Belfast Telegraph

Irish League Round Up: Cushley brace fires Crusaders to victory while Patton double helps Dungannon win comeback thriller

Crusaders' David Cushley scored the goal of the night on a thrilling evening of Irish League action.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Crusaders' David Cushley scored the goal of the night on a thrilling evening of Irish League action. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

There were 16 goals in three games on a thrilling night of Irish League action.

Here's all you need to know about the evening's matches:

Crusaders 4-2 Coleraine

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter says he isn't ready to give up on the title yet and his side made sure that remains the case by climbing within nine points of leaders Linfield, albeit having played a game more.

Coleraine had created the early chances but Colin Coates punished their wastefulness in front of goal, firing a well-hit half-volley into the bottom corner.

If that was a good finish, it was nothing compared to the second as David Cushley curled home a trademark screamer into the top corner from outside the box at the start of a high-scoring second half.

The Crues seemed home and dry when Cushley headed home seven minutes later but the Bannsiders rallied.

With 12 minutes to go, it was 3-2 after Dylan King headed in his first goal for the club and Jamie McGonigle slotted home a penalty for the visitors.

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But it was to be too little, too late as Ronan Hale sealed the win.

Coleraine miss the chance to leapfrog Glenavon and stay fifth.

Dungannon Swifts 4-3 Warrenpoint Town

Mark Patton scored twice as Dungannon came from behind to grab their seventh with in nine matches and keep their stellar run going.

The Swifts' defence won't be happy with either of the first two goals. First Danny Wallace carried the ball from defence, the whole way up the pitch before lashing home and then more suspect work at the back allowed Mark Griffin to double Point's lead.

Mark Patton finisihed off Rhys Campbell's pass to make it 2-1 but Dean Watters restored Point's two-goal lead after half-time.

It was from there that the real fight-back began, starting when Patton's cross was somehow turned in by Brazilian centre-back Hernany Macedo Marques. Swifts' man of the match Daniel Hughes levelled at 3-3, setting the stage for Patton to nod home the winner.

Point's night got even worse when Anto Reilly was sent off late on.

Ards 0-3 Institute

Ards will be even more worried about their top-flight future after a drubbing at the hands of managerless Stute, who are also coming to terms with the loss of captain and marksman Michael McCrudden.

Life after Michael began in fitting fashion as his successor as skipper Dean Curry smashed home a ruthless finish.

Stute kicked on in the second half, Jake Morrow and Ronan Doherty adding to the scores to keep the north west side a point behind Dungannon in the battle for the final European play-off spot.

Ards remain three below second-bottom Newry City.

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