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Summary

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

Live Reporting

By Alvin McCaig and Matt Gault

All times stated are UK

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Good night!

That's all from us, folks. After another thrilling night's action, Crusaders remain a point clear of Linfield at the Irish Premiership summit after the sides recorded wins over Coleraine and Glenavon respectively. 

Portadown's relegation to the second-tier has finally been confirmed, meanwhile, after they lost 3-2 to Ards. 

Make sure you stay tuned to the BBC Sport NI website for all the goals and highlights from tonight's games, and we'll do it all again on Saturday as Crusaders travel to Ballymena United and Linfield visit Coleraine. 

What they said

Ards 3-2 Portadown

A crestfallen Niall Currie gives us his thoughts after Portadown's relegation was finally confirmed tonight following a 3-2 defeat to his former team Ards.

I honestly believed we had a chance but I think tonight tells its own story because we had that many kids helping us out in a relegation dogfight. It's been a very unhappy time at the club for a long time, if I'm honest, but I'm lucky to have these supporters with me. A totl rebuild is needed at the club. There are going to be a lot of players leaving in the summer but I've had to do it before and I'll have to do it again. It's going to be tough, but I'm still excited by the challenge.

Niall CurriePortadown manager
Portadown manager Niall Currie
Press Eye
Portadown manager Niall Currie

What they said

Crusaders 3-2 Coleraine

Stephen Baxter has been speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound...

I thought we dominated from start to finish, but they changed their shape a bit and began to pass the ball better, as they tend to do because Coleraine are a top side. But sometimes you have to get a job done and that's what we did tonight. I told the players a couple of weeks ago we had to step it up and we've had a real crack at it over the last two games. I have to be happy with that.

Stephen BaxterCrusaders manager
Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter
Press Eye
Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter

FULL-TIME

Ballymena United 4-1 Cliftonville

A big win for Ballymena, and they're now just three points behind fourth-placed Cliftonville. Kyle Owens, Johnny McMurray (2) and Cathair Friel with the goals for hosts - Stephen Garrett getting Cliftonville's goal.

FULL-TIME

Carrick Rangers 1-2 Glentoran

Glentoran edge a fairly forgettable game at Taylors Avenue, with Jonathan Smith and Curtis Allen on target for the visitors. 

FULL-TIME

Ards 3-2 Portadown

Portadown are relegated from the Premiership - they needed a win to maintain hopes of staying up but they drop out of top-flight football. 

Portadown are relegated from the Irish Premiership
BBC Sport
Portadown are relegated from the Irish Premiership

FULL-TIME

Crusaders 3-2 Coleraine

It's all over! For the second time in three days, Crusaders edge a five-goal thriller having come from behind to clinch another hugely important victory en route to retaining their title. 

With Linfield winning comfortably, it's as you were at the top of the table. 

Coleraine's long unbeaten streak finally comes to an end but they'll be relieved that Cliftonville have lost to Ballymena, so they maintain their advantage over the Reds in the race for third place. 

On the balance of play, Crusaders thoroughly deserved the victory - but don't they make it hard for themselves? They march on with two games left.

FULL-TIME

Ballinamallard United 1-4 Dungannon Swifts

An emphatic win for Rodney McAree's Swifts and they're on target to finish seventh and earn a place in the end-of-season play-offs for a place in next season's Europa League.

FULL-TIME

Linfield 3-0 Glenavon

GOAL

Ballymena United 4-1 Cliftonville

Johnny McMurray scores again and the night is getting even better for David Jeffrey's Sky Blues. Their fourth goal coming in the 88th minute.

Tense climax in store at Seaview

Crusaders 3-2 Coleraine

There's an overriding sense of unease in the stands as Crusaders sit back for these final few minutes. Every time Coleraine gain possession, you can cut the tension with a knife. There's only five minutes left but it will feel like an eternity for those Crusaders supporters. 

RED CARD

Ards 3-2 Portadown

Both teams are now down to 10 men as Ports mifdielder Sean Mackle is shown a straight red-card after an off-the-ball incident.

GOAL

Ballymena United 3-1 Cliftonville

Ballymena extend their lead at the Showgrounds through Cathair Friel who can hardly miss from close-range - Johnny McMurray the provider this time. Eleven minutes left here.

GOAL

Carrick Rangers 1-2 Glentoran

Curtis Allen gives Glentoran the lead, burying with typical aplomb after Stephen O'Flynn beat his man and fired across goal. 

CLOSE!

Crusaders 3-2 Coleraine

What a chance for Jordan Allen! Six yards out and the Coleraine man couldn't direct his header on target when he was completely unmarked, failing to put the finishing touch on some excellent play down the left by McCauley. It's difficult to see as good a chance falling to Coleraine in the remaining ten minutes. 

Hope for the Ports

Ards 3-2 Portadown

Head over heels

Linfield 3-0 Glenavon

Linfield's Paul Smyth celebrates his goal against Glenavon
Press Eye
Linfield's Paul Smyth celebrates his goal against Glenavon

GOAL

Ballinamallard United 1-4 Dungannon Swifts

Defender Dougie Wilson heads in at the back post on 79 minutes to make it four for Dungannon.

CLOSE!

Ards 3-2 Portadown

It's nearly all-square as Matthew Hazley beats Ards keeper Aaron Hogg but Michael Ruddy makes the goal-line clearance. Time is running out for the Ports - two more goals required or it's Championship football next season.

Crues edging closer

Crusaders 3-2 Coleraine

The intensity has dropped in the last five minutes and that suits Crusaders, who are tip-toeing towards the finish line. Coleraine have asked a couple of major questions tonight, but they're looking a bit fatigued. 

