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Unlikely moving day as Linfield go four clear: Five Irish League talking points


Andy Waterworth was the two-goal hero for Linfield once again.

Andy Waterworth was the two-goal hero for Linfield once again.


Andy Waterworth was the two-goal hero for Linfield once again.

It was an unlikely moving day in the Irish League's title chase.

With two of the five challengers slipping up to bottom six opposition, it provided an opportunity for the other three to improve their standing. Two managed to snatch that chance

Here are the day's talking points:

Waterworth double sends Linfield four clear

Star striker Andrew Waterworth made it nine league goals for the season as his double earned the Blues a win at Warrenpoint.

Almost half (four) of those have arrived in the last five days, adding to his brace to beat Dungannon during the week.

Couple with dropped points elsewhere, the result was enough to send the Blues four clear.

"It's not like me getting games," Waterworth laughed. "When I'm getting them, I've got to be happy. I want to score goals but I went through a barren patch. They can be like London busses and that's the way it's happened.

"As a striker, you're judged on goals and I'm delighted with the goals and, it's a cliche but, more with the three points.

"I've wanted more games this year but I don't pick the team. When you get the chance, you have to grab it. Hopefully I can consider myself in for the next game but there have been times when I've scored and been dropped so I'll take nothing for granted."

Ryan Swan had levelled for Warrenpoint at the start of the second half before Waterworth netted the winner from a spot after winning the penalty himself.

Coleraine go second in bizarre style

Oran Kearney's Coleraine are up to second in the table, leapfrogging hosts Glentoran after a narrow 1-0 win at the Oval.

They're only the second visiting team, after Cliftonville, to win in east Belfast this season and it arrived in strange style, Jamie Glackin's corner going straight in with an assist from Storm Ciara.

"He said he shot," laughed Steven O'Donnell. "He's done well this season. He's one of our main threats and if you're going to keep putting the ball in, asking questions, something like that might happen.

"Today wasn't a day we were expecting big moves. We were expecting the rest of the top six to get their results but they didn't. We've got 10 cup finals coming up and we'll see where it takes us."

It takes the Bannsiders' recent run to four wins in a row in all competitions, six victories from their last seven outings. They're now just four shy of leaders Linfield and above the Glens on goal difference.

Cliftonville and Crusaders give unexpected ground

Those wins from the new top two were given added significance when neither the Reds nor the Crues could secure success against their bottom six opponents.

Cliftonville were held to a 1-1 draw by Dungannon at Solitude, while the Crues were beaten 2-1 at Glenavon.

Crusaders are now five points off the top while the Reds are a further point adrift.

It might not be long before the north Belfast duo are looking over their shoulders rather than up ahead because....

Larne's fine form continues but boss says game should have been called off

Larne picked up their seventh win from their last eight games in all competitions, smashing Institute 4-0 at the Ryan McBride Brandywell.

They're now seven points behind Cliftonville and closing what had, not very long ago, looked a cavernous gap.

However, even in victory, boss Tiernan Lynch maintained the game shouldn't have gone ahead.

"It shouldn't," he said. "We came out on the right end of the result but (the weather) spoilt it as a spectacle. If I had paid money in to watch that, I would have been hugely disappointed. There was no football played, neither team could try. We had heavy rain, gale force winds, sleet, hail and we're asking players to play in that?"

Portadown open up a seven point gap in the Championship

Portadown are becoming increasingly hopeful that their three-year absence from the Premiership is coming to an end.

The Ports earned a thoroughly deserved 4-0 win over Knockbreda at Shamrock Park, Lee Bonis and Adam Salley scoring twice to keep their personal goal-scoring battle alive. Bonis is now 17-16 ahead for the season.

One of the biggest cheers of the day came late in the game, when news filtered through that Declan Carville had netted what would turn out to be the winner for Newry City against challengers Ballinamallard.

The Fermanagh side now drop to third, a point behind second-placed Loughgall with Portadown seven clear at the top.

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