Irish Premiership: Crusaders stun Reds in derby fightback

Crusaders captain Colin Coates leads the celebrations after Michael Carvill makes it 3-3 against Cliftonville
Crusaders captain Colin Coates leads the celebrations after Michael Carvill makes it 3-3 against Cliftonville

Premiership leaders Crusaders produced an amazing comeback to beat derby rivals Cliftonville 4-3 after trailing by three goals with 25 minutes left.

David Cushley won it in injury-time as the champions stay five points clear.

Linfield's Jimmy Callacher struck late in a 2-1 win over Glentoran while Ballymena squandered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Coleraine.

Glenavon beat Portadown 1-0, Ards secured a 3-1 victory over Carrick and Ballinamallard defeated Dungannon 2-0.

Relive a thrilling day of Premiership action

It was going so well for Cliftonville - an impressive exhibition of passing, movement and finishing put them firmly in control.

Daniel Hughes poked home the opener and Jay Donnelly rifled into the top corner before Ruairi Harkin volleyed in his first goal for the Reds.

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Irish Premiership: Crusaders 4-3 Cliftonville

Crusaders were on course for a first league defeat of the season but they showed the stuff of champions with a remarkable fightback.

Owens launches comeback

Two Jordan Owens headers set up a tense finale and Michael Carvill equalised in the final minute before Cushley fired home deep in added time.

There was also derby drama at the Oval as Gary Haveron started his reign as Glentoran manager against old rivals Linfield.

Marcus Kane's own goal gave the Blues an early lead but a close-range Curtis Allen finish made it 1-1 after 55 minutes.

Linfield clinched victory thanks to Jimmy Callacher's bullet header with four minutes remaining and there was still time for Birney to be shown a straight red card after a bad challenge on Niall Quinn.

The ball hits the back of Glentoran's as the Blues go in front through a Marcus Kane own goal
The ball hits the back of Glentoran's as the Blues go in front through a Marcus Kane own goal

Third-placed Ballymena slipped up after Cathair Friel's double left them 2-0 ahead going into the 89th minute at Coleraine.

Braidmen denied

Jordan Allen bagged two goals in two minutes in late derby drama to earn the Bannsiders a point.

United remain third but Glenavon are just a point behind with Kevin Braniff's second-half goal ensuring a Mid-Ulster derby win over the Ports at Moureview Park.

Portadown played the second half with 10 men following the dismissal of defender Brendan Shannon for a tackle on Joel Cooper just before the break.

Martin Murray's penalty gave Carrick an early lead against Ards but the hosts levelled with Michael Ruddy's spot-kick before goals from Emmett Friars and Carl McComb.

Ards, who are up to fifth, claimed the points despite having Gareth Tommons sent off after 53 minutes.

Ballinamallard are moving towards mid-table territory after James McKenna's strike and Adam Lecky penalty saw off the Swifts challenge at Ferney Park.

Irish Premiership 1 October
Ards3-1Carrick Rangers
Ballinamallard United2-0Dungannon Swifts
Coleraine2-2Ballymena United
Crusaders4-3Cliftonville
Glenavon1-0Portadown
Glentoran1-2Linfield

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