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Summary

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

Live Reporting

By Alvin McCaig and Matt Gault

All times stated are UK

FULL-TIME

Warrenpoint 2-3 Glenavon

That's it. If you're still with us, thanks for following the coverage. It's been fun.

Especially if you're name is Bobby Burns. He got the winner for the Lurgan Blues and gives Gary Hamilton's side maximum points after a tricky first encounter.

Warrenpoint deserves plaudits for their endeavour and heat, coming from two goals behind to draw level, it wasn't to be enough in the end as Glenavon head back to Mourneview after a hard-fought win.

Thanks for staying with us. The Irish Premiership has returned. Strap yourself in. This season is going to be quite a ride.

GOAL

Warrenpoint 2-3 Glenavon

Well, Warrenpoint weren't level for long. Burns pounces on a loose ball in the box and rips an effort high into the net - Steven Maguire had no chance.

That's the fifth goal of what has been a hugely entertaining game. If this is a sign of things to come, Milltown may well prove to be a tough place to come for some of the league's heavyweights.

GOAL

Warrenpoint 2-2 Glenavon

Murray curls the spot-kick into the corner and Point are level! Game on!

It came from a poor kick from Tuffey, which allowed Murray to break before he was fouled by Kelly.

The former Portadown and Cliftonville striker made no mistake from 12 yards, grabbing his second of an increasingly satisfying afternoon.

PENALTY

Warrenpoint 1-2 Glenavon

Penalty to the home side!

CLOSE!

Warrenpoint 1-2 Glenavon

Mitchell is desperate for that debut strike and goes close once more, Blayney denying him after another sharp turn.

That followed Point's appeal for a penalty after Murray went down in the box. The referee, however, was uninterested and waved play on.

Another chance goes begging!

Warrenpoint 1-2 Glenavon

After a swift counter-attack from a Glenavon corner, substitute Stephen Murray fires over from a great position. Point have responded admirably to going two goals down, but it will be in vain unless they take their chances.

Highlights

Linfield 2-0 Carrick Rangers

Premiership champions Linfield start their campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Carrick Rangers at Windsor Park.

Irish Premiership: Blues begin title defence with win over Carrick

Highlights

Ballinamallard United 1-2 Glentoran

Glentoran striker Curtis Allen scores a controversial late winner to complete his double in a 2-1 victory over Ballinamallard United.

Curtis Allen gives Glentoran victory at Ballinamallard

CHANCE!

Warrenpoint 1-2 Glenavon

Forde skips in behind a sleeping Glenavon defence and is perhaps afforded too much time and space as he fires straight at Tuffey. That was a glorious chance for Point to complete the comeback, they'll take encouragement from another lapse in the Glenavon back-line.

Highlights

Cliftonville 6-3 Ards

Gormley scores twice as Cliftonville beat Ards

Mitchell goes close!

Warrenpoint 1-2 Glenavon

Mitchell turns and gets his shot away impressively, curling one just past the post. The longer it stays 2-1, the more encouraged Warrenpoint will become.

Back under way

Warrenpoint 1-2 Glenavon

Nothing to report so far since the restart.

Highlights

Dungannon Swifts 1-3 Coleraine

Coleraine start their Irish Premiership campaign with a 3-1 win away to Dungannon Swifts.

Coleraine win away to Dungannon Swifts

GOAL

Warrenpoint 1-2 Glenavon

I didn't see much of a future for Warrenpoint in this game. Luckily, for entertainment value's sake, I was wrong. Darren Murray pulls one back just before the teams trudge back down the tunnel.

That certainly makes it interesting for the second-half - and will make an honest team out of Glenavon. Considering their utter superiority in nearly every department across the pitch, Hamilton and his coaching staff will be beside themselves if they travel back to Mourneview with anything less than three points.

CLOSE!

Warrenpoint 0-2 Glenavon

It's pretty much one-way traffic at Milltown. Hall goes close to clinching Glenavon's third but is denied brilliantly by Blayney, who pushes it beyond the post. Point are still in this game. Just about.

Struggling Point can't get going

Warrenpoint 0-2 Glenavon

The home side haven't really mustered much in the way of an attack so far and it's all smooth sailing for Glenavon, who look slick and composed in possession. Clingan has popped up in pockets of space more than once, which is a worrying sign for Point boss Matthew Tipton.

Glenavon's Rhys Marshall challenges Luke Fisher of Warrenpoint
Pacemaker
Glenavon's Rhys Marshall challenges Luke Fisher of Warrenpoint

GOAL

Warrenpoint 0-2 Glenavon

Griffin gets his second of the game! What a debut it's been already for the 26-year-old, firing into the top corner after Point fail to clear from a corner.

It's a long way back for the hosts already.

GOAL

Warrenpoint 0-1 Glenavon

It's the Lurgan Blues who take the lead and it's summer signing Marc Griffin who gets it. An ideal start for Gary Hamilton's side, who have looked sharp from the outset here.

Sammy Clingan, making his Glenavon debut of course, laid it off to Hall, who whipped an excellent cross into the path of Griffin, the former Drogheda United and Derry City striker making no mistake from close-range.

What they said

Linfield 2-0 Carrick Rangers

We should have scored more but it's a good result - three points is all that matters on the first day of the season. Carrick came with a gameplan, they defended well and I hit a terrible penalty. We've had a few hard games in Europe and we're sharp and fit. We want to do the same if not better than season.

Jordan StewartLinfield midfielder

What they said

Dungannon 1-3 Coleraine

It was a good result, even if it wasn't the most perfect performance we've put in. It was quite stressful, frenetic at times, but I thought we were good once we settled down in the second-half. Obviously we had a man sent off but we responded well to it. Ciaron Harkin has been a revelation. Ever since we signed him in January, he's been a breath of fresh air and his contribution proved decisive today. We've had a good pre-season and a few European games so I think that's added a bit of sharpness and we're raring to go this season.

Oran KearneyColeraine manager
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney
Press Eye
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney

What they said

Cliftonville 6-3 Ards

I thought we started really well. We were positive and sharp out of the blocks, and even took the lead. We've come here without a few key defenders so I knew we'd be up against it, but we've defended poorly and you can't do that against a team like Cliftonville. I can draw a few positives, of course, because I don't see too many teams scoring three at Solitude but we have to look at the mistakes we've made. There's only one game one and we've already conceded six so we need to regroup quickly and get ready for Linfield on Tuesday night.

Colin NixonArds manager
Ards boss Colin Nixon
Press Eye
Ards boss Colin Nixon

Happy Haveron!

Ballinamallard 1-2 Glentoran

It's no less than we deserved - it's a tough place to come but we dominated the game and I'm delighted to go home with the points. Curtis Allen (who scored both Glens goals) is vital to what we want to achieve at this club. He's a 20-goal a season man. He couldn't find the net in pre-season and I just told him to keep them for the first match of the season.

Gary HaveronGlentoran manager

What they said

Cliftonville 6-3 Ards

We're delighted to get the three points more than anything. There are bits and pieces from the game that I'm not pleased with but the priority was to record the win and the players delivered. We're delighted with Joe Gormley's performance, he's obviously an important part of our attacking force but I'm happy with the contribution of the other players around him. Attacking is certainly our biggest strength, but there's work still to be done. We've had to come from behind today, though, and to get the win is very pleasing.

Barry GrayCliftonville manager
Cliftonville boss Barry Gray
Press Eye
Cliftonville boss Barry Gray

FULL-TIME

Cliftonville 6-3 Ards

Two goals apiece for Jay Donnelly and Joe Gormley helps lift Cliftonville to an emphatic victory over Ards at Solitude.

The visitors took an early lead through Jonny Frazer, before Donnelly, Gormely and Chris Curran all found the net in the space of ten minutes. Kyle Cherry pulled one back before half-time but Gormley and Donnelly scored one more each either side of a Scott Davidson own-goal.

Frazer grabbed a late consolation strike but it's Barry Gray's men who celebrate at the end of a thrilling game.

Cliftonville's Joe Gormley celebrates scoring against Ards
Press Eye
Cliftonville's Joe Gormley celebrates scoring against Ards

FULL-TIME

Dungannon 1-3 Coleraine

It's all over at Stangmore and Coleraine take the spoils. Their goals came from Ciaron Harkin, Stephen O'Donnell and Ian Parkhill, with Ryan Mayse grabbing Swifts' solitary strike.

FULL-TIME

Ballinamallard Utd 1-2 Glentoran

FULL-TIME

Linfield 2-0 Carrick Rangers

GOAL

Dungannon 1-3 Coleraine

The visitors score from the resulting free-kick and surely wrap up the three points as Ian Parkhill fires into the top-corner.

It was Coleman's mistake which allowed Lyons to steal in, the Swifts keeper deeming it necessary to haul him down and receive his marching orders.

Ultimately, it didn't matter for Coleraine, who go and stick the ball in the net anyway. Incidentally, Dungannon had made all three of their substitutions and O'Rourke has slipped the gloves on for the remaining few minutes. His first act as Coleman's stand-in was to pick the ball out of the net.

GOAL

Ballinamallard 1-2 Glentoran

Curtis Allen strikes three minutes from time to put the visitors ahead. Time was running out for a dominant Glens side to find a winner but Allen nets from John McGuigan's corner to compete his double.

RED CARD

Dungannon 1-2 Coleraine

Andy Coleman has been sent off for Dungannon!

GREAT SAVE!

Linfield 2-0 Carrick Rangers

Carrick keeper Harry Doherty follows up his penalty save by superbly tipping over Mark Haughey's close-range header from a corner. It's followed by a rare opening for the visitors, with Dale Malone volleying wide.

GOAL

Cliftonville 6-3 Ards

Frazer gets his second of the afternoon. Scant consolation at this stage, yes, but it once again exposes the frailties in the Reds defence, which has struggled with the physicality of Keke, and indeed the movement of Frazer.

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GOAL

Dungannon 1-2 Coleraine

Not so fast. Mayse - who has been outstanding for the Swifts - pulls one back having been picked out by Lavery, who makes an immediate impact after coming off the bench. It's not over yet!

GOAL

Dungannon 0-2 Coleraine

The Bannsiders double their lead through Stephen O'Donnell, who rises to head home Harkin's free-kick.

Well, Rodney McAree won't be happy with how his side have capitulated, even though it's Coleraine who are a man light.

In stark contrast, Oran Kearney will be delighted with how his players have responded to that setback. It looks like it's going to be an opening three points for last season's surprise package.

MISSED PENALTY

Linfield 2-0 Carrick Rangers

Jordan Stewart has caught the eye for the Blues but he fails to convert a penalty as Harry Doherty saves his weak spot-kick. The former Glens player was brought down for the penalty.

Glens piling on pressure

Ballinamallard Utd 1-1 Glentoran

It remains all-square but the Glens are pushing hard for a second goal. Dylan Davidson's effort was cleared off the line by Colm McLaughlin, Curtis Allen curled wide and Tiarnan McNicholl's shot is saved by Richard Brush.

GOAL

Cliftonville 6-2 Ards

Donnelly heads home his second as the Reds hit Ards for six!

Well, it's been a miserable afternoon for Colin Nixon's side, but the Ards boss will surely question the lack of fundamental defending which allowed Donnelly to surge into the box and convert the cross, with no defenders tracking the run, or indeed challenging him in the air.

Jay Donnelly heads his second goal for the day for Cliftonville

GOAL

Dungannon 0-1 Coleraine

Harkin scores for Coleraine! A rasping 25-yard effort flies past a helpless Coleman and now the ten-men of the visitors very much have something to cling on to. That's Harkin's first goal for Coleraine. He'll do well to ever score a better one.

Not this time for Gormley!

Cliftonville 5-2 Ards

It's been a triumphant return for Gormley, but such is his character, he won't be fully satisfied until he has his hat-trick.

He came close a moment ago, turning and firing just over with the Solitude crowd ready to meet another shot bursting the net with thunderous appreciation.

RED CARD

Dungannon 0-0 Coleraine

Steven Douglas receives a second yellow card for a foul on Mayse and Coleraine are down to ten men. It was a rather foolish push on the back, especially for a player of his experience. Oran Kearney will surely assess his options after losing his captain. Still more than 30 minutes to play.

Before that, Mayse missed another opportunity after being teed up by McMahon. With a numerical advantage, the Swifts must surely feel that the elusive opener is just around the corner.