Belfast Telegraph

Irish League Round-Up: Four-goal McLaughlin helps Coleraine to big win while Crusaders hit six at the top

On target: James McLaughlin
On target: James McLaughlin

There were some big scores in Saturday's five Danske Bank Premiership fixtures as Crusaders kept up the pace at the top while Ballymena and Coleraine shot up the table.

There were 19 goals in the five matches, while Glenavon picked up a victory in the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup

Here's all you need to know about the day's games:

Institute 0-6 Crusaders

The league leaders made light work of their trip to the Brandywell with a Paul Heatley brace and a debut Paul McElroy goal helping them to a 6-0 success.

Paul Heatley bagged the opening goal of the day in typically spectacular fashion, lashing an unstoppable volley home on the end of Ross Clarke's cross.

It was 2-0 by the break as Philip Lowry volleyed in his fifth goal of the season after Jordan Owens had nodded down Heatley's ball in.

If it was already a long way back for the hosts, it was nigh on impossible when Mark Scoltock bagged a straight red card for bringing down Ross Clarke as the last man.

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The third came soon after the restart, Jordan Forsythe tucking home the rebound as his penalty was saved after Ryan Morrow fouled Michael Ruddy.

Another cross created the fourthh, this time Clarke setting up Rory Hale.

Heatley's second of the day made it five as the hosts were hit for six when Paul McElroy bagged a debut goal with a first-time finish.

Coleraine 5-0 Dungannon Swifts

James McLaughlin scored four goals as Coleraine moved to second in the table, four points behind, with an eye-catching victory.

If Oran Kearney could bottle his half-time team-talk and sell it, every club in the Irish League would be shelling out.

Drawing 0-0 at the break, the boss' message clearly hit home as his side were 3-0 up within ten minutes of the restart.

James McLaughlin opened the scores by touching home Ben Doherty's cross and just a minute later, it was two as the new signings combined, Aaron Jarvis converting Nedas Maciulaitas' set-up.

Maciulaitas again played his part, this time his cross deflecting into the path of McLaughlin to fire home his second.

His hat-trick goal was spectacular, carrying the ball from his own half to ghost past the two defenders and convert.

He wasn't done there either, adding his fourth to complete the scoring.

Ballymena United 4-0 Warrenpoint Town

Ten man Ballymena moved to fourth in the table with a comfortable win over sorry Warrenpoint, still without a point.

Warrenpoint started brightly but went 1-0 down when Leroy Millar tucked home his first of the season after Jude Winchester had cushioned Andy McGrory's cross.

They were handed a life-line before the hour-mark when Ballymena defender Andrew Burns was shown a straight red card for a wreckless challenge on Conall Young, who was stretchered off.

Nonetheless, Ballymena pushed on. McGrory's fourth of the season doubled the scores as his curling free-kick found the top corner and the insult was added to Warrenpoint's injury when Cathfair Friel added a late double. First he headed home Steven McCullough's pinpoint cross and then he tucked home Millar's through ball.

Cliftonville 0-1 Linfield

Linfield edged to their third league win of the season as one goal was enough to separate the sides at Solitude.

He bagged nine league goals last season and Jimmy Callacer is now off the mark for the new campaign after heading home Kirk Millar's corner just before the hour-mark.

Glentoran 2-1 Larne

It was the battle of the new money at the Oval, the hosts coming from behind to get the win and move third in the table.

Former international Jeff Hughes gave the visitors the lead when his long-range shot slipped through the fingers of Glentoran keeper Marijan Antolovic, who will have been disappointed not to keep out the well-hit half-volley.

The Glens were level before half-time when Paul O'Neill controlled Elvio Van Overbeek's cross and, unmarked at the back post, had the time to tuck home.

The comeback was complete in the late stages when Conor Pepper's long throw caused problems for the Larne defence, allowing Marcus Kane to flick home a finish.

Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenger Cup: Formartine United 0-1 Glenavon (Josh Daniels)

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