Belfast Telegraph

Irish League Round-Up: Coleraine stay top while Crusaders hit five

  • Ards 0 - 3 Coleraine
  • Cliftonville 2 - 1 Dungannon Swifts
  • Linfield 1 - 0 Glentoran
  • Ballinamallard 1 - 5 Crusaders
  • Warrenpoint 1 - 3 Ballymena Utd
  • Glenavon 2 - 0 Carrick Rangers

By Adam McKendry

Coleraine continued their 100% start to the season as they saw off Ards at the Bangor Fuels Arena, needing a strong second half performance to win 3-0.

Ards 0-3 Coleraine

It was Josh Carson who opened the scoring ten minutes into the second half, hammering home a rebound after Jamie McGonigle’s initial effort was saved.

And no more than two minutes later the Bannsiders had their second, Eoin Bradley putting a delightful ball into the centre and Darren McCauley sweeping home for the second.

McCauley then got his second, and Coleraine’s third, in the 72nd minute from the penalty spot.

Ballinamallard United 1-5 Crusaders

Crusaders picked up all three points on their return to Irish League action as they swept aside basement side Ballinamallard United 5-1 at Ferney Park.

It took just ten minutes for the Crues to lead, Jordan Owens flicking the ball on and Paul Heatley heading in from close range past Richard Brush.

Two minutes before half-time the visitors doubled their lead, a long throw in evading the hapless Mallards defence and Philip Lowry tapping in for the second.

The hosts got a goal back on the hour mark, midfielder Ryan Curran going on a mazy run before firing a low finish past Brian Jensen in the Crusaders goal to reduce the deficit to one.

But just a minute later the Belfast side restored their two goal advantage through Heatley’s second of the game, this one a tap in following some good build up play.

And the midfielder wrapped up his hat-trick, and the three points, ten minutes from time as he powered forward from the halfway line and buried the ball low past Brush.

Jordan Owens added a fifth for good measure, finding plenty of time and space in the box to bury Billy Joe Burns’ cross to wrap up an excellent result.

Cliftonville 2-1 Dungannon Swifts

Cliftonville got back to winning ways with a 2-1 home win over Dungannon Swifts at Solitude.

After a scoreless first half, the deadlock was finally broken in the 53rd minute when defender Garry Breen dived low in the box to get his head on a corner, with the ball nestling in the bottom corner.

Striker Joe Gormley made it two ten minutes later, the former Peterborough man curling in a beautiful effort after cutting inside from the left.

With ten minutes left the visitors clawed a goal back, Chris Hegarty nodding in at the back post from a Ryan Mayse cross, however it was too little too late for the Swifts.

Linfield 1-0 Glentoran

They were made to work hard for it but Linfield continued their perfect start to the season with a battling 1-0 win over Glentoran at Windsor Park.

The first half started brightly for Linfield, who took the lead after just five minutes when Aaron Burns stooped lowest to nod in Jordan Stewart’s cross.

However, from there it was all Glentoran and but for an outstanding performance from Roy Carroll they would have been out of sight at the interval.

First the national keeper made an outstanding double save to deny Robbie McDaid and Curtis Allen in quick succession before then clawing away another McDaid effort from a corner.

Just before the break he had to be alert again to deny McGuigan twice more to ensure the Blues led at the interval.

A cagey second half, as is typical of Big Two clashes, was punctuated every so often by pot shots at goal, but there was nothing significant to trouble either keeper.

Indeed, the closest either team came was a low ball fired across the box by McDaid, which Chris Casement had to be alert to slide in and clear as Linfield saw out the heated clash.

Warrenpoint Town 1-3 Ballymena United

Ballymena United picked up only their second win of the season with a 3-1 triumph away to Warrenpoint Town.

The start couldn't have been better for Warrenpoint, who scored after all of 30 seconds as Marty Murray found the back of the net with Ballymena sleeping.

But the Sky Blues did find a response in the 20th minute, Cathair Friel heading home at a corner to level proceedings.

A nervy start to the second half was finally broken in the 64th minute as Emmet Friars notched his second goal in as many games, heading home at a Steven McCullough corner.

And Cathair Friel secured a hard fought victory seven minutes from time, poking home Kevin Braniff’s low ball across the face of goal for his brace.

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