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Irish League Round Up: Linfield top of table again and Shiels puts to bed Dungannon Swifts transfer questions

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Linfield's Cameron Palmer during today's game at Windsor Park, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Linfield's Cameron Palmer during today's game at Windsor Park, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Linfield's Cameron Palmer during today's game at Windsor Park, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Dean Shiels is adamant that his top players won’t be leaving the club before the closing of the transfer window next week.

Dungannon Swifts 3 Portadown 1

Both Darragh McBrien and Oisin Smyth have been the subject of transfer speculation and the pair shone as the Swifts beat Portadown 3-1 to give themselves a major boost in the battle against relegation with a convincing win over their fellow strugglers.

The result took the Swifts above Carrick Rangers in the Danske Bank Premiership table, nine points above the Ports, who are in the relegation play-off place.

“Darragh was fantastic again. His finish was quality – the goal was superb,” said Shiels.

“It was a great link-up play between them – the pass from Oisin was superb as well.

“We are getting good performances from all the players. We’ve got a lot of good players who I am sure a lot of teams would want but none of them are leaving.

“I’m starting to get annoyed at the same questions over which players are doing well and which players are leaving.

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“We are keeping the players and that’s it.”

The Swifts took control early on their way to a third successive league win, scoring after only eight minutes when Cathal McGinty forced the ball home from close range, after Portadown goalkeeper Jethren Barr had first kept out Luke McKendry’s header and a Joe McCready effort before McGinty headed home.

The lead was doubled early in the second half, when McBrien teased the Ports defence on the left, pulled the ball back to Smyth before taking a return pass and finishing neatly.

Ben Gallagher raced away to make sure of the three points late in the game and Oisin Conaty’s injury-time strike was merely a consolation for the Ports.

Linfield 2 Glenavon 0 

Linfield restored their three-point lead over Glentoran at the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Glenavon.

They had to wait until the second half before making the breakthrough when the Blues’ man of the moment Christy Manzinga who struck the opener, steeling in on the left wing to drive the ball home after Jamie Mulgrew drilled the ball across the box.

Chris McKee, on loan from Rangers, netted his first goal for the club with a flying header late in the game.

Coleraine 3 Carrick 0

Coleraine kept their grip on sixth place with a 3-0 win over Carrick Rangers.

Rodney Brown headed in the opener from a Jamie Glackin free kick that was floated in from 25 yards out on the left, although that only came after protests from Carrick players that the free kick should have been awarded in their favour.

Glackin was heavily involved in the second goal that gave the Bannsiders a cushion when he whipped in a cross that Carrick defender Stephen Gordon sliced into his own net.

Lyndon Kane made it 3-0 in the second half, winning a penalty himself and before stepping up to beat Matthew Skeet from the spot.

Josh Carson netted what he thought was a fourth only to be brought back for offside.

Ballymena 1 Warrenpoint 0

Ballymena United remain level on points with the Bannsiders after a narrow 1-0 win over Warrenpoint Town.

Leroy Millar scored the only goal of the game after he collected the ball after a long punt upfield had been knocked down and burst through in typical style and slotted the ball past Stephen McMullan at his near post.


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