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Irish League Round Up: Linfield inflict Coleraine's first defeat while Whyte hits hat-trick in Crusaders rout

Coleraine's lead at the top of the table is down to just two points after the Bannsiders suffered their first defeat of the Premiership season.

Linfield claimed a narrow win at Windsor Park while second placed Glenavon kept up their good form, as did fourth placed Cliftonville. There were also wins for sixth placed Glentoran and seventh placed Ballymena United.

Here are all the details of the day's action.

Linfield 2-1 Coleraine

Linfield returned to form as they condemned league leaders Coleraine to their first defeat of the Premiership season.

The Blues were 2-0 up by the break and deservedly so. Andrew Waterworth opened the scoring from the spot on 19 minutes after winning the penalty himself, brought down by David Ogilby.

And it was two on the half-hour-mark as Mark Stafford headed home Niall Quinn's cross from close range after Chris Casement caught Coleraine off-guard with a quick free-kick.The belief that the Bannsiders had been lacking in the first half returned at the start of the second and they got their reward on 59 minutes.

Darren McCauley sweeped the ball into the bottom corner after Josh Carson cut in from the right and offloaded to Ian Parkhill, McCauley alive to get on the end of the forward's blocked shot.

As the Bannsiders pushed for an equaliser, it took a late Roy Carroll save from point-blank range to stop a corner being turned into the net.

And even when the goalkeeper looked like he might be beaten by an Aaron Traynor header deep into injury-time, Stephen Lowry was there to block on the line.

Crusaders 6-0 Carrick Rangers

A Gavin Whyte hat-trick helped Crusaders make it 22 goals in their last six league games with this thrashing of struggling Carrick.

Jamie Glackin opened the scoring with his first league goal for the club before two quick-fire Gavin Whyte strikes made the points safe by the half-hour mark.

Jordan Owens and Whyte's hat-trick goal had the score at 5-0 at half-time.

Things didn't look like getting any easier for Carrick into the second half as just 20 seconds after the restart, Glackin's second of the day made it six.

And the cherry on the icing on Crusaders' sweet-tasting afternoon came when 19 year-old Ryan Nimick netted the seventh on his first league appearance for the club.

Mark Clarke did pull a late on back for the visitors but that will be scant consolation for the side second bottom of the table.

Ballinamallard 0-3 Glenavon

Glenavon picked up their eighth win in 10 league games, seeing off basement side Ballinamallard.

Near the end of a dominant first period, Mark Sykes gave the visitors a deserved lead, poking home the lively Josh Daniels' cross.

It was two shortly after the restart as James Singleton poked the ball in off the bar after Bobby Burns corner wasn't dealt with.

It was three when substitute Marc Griffin capped the victory for the side who are now only two points off the top of the table.

Ards 0-1 Cliftonville

Cliftonville picked up their eighth win in nine Premiership fixtures with this narrow victory.

Jay Donnelly fired home his 13th goal of the season and that proved enough to see off Ards, who enjoyed an improved second half and could have equalised with Kyle Cherry blazed over.

Warrenpoint Town 2-3 Glentoran

Daniel Kelly bagged two goals to win a narrow game at Milltown for Glentoran.

The Glens bagged the first goal of the day when Daniel Kelly headed home just seconds into the match while Tiernan McNicholl doubled the lead at the other end of the half.

That second goal was reward for Elliott Morris who had saved well from Alan Davidson and Stephen Murray to keep the Glens ahead.

Morris even saved a second-half spot-kick from Darren Murray but two goals in four minutes from Conal McGrandles soon had the hosts level.

That was only temporarily as Daniel Kelly's second goal of the day proved the winner against the run of play..

Ballymena United 2-1 Dungannon Swifts

A late Gary Thompson goal gave Ballymena all three points at the Showgrounds.

Johnny McMurray's second goal in as many Premiership games gave the hosts the lead just short of the half-time whistle.

Seven minutes after the restart, Dungannon captain Ryan Harpur nodded home his second league goal of the season, getting on the end of Cormac Burke's cross to level.

But that was to prove meaningless when Thompson grabbed the victory.

Championship results

Lurgan Celtic 0 v 1 Institute; Dergview 0 v 1 PSNI; Larne 3 v 1 Knockbreda; Limavady United 3 v 1 Loughgall; Newry City 4 v 1 Ballyclare Comrades; Portadown 0 v 0 H&W Welders

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