Irish League Round-Up: Coleraine hit four to stay top as Friars snatches dramatic win for Ballymena
IRISH LEAGUE: Ballymena 1-0 Cliftonville; Coleraine 4-2 Glenavon; Dungannon 2-0 Ballinamallard; Glentoran 2-0 Warrenpoint. SCOTTISH CHALLENGE CUP: Spartan 0-2 Linfield; Crusaders 3-2 Motherwell U20s
Coleraine continued their 100% record and took top spot on their own after an impressive 4-2 win over Glenavon. Here are the details from Saturday's afternoon's games.
Coleraine 4-2 Glenavon
The Bannsiders were two goals to the good by half-time. Darren McCauley netted twice, the first a cheeky panenka from the spot and the second an absolute stormer curled into the top corner.
In between, Glenavon had breifly restored parity with what is becoming their trademark goal; an Andy Hall crossed converted by opposite winger Adam Foley. However, a rare Jonny Tuffey error allowed Josh Carson to make it 2-1 and pave the way for McCauley's second.
Andrew Mitchell pulled another one back for Glenavon but Ciaron Harkin capped the afternoon with another belter, in off the crossbar.
Glentoran 2-0 Warrenpoint
Glentoran made a great start to the second period with two goals from the opening exchanges. Curtis Allen opened the scoring with 90 seconds of the restart with a well-struck free-kick and fellow forward Robbie McDaid bagged the second, adding to his debut double.
Warrenpoint's day got worse when Darren Murray was sent off for the second time in a week. He was dismissed after picking up two yellow cards, both for dissent. He's had an eventful opening to the season, scoring four goals and getting sent off twice in his first five Premiership matches for Warrenpoint.
Ballymena United 1-0 Cliftonville
The two defences had been on top for the opening 75 minutes. Kyle Owens and Jim Ervin helped shut out Cliftonville's star studded attack while at the other end Gary Breen marshalled his defence and Brett Long look assured.
However, the stalemate was broken by Emmet Friars when he got the telling touch on Tony Kane's well struck shot to deflect it past a helpless Long.
The Reds pushed for a late equaliser and thought they had got it when Daniel Hughes' injury-time effort looked to be flying on only to be deflected inches past the top corner.
Dungannon Swifts 2-0 Ballinamallard Utd
Dungannon exerted the first half pressure and got their reward when Ryan Harpur drove home Peter McMahon's deflected effort. Summer signing Ryan Mayse made it two on 70 minutes, curling home from outside the box.
Scottish Challenge Cup
Spartan 0-2 Linfield
Louis Rooney added to his debut hat-trick in midweek with a first half penalty before Stephen Lowry made it two in the opening stages of the second half, sealing another routine win for Linfield, complete with their customary clean sheet.
Crusders 3-2 Motherwell U20s
A late Billy Joe Burns double snatched a dramatic victory for Crusaders.
Philip Lowry opened the scoring from Burns' cross to send the Crues in 1-0 up at the break but goals from David Turnbull and George Newell in the second half reversed the scores.
That was until the 83rd minute, when Burns' free-kick evaded everybody and flew into the net and he then added an injury-time winner.
Belfast Telegraph Digital