Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Ards 4-2 Ballymena United (Res)
  2. Coleraine 2-0 Carrick Rangers (Res)
  3. Crusaders 1-2 Linfield (Res
  4. Glentoran 2-2 Dungannon Swifts (Res)
  5. Glenavon 2-2 Cliftonville (Fri, Res)
  6. Ballinamallard United 1-0 Portadown (Fri, Res)

Live Reporting

By Richard Petrie and Lyle Jackson

All times stated are UK

Goodbye and Happy New Year

Full programme on Tuesday

Well, that's about it on what could turn out to be a pivotal day in the race for the Irish Premiership title. Time will tell. Read a full round-up of Saturday's action here and all the goals from the weekend will soon be available to view on the BBC Sport website.

All that remains is to wish all Irish League fans a happy new year and remember to join us on Tuesday night for coverage of a full programme of Irish Premiership games. Leaders Crusaders go to Ards, while Linfield will hope to build on their win at Seaview today as they host Coleraine.

The Irish League Show will have an extensive round-up of both sets of fixtures, and will be available to view on the BBC Sport NI website and the BBC iPlayer from Wednesday 4 January.

What they said

Coleraine 2-0 Carrick Rangers

We totally dominated, particularly in the second half, and penned them in for large periods of the game. We just needed that little bit of luck in front of goal but that's the best performance I've seen from the lads in terms of keeping the ball. Overall, I'm pleased with how we played, though disappointed with the result."

Aaron CallaghanCarrick Rangers manager

What they said

Coleraine 2-0 Carrick Rangers

It is good to get up and running again as it's been a tough month. We are around the halfway point of the league and there is still a huge amount of football to be played between now and the end of the season. Our performance was back to how we have played for most of the season and the players showed good character to keep a clean sheet and get three points."

Oran KearneyColeraine manager

What they said

Glentoran 2-2 Dungannon Swifts

It was a game of two halves as we were coasting at 2-0 up at half-time but conceded a goal early in the second half to let them back into the game. We were in control but I warned them. There is a lack of leadership and of people taking responsibility. We have to stop the opposition dictating and we didn't do that today. Dungannon didn't have to work very hard for their goals.

Gary HaveronGlentoran manager

What they said

Crusaders 1-2 Linfield

I'm disappointed to lose the game but it was an incredible occasion. It's a pity we didn't get the equaliser I thought our second half play deserved as we were sensational. Unfortunately the same could not be said of our first half display as we conspired to shoot ourselves in the foot.

Stephen BaxterCrusaders manager

Ards comeback victory stuns Ballymena

Ards twice come from behind to earn manager Colin Nixon the first victory of his tenure in the New Year's Eve Premiership game at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

Goalkeeper Aaron Hogg was credited with an own goal for Ballymena's first goal, but Carl McComb restored parity.

Johnny McMurray put the Sky Blues ahead again, before Kyle Cherry brought the teams level again.

Further strikes from Emmett Friars and substitute Gary Liggett ensured three points for the hosts.

Ards come back victory stuns Ballymena United

What they said

Crusaders 1-2 Linfield

It's a good three points for us as this is a hard place to come but we stood up in the battle today. We defended strongly as a unit and are pleased to come to the home of the champions and get the win. The pressure was on us today and we delivered but it's only three points and we have to kick on from here.

Andrew WaterworthLinfield goalscorer

What they said

Glentoran 2-2 Carrick Rangers

We went in 2-0 down at half-time but we continued to play in the second half as we did in the first. I just told the players to go out and believe in themselves. We changed our shape and got key personnel into certain areas and it worked for us. Andy Mitchell is very hard to mark in the six-yard box and when we got the ball to him he did the rest.

Rodney McAreeDungannon Swifts manager

Title race hots up

Crusaders 1-2 Linfield

People have questioned Linfield's big-match mentality but today they have put a marker down and it keeps the title race alive

Chris MorganFormer Crusaders and Linfield striker

FULL-TIME

Coleraine 2-0 Carrick Rangers

Fifth-placed Coleraine close to within five points of Ballymena above them in the table.