Crusaders are now trying to play keep ball, which is the right thing to do as they look to wind the clock down. 

Blues in cruise control

Linfield 3-0 Glenavon

This one looks done and dusted! No sign of a Glenavon comeback while Linfield striker Andrew waterworth sees his shot blocked by keeper Jonathan Tuffey. However, the hosts are fortunate not to be down to 10 men after Paul Smyth's heavy challenge on Joel Cooper. Just a yellow for Smyth.

GOAL

Crusaders 3-2 Coleraine

It's not over yet! Jamie McGonigle pulls one out of the hat!

Well, it looked like it was all over, but Coleraine are refusing to abide by the script here tonight. 

McGonigle used the defender as a screen, firing the ball past an unsighted O'Neill and into the bottom corner. 

There's still 20 minutes left - what has this absorbing game got left in store?

GOAL

Ards 3-2 Portadown

A glimmer of hope for the Ports as they pull one back through a Callum Ferris penalty. Ards defender Stuart McMullan was sent-off for the foul which led to the spot-kick. Another two goals against 10-man Ards and the fight against the drop could continue. Still 20 minutes to go!

GOAL

Crusaders 3-1 Coleraine

Heatley does it again! His second of the night surely gives Crusaders a massive three points.

Killer tackle from Kane!

Crusaders 2-1 Coleraine

Who says the art of tackling is dying out of the modern game? 

We've already seen a Maldini-esque tackle from Mullan to deny Heatley but Lyndon Kane emulates his teammate, tracking Caddell's run before scooping his leg around the Crues man and hooking the ball away. 

That's the equivalent of scoring a goal for a defender!

GOAL

Ballymena United 2-1 Cliftonville

Hope for Cliftonville as Stephen Garrett runs on to a long ball and lifts a superb finish past keeper Ross Glendinning. Goal on 62 minutes.

GOAL

Ballymena United 2-0 Cliftonville

Johnny McMurray scores against his former club to double the Sky Blues' advantage. Conor McCloskey sets it up with a fine run and pass and McMurray slots low into the corner on the hour mark.

GOAL

Carrick Rangers 1-1 Glentoran

Hey, not so fast Carrick! As half of the home side finish their celebrations, Glentoran have gone up the other end and stuck the ball in the net as Jonathan Smith volleys in from Salou Jallow's cross. 

The goals are flying in everywhere tonight!

GOAL

Carrick Rangers 1-0 Glentoran

The home side take the lead through Murray!

GOAL

Ballymena United 1-0 Cliftonville

United defender Kyle Owens breaks the deadlock with a commanding 55th-minute header after a free-kick is delivered deep into the box. Keeper Peter Burke got a touch on the ball but couldn't keep it out. 

BRILLIANT TACKLE!

Crusaders 2-1 Coleraine

Usually when Heatley scampers clear of the defence, there's only one outcome, but not this time! Young Adam Mullan does wonderfully to catch up with the Crues striker and intervene with a perfectly-timed challenge just as he poised to pull the trigger. 

GOAL

Ards 3-1 Portadown

This could signal the end of Premiership life for Portadown as Ards go two goals clear. Guillaume Keke slots home from a Kyle Cherry throughball for his eighth goal in eight games. With anything but a win sending Portadown down, it's looking very bleak for the basement boys.

Chances for Coleraine on the break

Crusaders 2-1 Coleraine

Such has been Crusaders' emphasis on all-out attack, there's a real possibility that Coleraine can catch them on the break. Not long ago, Harkin raced clear on the counter but, luckily for the Crues, the pace of Burns meant he was closed down before he could do any real damage. 

Cooper goes close

Linfield 3-0 Glenavon

Linfield remain in control but Glenavon striker Joel Cooper has twice gone close early in the second half.

Coleraine survive!

Crusaders 2-1 Coleraine

Crusaders have been relentless in attack tonight and their latest foray forward very nearly brings a third. The Coleraine defenders manage to scramble across and deny Owens, who is allowed to turn in the box with a minimum of fuss. 

The ball is only half-clear, though. The ball pinballs around in the box before the Bannsiders hack it clear. Desperation. 

GOAL

Ards 2-1 Portadown

Matthew Shevlin restores the lead for Ards with a jinking run and powerful finish. His third goal in as many games is a hammer blow for the Ports, who must win to have any hope of avoiding the drop.

Off we go again!

Crusaders 2-1 Coleraine

The second-half gets under way. Crusaders are fighting for the league crown, Coleraine are fighting to extend their impressive unbeaten run, which stretches back to Boxing Day and secure European football for next season. 

Yes, plenty on the line. Big 45 minutes ahead. 

Heatley's volley edges Crues ahead

Crusaders 2-1 Coleraine

Never one to be outdone, Paul Heatley conjured up his own cracking finish to give Crusaders the lead going into half-time and turn the game on its head. 

Paul Heatley fires in at the second time of asking

McLaughlin's screamer cancelled out by Owens

Crusaders 2-1 Coleraine

Make sure you watch James McLaughlin's wonder goal below. Then watch it again. And again. 

Have you seen a better goal this season? Didn't think so. 

McLaughlin scores for Coleraine, Owens equalises for Crusaders

Big man for the big occasion

Crusaders 2-1 Coleraine

Jordan Owens has delivered yet another crucial goal for Crusaders. 

Heatley, the Belfast side's other go-to guy, grabbed the other. The pair have 37 league goals between them this season. Devastating duo.

Crusaders striker Jordan Owens
Press Eye
Crusaders striker Jordan Owens