Belfast Telegraph

Irish League Round-Up: Linfield and Larne suffer first defeats as Crusaders go clear at the top

Jude Winchester celebrates helping Ballymena United to their first win of the season.
Jude Winchester celebrates helping Ballymena United to their first win of the season.

Crusaders are clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership after Larne dropped their first points of the season.

Ballymena bagged a big win at Inver Park while Linfield lost out 4-2 to Coleraine.

Elsewhere, Crusaders won the north Belfast derby, Dungannon beat Glentoran and both Glenavon and Carrick Rangers got their first victories of the season.

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

Larne 2-4 Ballymena United

Larne were knocked off top spot as they suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of their rampant near-neighbours, who were helped by Jonny Addis' goal of the season contender.

It 23 years to the day since David Beckham scored his now famous goal from his own half for Manchester United against Wimbledon.

Ballymena defender Addis took it upon himself to mark the occasion when he smashed home past Larne stropper Conor Devlin from well over the half-way line.

Mark Randall, unimpressed at his own wonder-goal last week being topped after just seven days, drew the hosts level when he seized onto David McDaid's through-ball and lashed home his third goal in as many games.

Ballymena restored their advantage just 10 minutes later as Andy McGrory touched home Steven McCullough's telling cross.

Last year's runners-up doubled the lead at the start of the second half as Cathair Friel drove a volley into the top corner in the latest of the day's spectacular strikes.

By the time the hour-mark rolled round, the hosts found themselves 4-1 down as Jude Winchester cut inside onto his left shot and blasted an unstoppable effort in off the underside of the bar.

With 15 minutes to go, Johnny McMurray headed home his first goal for Larne since moving from United.

Linfield 2-4 Coleraine

Linfield suffered their first defeat of the domestic campaign as Oran Kearney got his first win of his Coleraine return.

Before the game, Linfield boss David Healy recalled his 'embarrassment' at losing at home to the Bannsiders last season. He was again left red-faced when the visitors opened the scores just 14 seconds in as midfielder Ben Doherty curled a super strike into the top corner.

Healy will have been even less impressed with Coleraine's second of the day as Ryan McGivern headed Ben Doherty's corner into his own net, under pressure only from his team-mate Daniel Kearns.

It was 3-0 when Stephen O'Donnell rose to head home Doherty's troublesome free-kick.

Joel Cooper soon got the on the score-sheet to give Linfield hope and Shayne Lavery then headed home his second in as many games as the Blues threatened to mount a stunning second half comeback.

Their task was made harder and McGivern's day more miserable when he picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Eoin Bradley.

Emmett McGuckin then came off the bench to bag his first goal for the Bannsiders and seal the success.

Cliftonville 0-2 Crusaders

Crusaders are clear at the top of the table after a win in the north Belfast derby.

The two sides cancelled each other in the first half but shortly after the restart, Crusaders' record scorer Jordan Owens headed the visitors into the lead.

Paul Heatley got in on the act soon after as the winger clinically converted Rory Hale's through-ball.

Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Glentoran

Glentoran are still searching for their first win of the season after going down to Kris Lindsay's Dungannon, who have seven points from three games.

Centre-half Dylan King smashed the game into life before the half-hour mark, blasting a low finish past Marijan Antolvic from long range.

On loan from Linfield, Ryan Waide's second goal of the season but the Swifts two ahead as Glentoran pressed for a second half equaliser, Oisin Smyth providing the assist.

Seanan Clucas added the extras in injury-time with a penalty before Paul O'Neill scored a consolation goal for the Glens.

Glenavon 2-0 Warrenpoint Town

Glenavon hadn't failed to win their first three games since 2012 and they rarely looked like matching that statistic on a comfortable day at Mourneview Park.

Just 12 minutes in, Sammy Clingan sent Berraat Turker the wrong way from the penalty spot after the impressive marauding left-back James Singleton was tripped in the box.

It was two on 27 minutes when Andrew Mitchell netted his second goal in as many games, finding the bottom corner after Jordan Jenkins dispossessed debutant Gavin Smith and set his strike-partner clear.

Institute 0-2 Carrick Rangers

Carrick are off the mark for the season with a win at the Brandywell.

They took the lead when James Ferrin headed in Stewart Nixon's corner and it went from bad to worse for the hosts before the break as Aaron Jarvis was sent off for two bookings.

Carrick went down to 10 men in the second half as Abi Sanusi was sent off just 30 seconds after coming on as a substitute but the visitors sealed the win when Mark Kelly added a late second.

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