Irish Premiership: Ballymena Utd 6-1 Cliftonville

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Ballymena United 6-1 Cliftonville

Matthew Tipton scored a hat-trick of penalties as Ballymena moved off the bottom of the table by trouncing 10-man Cliftonville at the Showgrounds.

Tipton fired home on 28 minutes, then added his second in first-half injury-time after goalkeeper Peter Burke was sent-off for fouling Matthew Shevlin.

Chris Curran pulled one back but David Cushley scored with a left-foot drive.

Michael Ruddy and Jim Ervin were then on target, before Tipton slotted in his third spot-kick with six minutes left.

Both sides had early chances in a lively start, Caoimhin Bonner seeing a header cleared off the line by Eoin Kane and Cushley rifling a shot narrowly wide.

Jay Donnelly crashed a header off the bar, before striker Tipton opened the scoring after Shevlin went down under a challenge from Johnny Flynn inside the area.

Burke was shown a red card by referee Tim Marshall after he lost control of the ball and upended Shevlin in the box.

Tipton blasted past makeshift keeper Eamonn Seydak, but Curran gave his side some hope when he headed home from a Stephen Garrett cross four minutes after the interval.

Cushley waltzed through the Reds defence and rifled low into the net, before Ruddy chipped in the fourth after catching Seydak off his line.

Ervin got in on the act with 10 minutes remaining, and Tipton grabbed the sixth, to condemn the visitors to a second successive league defeat.

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