Irish Premiership: Leaders Coleraine three points ahead of Blues

Coleraine extended their winning start to seven games by beating Carrick
Coleraine extended their winning start to seven games by beating Carrick

Coleraine maintained their 100% start and three-point lead at the top of the Irish Premiership by beating Carrick Rangers 3-0 at the Showgrounds.

Defender David Ogilby volleyed in the first from 15 yards and Darren McCauley netted twice in the second half.

Jordan Stewart scored a hat-trick as Linfield beat Ballinamallard 4-0 to regain second place in the table.

The Blues move ahead of Crusaders who were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Ards while Glenavon beat Cliftonville 3-1.

Glentoran were 3-1 winners away to Ballymena United while Dungannon Swifts enjoyed a 2-1 home win over one-from-bottom Warrenpoint Town.

Coleraine had been expected to see off Carrick at home, and Oran Kearney's boys certainly delivered the goods.

Ogilby's low shot opened the scoring in the 29th minute and McCauley followed up with a double after the break.

Jordan Stewart netted Linfield's first three goals against Ballinamallard
Jordan Stewart netted Linfield's first three goals against Ballinamallard

The first came from a penalty awarded for Denver Gage's foul on Jamie McGonigle and McCauley scored again by slipping a low finish beyond Rangers keeper Harry Doherty.

To make matters worse for Carrick, Gavin Taggart got a straight red card for a two-footed challenge on Ciaron Harkin.

Bright Blues see off lowly Mallards

Champions Linfield, who dropped their first points by losing at Crusaders in midweek, bounced back with a emphatic 4-0 win over Ballinamallard who remain bottom with just one point.

Stewart slipped the ball under outrushing keeper Richard Brush for a 22nd-minute opener and made it 2-0 by netting into the bottom corner from Chris Casement's cross on the hour.

Five minutes later Stewart raced through to complete his hat-trick and Mark Haughey headed in Linfield's fourth from Robert Garrett's cross.

How they stand in the top half of the table
How they stand in the top half of the table

After that win over Linfield on Tuesday, Crusaders, title winners in 2015 and 2016, will be disappointed at dropping two precious points at home to Ards.

They are now third and level on points with Glenavon who proved too good for Cliftonville at Mourneview Park.

Top scorer Andrew Mitchell hit the net in the eighth minute with Andy Hall and Marc Griffin adding two more after the interval, meaning Joe Gormley's late strike was mere consolation for Barry Gray's Reds.

Cliftonville ended with 10 men as defender Garry Breen was dismissed late on for a second yellow card offence.

Glenavon's James Singleton and Josh Daniels close in on Cliftonville's Jay Donnelly
Glenavon's James Singleton and Josh Daniels close in on Cliftonville's Jay Donnelly

Marcus Kane, Curtis Allen and John McGuigan scored as Glentoran ran out 3-1 winners away to Ballymena whose scorer was Cathair Friel.

Dungannon Swifts moved into the top half of the table thanks to a 2-1 home win over Warrenpoint.

Ryan Harpur made the breakthrough for Rodney McAree's side and Chris Hegarty headed a 72nd-minute winner after Lorcan Ford had equalised for Town.

Danske Bank Premiership
Ballymena Utd1-3Glentoran
Coleraine3-0Carrick Rangers
Crusaders0-0Ards
Dungannon Swifts2-1Warrenpoint Town
Glenavon3-1Cliftonville
Linfield4-0Ballinamallard Utd
Bluefin Sport Championship
Ballyclare Comrades0-3PSNI
Dergview3-1Portadown
H&W Welders0-0Newry City
Knockbreda4-2Lurgan Celtic
Larne0-1Institute
Loughgall2-1Limavady United
Bluefin Sport Intermediate League
Armagh City 0-2Queen's University
Donegal Celtic 1-2Newington
Lisburn Distillery 2-5Banbridge Town
Portstewart1-5Moyola Park

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