Irish Premiership: Linfield 3-1 Cliftonville

Linfield's Matthew Tipton struck twice in the first half as the champions beat Premiership leaders Cliftonville.

Tipton scored the opener on 19 minutes when he rounded keeper Conor Devlin and then made it 2-0 four minutes later with a close-range stab.

In a superb first half, Liam Boyce got Cliftonville back into it with an angled left-foot shot past Blues keeper Alan Blayney in the 34th minute.

Michael Carvill restored Linfield's two-goal lead early in the second half.

Carvill tapped in after Mark McAllister had unselfishly square the ball to him in front of goal.

Cliftonville's Joe Gormley, on as a substitute for Martin Donnelly, had the ball in the net but it was disallowed for offside.

Gormley then missed a great chance when he skied over the bar.

The defeat means Cliftonville's lead over second-placed Crusaders has been cut to six points while Linfield, in third, are now 10 points behind the leaders.

But Blues boss David Jeffrey insisted Cliftonville remained firm front runners in the title race.

"They are very much the favourites and Crusaders had a great result," he said.

"We are a long way off the pace but, as for today, I am delighted.

"For us, it was all about making up for a dreadful performance at Solitude where Cliftonville were superb and we did not turn up.

"I told the players they were the ones who could make up for that embarrassing day, and I think they did that with aplomb."