Belfast Telegraph

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Crusaders hit Glenavon for six as Ballymena edge Dungannon

Glenavon 1-6 Crusaders / Dungannon Swifts 2-3 Ballymena United

League leaders Crusaders racked up a cricket score in their win over Glenavon on Tuesday evening.

The Lurgan Blues' boss Gary Hamilton had warned that his side could concede "six or seven" if they didn't respond to Saturday's Irish Cup exit at the hands of Loughgall.

And that's exactly how it proved as the Crues' won 6-1 at Mourneview Park, Jordan Owens helping himself to a hat-trick.

It had all started so well for the hosts as Mark Sykes fired them ahead after jinking past a defender.

But they were trailing by the break, Jordan Owens profitting from an uncharacteristically misplaced back-pace by Rhys Marshall before Gavin Whyte scored from the spot.

Owens headed the third at the start of the second-half rout. Whyte then cut in from the left to fire home a spectacular fourth before Paul Heatley lobbed home number five.

And Owens' hat-trick was complete late on as he netted his 14th Premiership goal of the season.

Elsewhere, Ballymena edged a five-goal thriller against Dungannon Swifts.

Jonny McMurray opened the scoring before Daniel Hughes' first goal for the hosts levelled soon after.

Tony Kane's free-kick restored the Sky Blues' advantage at the break and Leroy Millar bagged the would-be winner after the restart. Hughes' second of the night halved the deficit but Paul McElroy was then shown a red card, all but ending Dungannon's hopes of a point.

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