Belfast Telegraph

Irish League Round Up: Coleraine beat Crusaders to go top while Cliftonville and Linfield keep up the chase

Ben Doherty netted twice from the spot as Coleraine beat Crusaders to go top of the table.
Ben Doherty netted twice from the spot as Coleraine beat Crusaders to go top of the table.

There is just a point separating the top three teams in the table after Coleraine overhauled Crusaders to take first spot on Saturday afternoon.

Cliftonville also bagged three points to close their gap, while Linfield's win over Ballymena took the Blues back up to fourth, five points behind with three games in hand.

Here's all you need to know about the day's games:

Crusaders 0-1 Coleraine

Coleraine are top of the league on goal difference thanks to Ben Doherty's penalty double at Seaview.

Doherty's injury-time second sent the Bannsiders ahead of their hosts by the narrowest of margins, now leading the league on goals difference, +21 to +19 with both sides on 26 points from 12 games.

Doherty's opener arrived from the spot as he found the bottom corner after Eoin Bradley was brought down by Chris Hegarty.

His seventh goal of the league season wrapped up the win late on after he had been fouled by Jordan Forsythe.

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Institute 0-3 Cliftonville

Cliftonville are just a point behind the top two as Joe Gormley marked his 300th club appearance in fitting style at the Brandywell.

Conor McMenamin's first of the day set the Reds on their way, side-footing into the bottom corner after his first effort had been charged down.

It took until the second half for the visitors to pull away but again it was McMenamin who fired home, his left-footed free-kick curling into the top corner.

The script, however, had always indicated it would be Gormley's day and the striker got his 198th goal for the club, lifting a finish over Rory Brown after being set clear by Conor McDermott's raking pass.

Linfield 2-1 Ballymena United

Linfield closed to within five points of the league leaders with a routine win over David Jeffrey's Ballymena United at Windsor Park.

The Blues were two ahead by the break as flying winger Cooper bagged a deserved opener for his early efforts. Cutting in, he fired an effort home and he wasn't done there either.

The former Glenavon star then bagged his fifth Premiership goal of the campaign, converting Kirk Millar's right-wing cross.

Andy McGrory's late cross caused problems in the Linfield defence, the ball ricocheting in off defender Jimmy Callacher as United netted a late consolation.

Warrenpoint 1-2 Glenavon

Glenavon are now six points off the top six after ending their run of three straight defeats with victory at Milltown.

There was a brief flurry of action at the start of the second-half that ended up deciding the game. It began when Rhys Marshall converted the opener on 53, getting on the end of Jack O'Mahony's flicked header. The lead didn't last long as Danny Wallace levelled with a header from an Eamon Scannell corner.

But Glenavon raced back upfield for Eoin Wearen to head in the winner.

Carrick Rangers 1-0 Dungannon Swifts

Carrick Rangers are now six points off the foot of the table after edging out Dungannon.

Daniel Kelly headed in his first Premiership goal in almost two years midway through the first half, getting on the end of James Ferrin's cross to convert.

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