Belfast Telegraph

Irish League Round Up: Warrenpoint snatch dramatic Linfield draw and top two keep on winning

By Gareth Hanna

Linfield lost ground on top two Coleraine and Crusaders as Warrenpoint earned a thrilling 3-3 draw at Windsor Park.

Meanwhile, Crusaders edged a thriller at Mourneview and Coleraine kept up the pace atop the table.

Linfield 3-3 Warrenpoint Town

A late Martin Murray penalty snatched an unlikely draw for Warrenpoint at Windsor.

Linfield went behind in bizarre circumstances as Conor McMenamin's curling corner sneaked through everybody and into the net, Jordan Dane just failing to get a touch on it.

In a topsy-turvy first half, the Blues were soon ahead. Andy Waterworth's header levelled the scores and when Seanna Foster handled Kirk Millar's shot in the area, Andy Mitchell duly obliged to tuck home from the penalty spot.

Point felt they should have had a penalty of their own soon after but the referee did not agree when Martin Murray was went to ground.

But they weren't annoyed for long as Darren Murray did make it 2-2 shortly before the break.

Linfield thought they had won it when Stephen Fallon netted late but there was still time for Martin Murray to tuck home the equalising penalty.

Glenavon 3-4 Crusaders

Crusaders edged an action-packed game at Mourneview Park as second beat third.

Glenavon took the lead when Mark Griffin netted his second of the season against the Crues. He fired home clinically, set up by strike partner Andrew Mitchell.

That was to be the high point of the day for the hosts and things soon went south against the team from north Belfast.

Crusaders levelled six minutes later through Matthew Snoddy. Billy Joe Burns gave his side the lead when he fired in from Gavin Whyte's lay-off.

And it was provider turned scorer when Whyte smashed home his 12th of the season after a short free-kick by Paul Heatley teed him up.

The Lurgan Blues did restore the nerves twice in the second half, Sammy Clingan's seventh league goal of the season and James Singleton netting but in between, Paul Heatley's 15th of the season proved the ultimate winner.

Ballinamallard United 0-2 Coleraine

The league leaders continued their charge with a routine win to stay six clear on top.

After Jamie McGonigle squandered three earlier chances, the leaders got a 28th minute opener as Ian Parkhill's deflected shot beat Richard Brush.

Brad Lyons made sure of the points on 85, converting Martin Smith's through pass.

Cliftonville 1-0 Glentoran

The Reds have now won 11 of their last 12 league matches.

It was a close one at Solitude on Saturday afternoon but Levi Ives' 69th minute effort proved enough to win it for Barry Gray's side. It was a neat one-two with Jay Donnelly that unlocked the defence and earned Cliftonville yet another victory.

Ballymena United 3-1 Carrick Rangers

A second half comeback led Ballymena to a 3-1 win over struggling Rangers.

Carrick haven't picked up an away win all season but were ahead at the break thanks to Eamon McAllister's 45th minute strike, converting the rebound after Ben Roy's effort had been saved.

And that was to be as good as it got for the visitors as Kyle Owens equalised on 73 before Conor McCloskey gave the hosts the advantage and Matthew Shevlin added the extras.

Dungannon Swifts 0-0 Ards

The goalkeepers earned all the plaudits at Stangmore with Stuart Addis and Ards' 21 year old stand-in Sam Johnston keeping it scoreless.

Michael McLellan went closest in the first half, curling a 20 yard effort off the bar for the visitors. Although Dungannon bossed possession, Ards had both of the best chances as the outstanding David Elebert also forced a top save from Addis with a close range header.

Addis then kept out Jonah Mitchell and Kyle Cherry, who picked up a late second yellow. At the other end, Johnston made arguably the best save of the lot, keeping out Jonny Lafferty's half-volley.

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