Relief will be the primary emotion at Ballycastle Road as the Bannsiders bring their barren spell without a win to an end.

FULL-TIME

Crusaders 1-2 Linfield

A huge win for second-placed Linfield away to the champions and Premiership leaders Crusaders.

FULL-TIME

Glentoran 2-2 Dungannon Swifts

Two second-half goals by Andrew Mitchell earn Dungannon a comeback draw away to the Glens.

GOAL

Coleraine 2-0 Carrick Rangers

Jamie McGonigle scores his second of the game in the final minute to ensure a much-needed victory for Coleraine.

INJURY TIME

Crusaders 1-2 Linfield

Five minutes of stoppage time at Seaview.

Crusaders are piling forward but a hard-working Linfield team are holding on.

A first home league defeat in 29 would see Crusaders' lead at the top of the table cut from seven to four points.

GREAT SAVE!

Crusaders 1-2 Linfield

Linfield's Roy Carroll is at full stretch to tip over a fine effort from distance by the dangerous David Cushley. On as a substitute at the break, Cushley is looking menacing. Hold on to your hats.

Roy Carroll tips over David Cushley's curling effort

GOAL

Crusaders 1-2 Linfield

Now then, we really have a game at Seaview as Jordan Owens scores for Crusaders. 

The big striker gets the better of Mark Stafford to head what could prove a crucial goal.

There are still 15 minutes plus a substantial portion of added time to go.

The gap between the top two will either be four, seven or 10 points tonight - so all to play for.

Jordan Owens heads in to reduce the deficit

GOAL

Glentoran 2-2 Dungannon Swifts

Andrew Mitchell strikes again to level matters in the 70th minute at the Oval. The ball breaks to him in the box and he tucks past Elliott Morris from close in. Mitchell is making a name for himself this season and Dungannon may come under pressure to keep their prized goal-getter

TWO RED CARDS

Crusaders 0-2 Linfield

Linfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew and manager David Healy have been sent off after a touchline incident in front of the dug-outs.

Boss Healy instinctively stuck his foot out and touched the ball when it was still in play, thinking a free-kick was going to be awarded, ending a run by Crues striker Jordan Owens.

Things then get out of hand, with players becoming involved in some unseemly scuffles. Ugly scenes with tempers flaring on both sides. Net result - reds for Healy and Mulgrew, yellow for Crusaders keeper Sean O'Neill.

Waterworth miss

Crusaders 0-2 Linfield

The Blues should be 3-0 up but striker Andrew Waterworth shoots wide after getting to the ball before Crues keeper Sean O'Neill.

What they said

Ards 4-2 Ballymena Utd

To say I am disappointed is an understatement. We were fortune to come in 2-1 up at half-time as Ards were quicker to the ball and we seemed half a yard off the pace. Ards were in the ascendancy for much of the game thereafter and when we conceded a goal 37 seconds into the second half we had a mountain to climb. We have done tremendously well for much of the season but there will be setbacks along the way and now it's all about how we respond.

David JeffreyBallymena United manager

GOAL

Glentoran 2-1 Dungannon Swifts

Swifts top scorer Andrew Mitchell pulls one back for the visitors at the Oval. Jamie Glackin got clear on the left and set up the in-form striker. This one's not done and dusted yet.

CLOSE!

Crusaders 0-2 Linfield

Craig McClean clears off his line to keep the Crues in the game. Aaron Burns beat Sean O'Neill to the ball and would have scored but for the defender's timely intervention.

Second half

Crusaders 0-2 Linfield

They're underway again on the Shore Road where the champions and Premiership leaders Crusaders need two goals to avoid a first defeat in 29 home league matches.

What they said

Ards 4-2 Ballymena Utd

I thought we thoroughly deserved the win and I'm really delighted. The goals we conceded we really gifted to Ballymena and that's as good a 45 minutes as I've seen from a Premiership team. We were super in the second half and looked dangerous every time we attacked.

