Irish Premiership: Crusaders beat Glenavon in thriller

Glenavon and Crusaders served up an action-packed encounter at Mourneview Park
Glenavon and Crusaders served up an action-packed encounter at Mourneview Park

Crusaders won a seven-goal thriller against title rivals Glenavon to stay six points behind Irish Premiership leaders Coleraine.

Matthew Snoddy, Billy Joe Burns, Gavin Whyte and Paul Heatley netted for the Crues who have taken 28 points from a possible 30 in away matches.

Table toppers Coleraine won 2-0 away to bottom-placed Ballinamallard.

Cliftonville are up to third thanks to a 1-0 win over Glentoran while Linfield were held to a 3-3 draw by Warrenpoint.

Ballymena United move into the top six as a result of a 3-1 comeback victory over Carrick Rangers while Dungannon Swifts and Ards played out what was only the third 0-0 draw in the top flight this season.

The match of the day was at Mourneview Park where Glenavon took an early lead through Marc Griffin.

Ballinamallard's Richard Clarke in action against Brad Lyons of Coleraine
Bottom-placed Ballinamallard lost 2-0 at home to Premiership leaders Coleraine

But Crusaders hit back to lead 3-1 with goals by Snoddy, Burns and Whyte before the break.

A Sammy Clingan penalty got Glenavon back into it after a late challenge by Colin Coates on Bobby Burns.

Heatley made it 4-2 but Singleton drove in a third for Glenavon who were unable to force a late equaliser.

Coleraine dominated the first half at Ballinamallard but had only Ian Parkhil's deflected 28th-minute shot to show for their efforts.

Brad Lyons eventually got a second for the Bannsiders who have lost just once in the league this season.

Cliftonville's win over Glentoran moved them up to third place in the Premiership
Cliftonville's win over Glentoran moved them up to third place in the Premiership

Cliftonville are up to third after Levi Ives scored the only goal of their home match against Glentoran.

Barry Gray's Reds have won 11 out of 12 league matches in a run dating back to 23 September.

Linfield's title defence suffered another setback as a Martin Murray penalty gave Warrenpoint a late equaliser.

Andrew Waterworth, Andy Mitchell (penalty) and Stephen Fallon were on target for David Healy's champions while Conor McMenamin and Darren Murray netted the other goals for Matt Tipton's Town.

One-from-bottom Carrick Rangers gave themselves the chance of a rare victory when Eamon McAllister edged them ahead just before half-time at Ballymena.

But late goals by Kyle Owens, Conor McCloskey and Matthew Shevlin sealed a 3-1 win for David Jeffrey's Sky Blues.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership
Ballinamallard Utd0-2Coleraine
Ballymena Utd3-1Carrick Rangers
Cliftonville1-0Glentoran
Dungannon Swifts0-0Ards
Glenavon3-4Crusaders
Linfield3-3Warrenpoint Town
Bluefin Sport Championship
Dergview2-2Knockbreda
H&W Welders 2-0Loughgall
Institute2-1Ballyclare Comrades
Larne2-1Limavady United
PSNI0-3Newry City
Portadown6-0Lurgan Celtic

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