Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Irish League Round Up: Glenavon hit top spot as ten-man Coleraine deny Ballymena and Crues slip again

It was an eventful night of Irish League action as a former Glenavon player scored in a dramatic Coleraine v Ballymena derby while his old side hit the top of the table.

The Lurgan Blues beat Ards to go above Linfield and elsewhere, Crusaders were beaten by Dungannon.

Ards 0-2 Glenavon

Glenavon are the new Danske Bank Premiership leaders, a point clear of Linfield thanks to their sixth victory in their last seven league games.

Ards had kept four clean sheets in a row before the tonight's game but the fifth was not forthcoming as Glenavon took an early lead. It came from the spot, Stephen Murray tucking home after Josh Kelly was adjudged to have fouled Josh Daniels.

It was two during the second half, when smashed home from outside the area.

Coleraine 2-2 Ballymena United

The spoils were shared after an action-packed derby at the Showgrounds, ten-man Coleraine twice coming from behind.

The visitors were 2-1 up by the break, at which point Coleraine had already been playing with 10 men for 34 minutes.

ony Kane opened the scoring with the first corker of the night, smashing home an unstoppable effort from 25 yards out.

Things got worse for the Bannsiders as Eoin Bradley was sent off when he appeared to bunch Jim Ervin in the abdomen during an off-the-ball incident. Referee Ian McNabb reached immediately for the red card.

If the opener was impressive, Darren McAuley's leveller was too, the Coleraine winger cutting in from the left to smash home his first Premiership goal of the campaign.

Coleraine shot themselves in the foot once more after the half-hour mark, Stephen O'Donnell's slack defensive header playin in Johnny McMurray, whose thunderbolt shot was well parried only for Andy McGrory to smash home his first goal for his new club.

Ballymena should have led by two at the break but Johnny McMurray missed an open net, having done well to lob the ball over the out-rushing Chris Johns.

It seemed the Bannsiders may be frustarted when Jamie McGonigle clipped the bar without another stunning effort in the 74th minute. However, O'Donnell made amends for his earlier error, nodding home McCauley's corner five minutes later.

Dungannon Swifts 3-2 Crusaders

Crusaders are now nine points off the top of the Danske Bank Premiership table as they rallied from two down only two lose to a late Paul McElroy strike.

The Swifts went ahead when captain Ryan Harpur caressed home a casual finish into the top corner from outside the box.

It was two shortly after the break when Daniel Hughes tucked home a penalty after Billy Joe Burns was adjudged to have handled in the area.

However, the Crues were level with over ten minutes left on the clock via a two-minute double-salvo. A Kris Lowe own-goal halved the deficit before Paul Heatley slammed home a trademark stunner to equalise.

And all that hard work, only for McElroy to win it from the spot.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph