Belfast Telegraph

Irish League Round Up: Donnelly hat-trick fires Cliftonville back to winning ways while top four all victorious

Ballymena 3-3 Warrenpoint; Carrick 0-2 Glenavon; Coleraine 3-0 Glentoran; Dungannon 0-4 Cliftonville; Linfield 2-0 Ards; Crusaders 2-0 Ballinamallard

Rory Donnelly netted a hat-trick to fire Cliftonville back to winning ways while all four of the top teams won.

Here's a round up of all the action:

Dungannon Swifts 0-4 Cliftonville

Rory Donnelly bagged a hat-trick as Cliftonville got back to winning ways at Stangmore Park.

Donnelly showed his class when he opened the scoring to five the Reds the half-time lead. He beat the offside trap and jinked past his defender before firing into the bottom corner for his fourth goal in three Premiership games.

That became five shortly after the restart as Donnelly headed in his side's second to all but confirm a return to winning way after last week's defeat to Coleraine.

His hat-trick was complete when he tucked home the first of his side's two penalties before Joe Gormley tucked home the second.

Coleraine 3-0 Glentoran

Coleraine kept up their all-but-perfect Premiership record and ensured they have already beaten every other side in the division with this routine win at the Showgrounds.

Ian Parkhill opened the scores when he capitalised on defensive confusion to round Elliott Morris on four minutes. The scorer set up the second when he recycled Joe McCready's saved shot by providing the pass for Darren McCauley to smash home.

When Jamie McGonigle notched up the third in the second half, it was business as usual for the pace-setting Bannsiders.

Carrick Rangers 0-2 Glenavon

Glenavon made sure they would go into next week's clash with Coleraine as the Bannsiders nearest challengers with this victory.

The Lurgan Blues opened the scores in the closing stages of the first-half when Andy Hall converted after Sammy Clingan swung a free-kick towards the back post. And the provider turned scorer in the closing moments and Clingan blasted home a penalty.

Linfield 2-0 Ards

Linfield ended their run of three straight league defeats with a functional rather than fantastic win at Windsor Park.

Ards had the opportunity to pile further pressure on the Blues in only the second minute as a slack Joshua Robinson pass let in Dee-Dee McAllister, but Roy Carroll blocked his one-on-one.

The Northern Ireland goalkeeper also had to be out quickly to save from Guillaume Keke on 23 minutes, when the Ards striker bundled his way past Robinson.

The Blues had enjoyed the Lions share of the possession but forced Ards' Aaron Hogg into only one notable save, and he did well to block Andrew Waterworth's shot at the striker's feet.

The hosts got the reward for their territorial advantage on 35 when Jordan Stewart bundled home after Matthew Clarke's cross fell to his feet.

The game was all but over on 54 minutes when Clarke was again the provider for Robinson to head home his fourth goal of the season.

Ballymena United 3-3 Warrenpoint Town

Lorcan Forde's double helped looked to have helped Warrenpoint to the win but Matthew Shevlin netted a late equaliser to save the Braidmen.

The hosts went ahead early on through Cathair Friel's close-range finish but Forde headed home an equaliser soon after and just as quickly, Conor McMenamin's deflected free-kick had reversed the scores.

Conor McCloskey notched a second-half equaliser for Ballymena but Forde's second of the game looked to have clinched the points late on. It would have done but for Shevlin's second league goal of the season.

Crusaders 2-0 Ballinamallard United (Friday)

Crusaders moved level on points with Glenavon in the Danske Bank Premiership after netting a 2-0 win over Ballinamallard United at Seaview.

The Crues have struggled to make Seaview a fortress this season, picking up only eight points out of a possible 18 going into this one but Matthew Snoddy's second half double sunk the men from Fermanagh.

Read more: Snoddy at the double for Crusaders to conquer Ballinamallard

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