Belfast Telegraph

Clinical Blues close the gap on title rivals


Finishing touch: Shayne Lavery celebrates his goal last night
Finishing touch: Shayne Lavery celebrates his goal last night

By Graham Luney

Danske Bank Premiership champions Linfield remain hot on the heels of the pacesetters after stunning hat-tricks from Shayne Lavery and Joel Cooper helped to crush Warrenpoint Town 7-0 at Windsor Park.

The Blues moved two points behind leaders Coleraine - who they face on Saturday - and David Healy's side have two games in hand. Linfield have been playing catch-up following their Europa League heroics and now they have turned up the heat on the table-topping Bannsiders, as well as second-placed Crusaders and Cliftonville in third position.

Saturday's showdown at the Showgrounds should be a tasty affair after the Blues battered Point last night.

Stephen Fallon got the ball rolling for the Blues and Lavery doubled his side's lead after stunning build-up play from Cooper.

Lavery's superb backheel just before half-time gave the hosts a comfortable 3-0 lead and in the 50th minute, the striker bagged his treble. Cooper headed home the fifth in the 61st minute and added two late goals to seal his hat-trick.

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