Champions Linfield moved four points clear at the top on Saturday after registering a 2-1 win away to Warrenpoint Town. Coleraine moved into second place on goal difference after they travelled to the Oval and beat Glentoran 1-0. Institute are now in a very bad place as they remain bottom of the lot after Larne inflicted a 4-0 defeat on them.
Warrenpoint Town 1-2 Linfield
The Blues took the lead halfway through the first half. Andrew Waterworth capitalised on Points defender Colm Deasy’s slack defending, to lob the ball over the onrushing Point goalkeeper Gareth Bucannon into the net.
Point came out in the second half and found themselves on the score sheet straight away. Ryan Swan, with a neat left foot, shot past Rohan Ferguson in the Blues net. However, the Blues took back the lead on the hour mark through that man Waterworth from the penalty spot. Waterworth won the penalty – then stepped up and converted it to give the Blues all three points and a four-point lead at the top of the table.
Glentoran 0-1 Coleraine
The only goal of the game came straight from a corner as Marijan Antololvic in the Glens’ net totally misjudged Jamie Glackin’s corner. The horrible conditions didn’t help, but the keeper should have done better. The Bannsiders should have taken the lead earlier in the game. Eoin Bradley was brought down in the Glens’ box but unfortunately missed the resulting penalty.
Glenavon 2-1 Crusaders
The Crues took the lead when Paul Heatley was in the right place at the right time, to poke a Declan Caddell header across the goal. The Lurgan Blues got themselves back on level terms in the second half. The Crues’ defence couldn’t deal with a long ball from the Lurgan Blues keeper Jonny Tuffey, and somehow Josh Daniels was on hand to poke the ball home.
The Lurgan Blues had the momentum and the wind behind them and with four minutes remaining on the clock, substitute Conor McCloskey fired a shot past Ger Doherty from all of 20 yards to put them in the lead. The celebrations on the Lurgan Blues bench typifies what it means for Gary Hamilton to beat the Crues. A big dent in the Crues’ title challenge and the great run of consecutive clean sheets have gone with it.
Institute 0-4 Larne
Larne now have momentum and, if they keep this form up, they will be breathing down the neck of fifth place Cliftonville very shortly. It wasn’t until the second half that Larne burst into life as Stute defender Conor Tourish put the ball into his own net to give Larne the lead. Davy McDaid then made it two. It was over to Jeff Hughes to bag himself a brace and make it 4-0 for the Inver Park mean.
Cliftonville 1-1 Dungannon Swifts
The Reds will take this as two points dropped and their title challenge disappearing quickly after the last few games. The Swifts took the lead midway through the first half through captain Douglas Wilson who glanced a header home. The Reds rescued a point out of the game when the league’s top marksman, Joe Gormley, lifted the ball over Swifts keeper Conor Byrne to score.
Ballymena United 0-2 Carrick Rangers
A great win for Carrick away at the Showgrounds – just what the doctor ordered after a couple of bad results they needed a little luck and they got that today with a well-deserved win. Goals from Kyle Cherry and Daniel Kelly secured all three-point for the Taylors Avenue men. Another plus, this win puts daylight between Carrick in eight and the Sky Blues in ninth – five points to be exact.