Colin NixonArds manager

FULL-TIME

Ards 4-2 Ballymena Utd

Ards clinch a first league win since 1 October by seeing off Ballymena United in impressive style. 

A third win over the Braidmen this season for the north Down club.

HALF-TIME

Irish Premiership

Coleraine 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Crusaders 0-2 Linfield

Glentoran 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

GOAL

Ards 4-2 Ballymena Utd

Former Ballymena player Gary Liggett fires a right-foot shot past Ross Glendinning to surely secure the three points for the home side after 84 minutes.

A clinical finish from the substitute and new Ards boss Colin Nixon looks to have the first win of his tenure in the bag.

Ards players celebrate victory over Ballymena United
Press Eye
Ards players celebrate victory over Ballymena United

GOAL

Crusaders 0-2 Linfield

Andrew Waterworth pounces to make it 2-0 to Linfield.

It's more poor defending by the leaders as a mix-up between Crusaders keeper Sean O'Neill and Michael Gault lets striker Waterworth in to score from about 12 yards. Gault waited for his keeper to come out and claim the ball, but he didn't and the alert Waterworth nips in to score.

The goal times were Burns 34 mins, Waterworth 39.

Andrew Waterworth capitalises on a Crusaders defensive mistake

CLOSE!

Ards 3-2 Ballymena Utd

Carl McComb almost grabs a fourth for Ards bit his shot cannons off the post, then Gary Liggett misses an open goal from the rebound.

Colin Nixon's side will rue that missed opportunity if they don't win this game.

GOAL

Ards 3-2 Ballymena Utd

Emmett Friars gives Ards a deserved lead on the balance of play in the second half.

Friars gets the last touch with a downward backpost header on 79 minutes after goalkeeper Ross Glendinning failed to collect a corner.

GOAL

Crusaders 0-1 Linfield

A composed finish from Aaron Burns for Linfield. It's the goal this top two match needed and one which could potentially ignite the battle for the Irish Premiership crown.

Burns was given space but still did well to finish it off with a powerful shot in the penalty area.

Remember the Crues have not lost at home in the league for 28 matches - so game on!

Aaron Burns with a superb individual effort to give Linfield the lead at Seaview

CLOSE!

Ards 2-2 Ballymena Utd

Kyle Cherry goes close for Ards, who have enjoyed the better of the second half.

GOAL

Coleraine 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Jamie McGonigle nudges Coleraine in front with a glancing header from Lyndon Kane's right-wing cross.

GOAL

Glentoran 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

James Ferrin heads in from Ciaran Caldwell's corner to make it 2-0 to Gary Haveron's men in the 32nd minute at the Oval.

GOAL

Glentoran 1-0 Dungannon Swifts

Curtis Allen makes a 27th-minute breakthrough for the Glens. Swifts keeper Andy Coleman tried to get to Allen's lob but could only help the ball on its way into the net.

CLOSE!

Coleraine 0-0 Carrick Rangers

Coleraine's Jamie McGonigle tests Brian Neeson with a shot, which the goalkeeper gathers at the second attempt.

Tiernan McNicholl skied an attempt over for the visitors.

We still await the first goal.

PENALTY APPEAL

Ards 2-2 Ballymena Utd

Ards' Gareth Tommons goes down in the penalty area at the other end of the pitch but again referee Evan Boyce is unmoved.

PENALTY APPEAL

Ards 2-2 Ballymena Utd

Allan Jenkins goes down in the area but referee Evan Boyce waves away penalty appeals. A big call by the man in the middle.

CLOSE!

Crusaders 0-0 Linfield

No goals in the opening 15 minutes at Seaview but former Linfield forward Michael Carvill has come closest for the Crues as his header from a Billy Joe Burns cross strikes the crossbar.

CLOSE!

Ards 2-2 Ballymena Utd

Guillaume Keke fires a right-foot drive into the side-netting for Ards, then McComb goes close. The hosts having the better of it at the moment.