After Glenavon came away with three points from the Newry Showgrounds last night, attention turned to the Saturday afternoon fixtures in the Danske Bank Premiership, where the main attraction was at Seaview, where champions Crusaders took on cross-city rivals Linfield.
The Blues cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win, securing their first victory in 6 games against the North Belfast outfit. Joel Cooper got the away side off the mark on the 35th minute, adding a poachers finish to a low cross from Chris Casement. For the second, Cooper turned provider, laying the ball on for captain Jamie Mulgrew, who finished calmly past the on-rushing keeper. The result gives Healy’s men their 3rd win from as many games.
Over at the Brandywell, Institute hosted South Down opposition for the 2nd time in 3 weeks, with Warrenpoint visiting. In a forgettable first half the hosts took the lead thanks to a Michael McCrudden, who dusted himself down to convert the spot kick after being fouled just inside the area.
The Seasiders had been dealt a blow earlier when defender Danny Wallace seen red due to a careless tackle on Institutes Jamie McIntyre. Things didn’t get much better for the visitors after the break when McCrudden doubled Inst’s lead with a fantastically struck half volley past Turker in the ‘Point goal.
Drama ensued at the Oval as Coleraine travelled to Belfast to face Glentoran. A Brad Lyons header put the away side 1 up heading into the break. However, the Glens rallied and drew level thanks to a Curtis Allen volley from a Dylan Davidson free-kick. Things got better for the home side as Peter McMahon thunderbolted a 30 yard effort into the top corner to give the Glens the lead.
The action didn’t end there, as the Bannsiders pressed for an equaliser. Finally their efforts were rewarded when the mercurial Eoin Bradley, who earlier crashed the woodwork, found the net in the 88th minute to ensure Kearney’s side went back to the north coast with a point.
Ards got the days scoring underway thanks to Mark Kelly pouncing on some lax defending from Ballymena United. The striker swooped in to roll an effort past Ross Glendinning in the United goal just before the half hour mark.
That’s how the half ended, but United upped the tempo after the break. James Knowles pulled his side level on the 58th minute, and Shane McGinity completed the turnaround with a 78th minute effort to delight his veteran manager David Jeffery.
Finally, at Stangmore, Dungannon somehow managed to share the spoils with Cliftonville, despite the away side needing a late Jay Donnelly strike to secure the draw. The away side bossed proceedings missing a hatful of chances to go ahead before Mark Patton put the Swifts in front just after the hour mark. The Reds piled forward and were rewarded when Joe Gormley set up Jay Donnelly to slot home just before the end.
Gameweek 4 starts on Friday evening as, Newry travel to Ards, with a county derby as Coleraine host Institute and Ballymena travel to Lurgan to face Glenavon. Saturday sees the clash of early pace setters Linfield take on Cliftonville at Solitude, as Glentoran host Dungannon and Crusaders look to bounce back from today’s defeat away to Warrenpoint.