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Summary

  1. Ballymena United 3-0 Portadown (Res)
  2. Coleraine 2-0 Glentoran (Res)
  3. Crusaders 3-0 Carrick Rangers (Res)
  4. Glenavon 2-0 Dungannon Swifts (Res)

Live Reporting

By Richard Petrie and John Haughey

All times stated are UK

The final whistle

Signing off

That's it from another busy and eventful day in the top flight.

Crusaders have laid down the gauntlet to nearest challengers Linfield by extending their lead at the top to 10 points. Can Linfield respond when they take on Cliftonville at Windsor Park on Monday night?

The Blues have nine wins and a draw from their last 10 games in all competitions while their opponents have won just two of their last 11 so the formbook appears to favour David Healy's side.

The Reds are winless in February BUT two of Linfield's three league defeats this campaign have come at the hands of the Solitude outfit.

It's all set up for a thrilling contest between the big Belfast rivals.

Thanks for joining us and you can read a report of all today's action here .

Highlights videos from all today's games will appear on the BBC Sport NI website tonight so keep an eye out for those. Bye for now.

What they said

Crusaders 3-0 Carrick Rangers

I am happy that we stuck at it until the end but we were beaten by the better side and I believe they are the champions elect. I am disappointed with the goals we conceded. Six or seven players had 'off days' and you can't afford that against a team as good as Crusaders.

Aaron CallaghanCarrick Rangers manager

What they said

Crusaders 3-0 Carrick Rangers

I thought today we were really clinical. We made about 15 chances and it should have been 8, 9 or 10 because we played exceptionally well. Brian Neeson made several stunning saves and it was as good a performance as I've seen from ours side for a while.

Stephen BaxterCrusaders manager

What they said

Glenavon 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

It was a very lacklustre display from us and there were a lot of players who let themselves down today. We were not committed, we showed no desire or bravery and we looked like we were here just to fulfil a fixture. I am deeply embarrassed. A performance like that is not acceptable and it will take quite a while to get over this one.

Rodney McAreeDungannon Swifts manager

What they said

Glenavon 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

The boys worked their socks off and it was a complete performance from us. The first 15 minutes or so was pretty even but then we got into our stride and the boys were excellent.

Paul MillarGlenavon assistant manager

What they said

Ballymena Utd 3-0 Portadown

It's all about squad competition and the players who came into the side following last week's defeat by Coleraine responded tremendously well. We upped the tempo in the second half and I'm pleased for Michael Kerr who scored the opener, and we went on from there.

David JeffreyBallymena United manager

What they said

Coleraine 2-0 Glentoran

I am bitterly disappointed, particularly in the manner of the two goals we conceded against the run of play. We played some decent football and started brightly, then we conceded a 'nothing' penalty and let one in from a set play. It's been the story of our season - we have plenty of possession and get the ball into good areas but the final ball is not quite right. We are not clinical enough in front of goal and don't take our chances.

Gary HaveronGlentoran manager

What they said

Coleraine 2-0 Glentoran

We weren't at our best today - it wasn't up with one of four best performances of the season but we kept Glentoran at bay and scored our goals at good times. Everyone was on a high after last week but today was about getting the three points.

Oran KearneyColeraine manager

FULL-TIME

Glenavon 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

Glenavon guarantee their top-six spot this season as first-half goals from David Elebert and James Gray secure a comfortable win over Dungannon Swifts.

Mourneview Park-bound Andrew Mitchell had a couple of chances for the Swifts but it was a rather flat display by the visitors.

FULL-TIME

Ballymena Utd 3-0 Portadown

A comfortable victory in the end for David Jeffrey's side.

They remain fifth in the table and keep up their pursuit of Cliftonville and Coleraine, who occupy third and fourth position respectively.

FULL-TIME

Crusaders 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Crusaders extend their Irish Premiership lead to 10 points after this comprehensive victory over second-bottom Carrick Rangers. Could have been a cricket score but for Carrick keeper Brian Neeson's heroics.

FULL-TIME

Coleraine 2-0 Glentoran

Fourth-placed Coleraine move to within one point of Cliftonville above them in the table by seeing off Glentoran 2-0. Ten wins and a draw from 11 outings for Oran Kearney's resurgent Bannsiders.

MISSED PENALTY

Crusaders 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Brian Neeson continues his goalkeeping heroics right to the end as he saves a rather telegraphed Richard Clarke penalty. What would the scoreline have been had Neeson not been in nets for Rangers?

Billy Joe Burns with a neat finish from a tight angle

Crusaders 3-0 Carrick Rangers (L)

Billy Joe Burns with a great finish to make it 3-0 to Crusaders

RED CARD

Coleraine 2-0 Glentoran

Glentoran's Eric Foley receives a straight red card for dissent minutes after Jay Magee and Ross Redman were booked for what seemed like similar, but less serious, offences.

The visitors down to 10 men and two goals down. Another disappointing day for Glens manager Gary Haveron and his charges.

PENALTY

Ballymena Utd 3-0 Portadown

The Sky Blues are on 'easy street' now as the prolific Tony Kane makes no mistake from the penalty spot to put three goals between the sides in the 77th minute.

The penalty was awarded after goalkeeper Jack Duffin brought down Joe McKinney.

That makes it 13 penalties and 19 goals for the former Blackburn Rovers and Cliftonville defender-cum-midfielder.

