Belfast Telegraph

Irish League: Lowry double helps Crusaders go clear at the top as Cliftonville move up to second

Philip Lowry scored twice as Crusaders saw off Dungannon Swifts in the top two clash at Seaview.
Philip Lowry scored twice as Crusaders saw off Dungannon Swifts in the top two clash at Seaview.

Two goals from Philip Lowry have sent Crusaders clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership table while their near neighbours Cliftonville, helped by two Rory Donnelly strikes, are up to second.

The Crues beat Dungannon Swifts at Seaview while Cliftonville ran out easy winners against bottom-of-the-league Warrenpoint Town.

Here's all you need to know about today's games:

Crusaders 3-0 Dungannon Swifts

Crusaders are three points clear at the summit of the Danske Bank Premiership after winning their top two clash at home to Dungannon Swifts.

Philip Lowry scored twice, matching his brother Stephen's brace for Coleraine on Friday evening, as Dungannon suffered their first defeat of the season.

The Crues opened the scores early on when David Cushley flicked a pass round the corner for Lowry to go clear and tuck a cool finish into the bottom corner.

It could have been two soon after but new signing Ross Redman was on hand to make a goal-line clearance as David Cushley beat the goalkeeper after a neat pull-back from Paul Heatley. Swifts stopper Sam Johnston then came to his side's rescue when he kept out a close range Chris Hegarty header from Ross Clarke's cross.

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Those efforts couldn't quite get the visitors to the break only one goal down as Billy Joe Burns blasted home his first league goal since March after getting on the end of Lowry's cross.

It was three after the hour-mark as Lowry tapped home into an open net when Heatley's one-on-one had been saved before a cruel ricochet off Caomhan McGuinness fell to the midfielder.

Warrenpoint Town 1-5 Cliftonville

Cliftonville are up to second in the table after condemning Warrenpoint to another heavy defeat.

Point remain rooted to the foot of the table, having lost all of their opening four games, conceding 17 goals and scoring just once.

Rory Donnelly opened the scores from close range, getting on the end of a telling Levi Ives cross and it was two when Conor McMenamin got his first league goal of the season, heading home Ronan Doherty's delivery.

The best was yet to come as midfielder Liam Bagnall launched a long-range effort into the top corner and Joe Gormley made it four, dazzling his way past the defence before finding the bottom corner.

The fifth, Donnelly's second of the day, arrived on 71 minutes as he converted Thomas Maguire's cross.

Point did register on the score-sheet for their first goal of the season with Alan O'Sullivan tucking home a late penalty.

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