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Summary

  1. Ballinamallard United 1-2 Coleraine
  2. Carrick Rangers 0-1 Dungannon Swifts
  3. Crusaders 1-0 Cliftonville
  4. Linfield 2-0 Ballymena United
  5. Portadown 1-2 Glenavon

Live Reporting

By Lyle Jackson

All times stated are UK

Final whistle

That is it for this week, with leaders Crusaders winning the north Belfast derby to maintain their seven-point advantage at the top of the Premiership table.

There is a full programme of six matches scheduled for next Saturday, with the Crues facing a trip to sixth-placed Glenavon.

Linfield are also on the road to Mid-Ulster, taking on Dungannon Swifts.

Hope you can join us then. In the meantime, all the goals from today's matches will be on the BBC Sport NI website ASAP.l

Mark Stafford scored for Linfield against Ballymena
Irish Premiership: Crusaders battle past 10-man Cliftonville

How the other half live

Irish Premiership's bottom six

Irish Premiership table
BBC Sport
Irish Premiership table

How they stand

Irish Premiership's top six

Irish Premiership table
BBC Sport
Top of the Irish Premiership table

Mitchell a wanted man

Dungannon striker in demand

Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree accepts his top striker Andrew Mitchell will not be with the club next season. A newspaper report this morning said Mitchell had signed a pre-contract agreement with fellow Mid-Ulster Premiership club Glenavon.

McAree said: "Andy has not signed a pre-contract at this time. He will be a Dungannon player until the end of the season of the season. 

"Next season, though, I expect he will be gone. He is at the stage when it is time for him to test himself at a bigger club and to win some medals."

Meanwhile, Glenavon player-manager Gary Hamilton makes no secret of his desire to bring Mitchell to Mourneview Park.

"He is a home town player and has supported Glenavon all his life - his father is a steward at the club," said the Glenavon manager.

"We have spoken to Andrew but until everything is done and dusted we cannot speak any more on that. He is a player we would love to have at Glenavon."

Andy Mitchell of Dungannon Swifts
Pacemaker
Andy Mitchell of Dungannon Swifts

Catney's leg break

Crusaders 1-0 Cliftonville

It has been confirmed that Cliftonville player Ryan Catney sustained a broken leg during the first half of the match at Crusaders and has been taken to hospital for treatment.

View more on twitter

'One of the best'

Carrick Rangers 0-1 Dungannon Swifts

This result is right up there as one of our best wins of the season. The pitch was heavy and sticky and was difficult to play on. We had to put our principles on the back-burner for a while.

Rodney McAreeDungannon Swifts manager

Kearney content with win

Ballinamallard Utd 1-2 Coleraine

We are very pleased. We had four players suspended and a few injuries on top of that and Ballinamallard are in their best form of the season. We knew coming here would be a tough shift but we acquitted ourselves well.

Oran KearneyColeraine manager Oran Kearney

Winning words

Crusaders 1-0 Cliftonville

It was a great through ball by Jordan Forsyth, I found myself in the box and was happy to see it in the back of the net. When Cliftonville went down to 10 men, we found ourselves with maybe too much time and did not do the things we usually do well. They worked hard to keep us out of their half but we got the win.

Michael CarvillCrusaders scorer

Baxter's derby delight

Crusaders 1-0 Cliftonville

It was a game of few chances, a feisty sort of affair. All that mattered was the three points and we were keen to get them. We could not see Ryan Catney's challenge very well, but whatever way he caught Howard Beverland, he seems to have come off badly and we hope he is ok.

Stephen BaxterCrusaders manager

FULL-TIME

Ballinamallard Utd 1-2 Coleraine

FULL-TIME

Linfield 2-0 Ballymena United

Mark Stafford in the first half, Andrew Waterworth in the second. So the Belfast Blues stay seven points behind Premiership pacesetters Crusaders.

FULL-TIME

Portadown 1-2 Glenavon

Glenavon win for only the second time in 13 league visits to Shamrock Park.

FULL-TIME

Cruaders 1-0 Cliftonville

Crusaders beat their north Belfast rivals for the third time this season to maintain their seven-point advantage over second-placed Linfield. Michael Carvill with the only goal at Seaview against Cliftonville's 10 men.

FULL-TIME

Carrick Rangers 0-1 Dungannon Swifts

Sam O'Connor's second-half own goal proves the difference.

Plastic fan-tastic

GOAL

Linfield 2-0 Ballymena United

Andrew Waterworth with a goal which gives the second-placed Blues a bit of breathing space. The striker ran to a high through ball and, one-on-one with keeper Alan Blayney, coolly tucked the ball low into the net. Just over 10 minutes left at Windsor Park.

Waterworth makes it 2-0 to Linfield

CLOSE!

Portadown 1-2 Glenavon

Rhys Marshall hits the bar for Glenavon who look like they'll be claiming the Mid-Ulster derby day honours despite being down to 10 men at Shamrock Park.

RED CARD

Carrick Rangers 0-1 Dungannon Swifts

Carrick will play the last 13 minutes with 10 men after Aaron Smith's dismissal for two yellow cards. Uphill task now for the hosts.

GOAL

Carrick Rangers 0-1 Dungannon Swifts

Dungannon make the breakthrough on 68 minutes as the unfortunate Sam O'Connor diverts Ally Teggart's free-kick into his own goal.

GOAL

Ballinamallard Utd 1-2 Coleraine

The Mallards pull one back on 58 minutes with Ross Taheny heading in from Shane McCabe's corner. 