A one-sided second half unfolding at the Showgrounds to the delight of the majority of the 1,045 attendance.

GOAL

Coleraine 2-0 Glentoran

Glentoran's dismal run of form looks set to continue as the Bannsiders extend their advantage courtesy of Jamie McGonigle's seventh goal in seven games.

Ciaron Harkin provided the prefect delivery and McGonigle popped up to head home at the back post.

In-form Coleraine looking nailed on for 10 wins and a draw from 11 games in all competitions as it stands.

Lowry lauded

Crusaders 3-0 Carrick Rangers


          Philip Lowry gave Crusaders an early lead against Carrick rangers at Seaview
Presseye
Philip Lowry gave Crusaders an early lead against Carrick rangers at Seaview

GOAL

Crusaders 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Game over here as Billy Joe Burns strokes in the third Crusaders goal from a tight angle after a long ball releases him down the home team's left flank.


          Billy Joe Burns in action for Crusaders against Carrick Rangers
Press Eye
Billy Joe Burns scored Crusaders' third goal against Carrick Rangers

RED CARD

Ballymena Utd 2-0 Portadown

Portadown defender Ken Oman is sent-off for kicking out in an off-the-ball incident. A straight red card. Portadown down to 10 men and seemingly out of this game now.

GOAL

Crusaders 2-0 Carrick Rangers

Owens doubles Crusaders' lead as he heads in a Forsythe cross, but not without fierce protests from Neeson, who is adamant he had stopped the striker’s effort from crossing the line.

Jordan Owens makes it 2-0 to Crusaders

Brilliant Bradley 'spot on'

Coleraine 1-0 Glentoran

Eoin Bradley put Coleraine ahead from the penalty spot
Presseye
Eoin Bradley followed up his double against Ballymena this week by scoring a first-half penalty for Coleraine against Glentoran

GOAL

Ballymena Utd 2-0 Portadown

Recalled centre-half Johnny Flynn adds a second for Ballymena just before the hour mark. Flynn rises highest to head home from Tony Kane's corner.

PENALTY APPEAL

Crusaders 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Michael Carvill goes down in the box after a challenge by Daniel Kelly but the Crusaders penalty appeals are turned down by referee Lee Tavinder. Radio Ulster match summariser Paul Leeman reckons it's the correct decision - although don't forget he was a defender!

McMurray menace

Ballymena Utd 1-0 Portadown

Johnny McMurray tries a shot for Ballymena
Presseye
Ballymena's Johnny McMurray is tracked by Jordan Lyttle of Portadown at the Showgrounds

GREAT SAVE!

Crusaders 1-0 Carrick Rangers

For about the eighth time today, Carrick keeper Neeson makes a fabulous save to stop a pointblank Owens header. Lowry stabs in the rebound but was in an offside position. No goal. 

Elebert takes the acclaim

Glenavon 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

David Elebert
Presseye
Defender David Elebert celebrates after giving Glenavon the lead in the first half against Dungannon

Bad misses at Seaview

Crusaders 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Jordan Forsythe wastes a glorious chance to double Crusaders' lead as he blazes over the crossbar while Carrick sub Mustapha then fails to exploit a dreadful Sean O'Neill clearance as he blasts over the crossbar. O'Neill seems to be struggling with his concentration today. The normally reliable keeper has made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes.

CLOSE!

Coleraine 1-0 Glentoran

Brad Lyons shoots over from the edge of the box for Coleraine early in the second half.

GOAL

Ballymena Utd 1-0 Portadown

Defender Michael Kerr marks his debut by giving Ballymena the lead at the Showgrounds with a tap-in from Johnny McMurray's squared ball from the right five minutes after the break.

Ballymena United make the breakthrough with a debut goal from Michael Kerr.

Crusaders 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Carrick have come out with a bit of purpose in the second half. It's looks like they are adopting a more attacking formation.

Paul LeemanRadio Ulster match summariser

HALF-TIME

Glenavon 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

Glenavon looking comfortable at half-time. Gray's goal seems to have knocked the stuffing out of the Swifts.

Crusaders 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Brian Neeson has been excellent for Carrick. He has had a lot to do. Carrick have had a bit more shape in the 10 minutes before half-time but Crusaders will feel the game should be over after all the chances they have had

Paul LeemanRadio Ulster match summariser

HALF-TIME

Scores at the break

Ballymena Utd 0-0 Portadown

Coleraine 1-0 Glentoran

Crusaders 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Glenavon 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

James Gray doubles Glenavon's lead over Dungannon Swifts

Glenavon 2-0 Dungannon Swifts (L)

James Gray doubles Glenavon's lead over Dungannon Swifts

CLOSE!

Ballymena Utd 0-0 Portadown

The chances keep coming for the Braidmen at the Showgrounds but still the deadlock isn't broken.

Tony Kane becomes the latest United player to fire wide of the target with a curling attempt.

Crusaders 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Carrick have started to produce a few attacks of their own. Rangers substitute Tzee Mustapha has looked lively since coming on for Glen Taggart.

Bannsiders in control

Coleraine 1-0 Glentoran

Brad Lyons, Jamie McGonigle and Darren McCauley have all threatened to add to Coleraine's lead but still just a goal between them at Ballycastle Road.

CLOSE!

Ballymena Utd 0-0 Portadown

Robert Garrett drills a shot from 10 yards into the arms of Ballymena goalkeeper Tim Allen.

Ref keeping up with play

Ref gets too close to the action