith Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Danske Bank Premiership, Cliftonville v Glentoran. Cliftonville's Jude Winchester with Glentoran's Jonathan Smith Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Danske Bank Premiership = Cliftonville v Glentoran. Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle . Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's Rhys Marshall and Mallards' Shane McGinty during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Danske Bank Premiership = Cliftonville v Glentoran. Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle . Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Danske Bank Premiership = Cliftonville v Glentoran. Cliftonville's Jude Winchester with Glentoran's Stephen Gordon Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Danske Bank Premiership = Cliftonville v Glentoran. Glentoran manager Gary Haveron Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's Rhys Marshall and Mallards' Shane McGinty during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's Rhys Marshall and Mallards' Johnny Lafferty during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's Andy Hall celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's Andy Hall celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's Andy Hall celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's Rhys Marshall and Mallards' Shane McGinty during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's David Elbert and Mallards' Joshua McIlwaine during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's Guy Bates and Mallards' Johnny Lafferty during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Glenavon v Ballinamallard, Mournewvew Park. Glenavon's Andy Hall celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Linfield Niall Quinn and Portadown Adam Foley during Friday night's Danske Bank Premiership match at Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye
Linfield Niall Quinn and Portadown Niall Henderson during Friday night's Danske Bank Premiership match at Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye
Dungannon v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership. Dungannon manager Rodnery McAree pictured during this evenings game at Stangmore Park. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Dungannon v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership. Crusaders Michael Carvill and DungannonÕs Douglas Wilson pictured in action during this evenings game at Stangmore Park. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Stephen Baxter's side won 2-1 at Dungannon Swifts while closest challengers Linfield stumbled at home to basement side Portadown.

The Ports secured a 1-1 draw and the home side's woes deepened when manager David Healy was sent off.

First half goals from Paul Heatley and Colin Coates were enough to send the Crues on their way to another big win but the Blues needed a late equaliser from Josh Carson to snatch a point after Adam Foley's opener.

Crusaders winger Michael Carvill said: “Nobody at this club will be thinking it's all over with nine games to play.

“We put in a solid first half performance and showed character to see the game out after Dungannon pulled one back.

“The back five are the foundation and in the final third we have plenty of dangerous players who can score goals.”

Cliftonville and Glentoran played out a 1-1 draw at Solitude in front of Sky Sports cameras while Glenavon swept aside Ballinamallard United 3-0 at Mourneview Park.

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