Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon score four to smash Linfield and 'take shine off' title party at Windsor Park

Glenavon beaten Linfield 4-0 at Windsor Park to keep alive their hopes of an automatic European place.
Glenavon beaten Linfield 4-0 at Windsor Park to keep alive their hopes of an automatic European place.
Glenavon beaten Linfield 4-0 at Windsor Park to keep alive their hopes of an automatic European place.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 20/04/2019 Linfield v Glenavon Danske Bank Premiership Glenavon's Robert Garrett scores during todays game at Windsor Park in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Linfield suffered their heaviest domestic defeat in almost 10 years on the day they picked up the Gibson Cup at Windsor Park.

Here's all you need to know about today's Irish League action:

Linfield 0-4 Glenavon

A much-changed Linfield side suffered their heaviest domestic defeat in almost 10 years on the day they picked up the Gibson Cup at Windsor Park.

Glenavon smashed their hosts to earn a stunning 4-0 success. The last time Linfield lost a domestic game by four goals was on 29 September 2000 as they went down 4-0 to Crusaders at Solitude.

The only team to beat the Blues by four goals since then was Celtic in the Champions League in 2017.

"It does, if I'm honest, take the shine off it," striker Andy Waterworth said of the result and Linfield's title party.

"I suppose you need to be mature about it and think it's a long season. Today's the objective, the result of what we've put in all season but I'd be lying if I said (the result) didn't take a bit of the shine off it because we were battered 4-0 in front of our home crowd who were in party spirit."

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Linfield boss David Healy made six changes to the team that earned a point at home to Crusaders last week as the Blues rubber-stamped their title success. Mark Stafford came in to take the captain's armband, taking the place of Jimmy Callacher in central defence.

Captain Jamie Mulgrew, Daniel Kearns, Jordan Stewart, Niall Quinn and Chris Casement also made way as Kirk Millar, Matthew Clarke, Kyle McClean, Stephen Fallon and Mark Cervenka came in.

It was former Linfield midfielder Robbie Garrett who opened the scoring in spectacular style. After conducting a flowing Glenavon move, the 30-year-old played a one-two to work space outside the box and smashed an effort into the top corner, leaving Gareth Deane rooted to the spot.

Conor McCloskey doubled the scores before the break and in no less eye-catching fashion as the ex Ballymena man lashed an effort into the same top corner from outside the area.

Josh Daniels had struck the bar by the time Eoin Wearen got Glenavon's third on the hour-mark, weaving his way through the Blues' defence from a narrow angle on the right and converting.

Unbelievably, it was four on 75 minutes when Rhys Marshall poked home from close range after Andrew Mitchell's corner caused problems in the home defence.

Glenavon are now two points ahead of Crusaders in third place and five behind Ballymena United. They could still finish second and pip Ballymena to an automatic Europa League place if they beat the Braidmen at the Showgrounds on Tuesday and follow it up with a final day victory over Cliftonville while Crusaders defeat Ballymena.

Ballymena United 1-0 Coleraine

Ballymena United are closing in on European football after seeing off derby rivals Coleraine.

The Sky Blues complete the season unbeaten in the four league derby meetings this season.

A draw at home to Glenavon on Tuesday will rubber-stamp their spot in the Europa League qualifiers this summer.

Leroy Millar netted what would prove to be the winner with the first Irish League goal of the day.

Played in down the left wing by Tony Kane, the 23-year-old jinked back on to his right foot and curled a spectacular effort in off the far post.

The result ensures Ballymena will finish in the top three for the first time in 38 years.

Cliftonville 2-0 Crusaders

The Reds were two up by the break as striker Ryan Curran continued his stunning form under new manager Paddy McLaughlin.

The former Ballinamallard United star made it six goals in four games with his first-half double.

A cool penalty opened the scores, the strike well enough placed to beat Gerard Doherty despite the goalkeeper diving the right direction.

The second required a touch more finesse as the confidence-rich forward dinked the ball over Crusaders defender Howard Beverland before despatching the ball into the bottom corner.

The game marked Ryan Catney's final game for Cliftonville at Solitude after the club announced that the long-serving midfielder will leave this summer.

lle v Crusaders29.jpg
Cliftonville's Ryan Catney receives the adulation from the Cliftonville support. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Institute 0-1 Ards

Ards went back above Newry City in the tense battle to avoid automatic relegation with their fifth win of the league campaign.

The all-important goal arrived just before the hour-mark as Michael McLellan rasped a thumping free-kick into the top corner for his sixth Premiership goal of the season.

Damien McNulty even threatened to double the lead although his late header came back off the bar.

Warren Feeney's side now sit about Newry on goal difference; -33 to Newry's -35 as both teams sit on 23 points.

Warrenpoint Town 5-3 Dungannon Swifts

Warrenpoint Town ended their run of three straight defeats after a seven goal thriller at Milltown.

Lee Duffy but the hosts ahead with a cool finish and, after Paul McElroy missed a penalty for the visitors, Danny Wallace headed the hosts two up.

Rhyss Campbell got a deserved goal for Dungannon and, astoundingly, they were ahead by the time the half-time whistle sounded.

McElroy made amends for his early penalty miss, seizing on Ally Teggart's pass and firing home to level. That paved the way for Michael Carvill to make it 3-2 from wide on the right as his cross-cum-shot found a way into the net over goalkeeper Jared Thompson.

Warrenpoint weren't beaten yet and Wallace levelled with a close range finish before Josh Lynch put the hosts back in front and Fra McCaffrey put the icing on the cake.

Point are now just two-points behind eighth placed Dungannon.


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