Belfast Telegraph

Irish League Round Up: Coleraine roar back to beat Crusaders as lead at the top of the table cut

Coleraine's Eoin Bradley celebrates after scoring against Crusaders.
Coleraine's Eoin Bradley celebrates after scoring against Crusaders.

Crusaders are now just three points ahead of Coleraine and Cliftonville at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

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

Coleraine 4-2 Crusaders

League leaders Crusaders suffered a first defeat of the campaign at the hands of Coleraine's buoyant side, who are now in second just three points off the top.

It always seemed likely to be in the script and there were just a couple of minutes on the clock when Jamie McGonigle got the goal against his former club to give Crusaders the lead. After a mix-up between Coleraine defenders Gareth McConaghie and Aaron Canning, the striker could net at the second attempt.

His old side weren't worried for long as Ben Doherty soon bagged the leveller, whose heavy first stun spun into the bottom corner off the turf.

And by the break, the hosts were ahead when Stephen Lowry fed the ball back across goal and Jordan Owens' inadvertently diverted it into his own net.

The Crues had it all to do, doubly so when Eoin Bradley's free-kick made it 3-1 at the start of the second half.

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Insult was added to Crues' injury when their former midfielder Jamie Glackin blasted home Coleraine's fourth.

If Coleraine felt like that was game, set and match, doubt was placed in their mind when Chris Hegarty converted the Crues' second after a long throw.

It was from another long throw that the Crues again had the ball in the net, only for the goal to be disallowed.

Glenavon 3-1 Ballymena United

Glenavon have bagged only a second league win of the season with a comeback success at Mourneview Park.

Cathair Friel opened the scoring when he side-footed home his fifth goal of the Premiership season to round off a flowing team move. It was started when Andy McGrory fed the ball inside to Ryan Mayse and when he picked out Leroy Millar's run on the right, the telling cross provided a chance that was unmissable for a man of Friel's quality.

Glenavon enjoyed the lion's share of the first-half possession and made it count on 28 when Rhys Marshall, playing in central midfield, crashed home a first-time finish when Jack O'Mahony recycled Paddy Burns' cross.

The hosts started the second half the way they had finished first and were ahead on 57 when Stephen McCullough diverted Aaron Harmon's cross into his own net.

Ballymena pushed for a leveller but after Jonny Addis was denied by Jonny Tuffey, the Lurgan Blues' substitutes combined as Jordan Jenkins poked home Stephen Murray's cross to make sure of the win.

Glentoran 2-1 Warrenpoint Town

Glentoran left it late to leave Warrenpoint pointless at the Oval.

The Glens are now up to fourth, five points behind leaders Crusaders.

Summer signing Hrvoje Plum is quickly becoming a Glentoran fans' favourite for his displays in midfield and that status was further strengthened when he smashed home a well-hit free-kick from long range to open the scores.

It looked like Alan O'Sullivan had snatched a first point of the campaign for Point with his second half leveller but it wasn't to be as Paddy McClean won it on 89.

Cliftonville 1-0 Institute

Cliftonville are now just three points league leaders Crusaders after a narrow win at Solitude.

Rory Donnelly headed home Ryan Curran's cross near the end of the first half as the Reds' pressure finally paid off. Curran had a chance to double the lead the other side of half-time but his spot-kick was saved.

Larne 0-0 Dungannon Swifts

Larne met with a dogged Dungannon defence at Inver Park, both sides remaining level on points with 11, Larne in fifth and Dungannon in seventh with Ballymena sandwiched in between.

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