Final Score from Northern Ireland

BBC1, 5pm

GOAL

Crusaders 1-0 Cliftonville

Michael Carvill's sixth goal of the season gives the champions the breakthrough.

Crusaders take the lead through Michael Carvill

GOAL

Ballinamallard Utd 0-2 Coleraine

A second goal at Ferney Park for Jamie McGonigle (50 mins). He nips in to score after sub Ross Taheny's header back to keeper Richard Brush falls short.

GOAL

Portadown 1-2 Glenavon

Niall Henderson scores a 51st-minute penalty for Portadown after Singleton's foul on Adam Foley. Singleton's dismissal gives Portadown hope of salvaging something from this derby clash.

RED CARD

Portadown 0-2 Glenavon

James Singleton of Glenavon is sent off at Shamrock Park. The foul on Adam Foley gives the Ports a penalty and earns Singleton a straight red card.

Glenavon's James Singleton is dismissed by referee Ian McNabb
Pacemaker
Glenavon's James Singleton is dismissed by referee Ian McNabb

HALF-TIME

Irish Premiership

Ballinamallard Utd 0-1 Coleraine

Carrick Rangers 0-0 Dungannon Swifts

Crusaders 0-0 Cliftonville

Linfield 1-0 Ballymena Utd

Portadown 0-2 Glenavon

Mark Stafford's goal has Linfield 1-0 up at home to Ballymena
Press Eye
Mark Stafford's goal has Linfield 1-0 up at home to Ballymena

GOAL

Ballinamallard United 0-1 Coleraine

Jamie McGonigle puts the Bannsiders into a 41st-minute lead at Ferney Park, turning in Darren McCauley's initial effort.

GREAT SAVE!

Linfield 1-0 Ballymena Utd

Ballymena go close to an equaliser but Roy Carroll pulls off a great one-handed save from Johnny McMurray's volley.

RED CARD

Crusaders 0-0 Cliftonville

Ryan Catney of Cliftonville wasn't just carried off - he was sent off too. The referee produced the red card for Catney's challenge on Howard Beverland.

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GREAT SAVE!

Linfield 1-0 Ballymena United

Alay Blayney, a former Linfield keeper, denies his former side by making a brilliant save from Blues striker Andrew Waterworth.

INJURY

Crusaders 0-0 Cliftonville

Match is stopped because of a leg injury to Cliftonville midfielder Ryan Catney. It looks like a fairly serious one as the player is lifted on to a stretcher.

Catney applauds to the fans as he is carried off, which is a good sign.

Ryan Catney was sent off and carried off injured at Seaview
Pacemaker
Ryan Catney was sent off and carried off injured at Seaview

GOAL

Portadown 0-2 Glenavon

Greg Moorhouse doubles the visitors' lead at Shamrock Park. The striker nets at the near post from Joel Cooper's cross.

GOAL

Linfield 1-0 Ballymena United

Mark Stafford gives Linfield an early lead at Windsor Park. Ross Gaynor took a free-kick from the right and keeper Alan Blayney failed to collect. Stephen Lowry drilled the ball back in and it was just half cleared and Stafford side-footed in on the quarter hour. It touched a Ballymena man last but it is the Linfield defender's goal ok.

Mark Stafford gives Linfield the lead against Ballymena

GOAL

Portadown 0-1 Glenavon

James Gray puts the visitors into an eighth minute lead at Shamrock Park. Greg Moorhouse ran on to a long ball over the top and passed sideways to Gray who tapped into an empty net for his third goal of the season.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

KICK-OFF

Crusaders v Cliftonville

We are underway at Seaview. Can Cliftonville get revenge for their 4-0 defeat on 26 December?

I was at the north Belfast derby at Solitude on Boxing Day and, in the second half in particular, Crusaders hammered Cliftonville

Liam BeckettMatch analyst on Radio Ulster
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View more on twitter

Rod ready for Carrick

Carrick Rangers v Dungannon Swifts

Dungannon Swifts travel to Carrickfergus seeking their first league victory of 2017. Manager Rodney McAree expects to confront a new-look Rangers team.

Rodney McAree wants the Swifts to get back to winning ways
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How they stand

Irish Premiership's top six

Irish Premiership table top six
BBC Sport
Six of the best

Ballinamallard have been on a nice little run which has lifted them clear of relegaion trouble. On Tuesday, they seemed to be on course for a fourth league win in six until Gary Hamilton's late deflected shot meant they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Glenavon.

Today they host a Coleraine side who are going for a fourth league victory on the bounce. Oran Kearney's men could move into the top four today.

Here are the views of the team bosses...

Oran Kearney is manager of Coleraine
Gavin Dykes has guided Ballinamallard away from the relegation zone

Foward thinking

Linfield v Ballymena United

Linfield manager David Healy says Ballymena's strength lies in their strike power.

David Healy on the threat posed by Ballymena

Blues ready to pounce

Linfield v Ballymena United

As seems to be the case every week, second-placed Linfield are hoping Crusaders will slip up.

This week David Healy's men host Ballymena United knowing three points are essential if they are to have any chance of eating into the seven-point lead enjoyed by the champions.

Ballymena are having a decent season, sitting in fourth position. They are also in the sixth round of the Irish Cup and the final of League Cup so, maybe they might not be entirely focused on Premiership matters. 

United boss David Jeffrey will not see it that way. Goodness, gracious me - the man who ruled the roost at Windsor as Linfield's most succcessful manager would love to annoy his former employers today.

"We will give our best," he promises.

David Jeffrey takes his Ballymena side to Windsor Park