Irish Premiership: Crusaders 5-0 Ballinamallard Utd


Premiership champions Crusaders chalked up their first league win with a thumping victory over the Mallards.

Diarmuid O'Carroll fired in a first-minute opener and it was quickly followed by a Paul Heatley double, his second a cracking shot from 25 yards.

Jordan Owens blasted in to make it 4-0 before Crues keeper Sean O'Neill kept out Ryan Campbell's penalty and his rebound effort after the break.

Owens headed home to complete the rout 10 minutes from time.

The Crues came into the Seaview game with just one point from two games but they outclassed the Mallards to show they will again be title contenders.

Stephen Baxter's men made the perfect start with O'Carroll hitting the bottom corner from an Owens cross.

Diarmuid O'Carroll celebrates scoring the opener for Crusaders
Diarmuid O'Carroll celebrates scoring the opener for Crusaders

Heatley headed wide before O'Neill turned Aaron Patterson's long-range strike round the post.

Fourteen minutes in and it was 2-0 with Heatley netting from an Owens pass and the winger was on target again six minutes later, his low shot arrowing beyond a diving Alvin Rouse.

Owens played a part in all three goals and the striker got on the scoresheet just before the break, finding the bottom corner from eight yards.

Campbell was brought down by Josh Robinson for the 51st-minute penalty but saw his spot-kick saved before O'Neill's superb stop from the rebound.

Owens sent a looping header into the top corner to seal his double as the Crues moved up to sixth in the early standings.