Irish Premiership: Five star Coleraine thrash Mallards as Ards stun Glentoran
Coleraine are back within two points of the top of the Irish Premiership after a thumping 5-2 win at Ballinamallard while Ards upset hosts Glentoran 2-1.
Two first-half penalties by Ryan Curran meant it was tied 2-2 at half-time at Ferney Park after Josh Carson and Darren McCauley scored for Coleraine.
Eoin Bradley netted twice before Aaron Burns scored on his Coleraine debut.
Guillaume Keke and an Elliott Morris own goal earned Ards a narrow victory despite Curtis Allen's late goal.
Allen's 78th minute effort set up a tense finish at the Oval but the visitors managed to hold on to claim all three points and move further clear of the relegation battle.
Coleraine return to winning ways
After a run of five draws from their previous seven league matches, Coleraine started brightly in an effort to establish their dominance over the league's bottom side and Carson nearly gave them the perfect start when his 25-yard effort struck the crossbar.
The home side responded by hitting the woodwork with their first chance as Stephen O'Flynn's shot on the spin came back off the base of the post.
Ballinamallard goalkeeper Joshua Brownlee, who was making his senior debut, was called on to make a string of fine saves in the opening 30 minutes; saving with his legs from Bradley, comfortably holding claiming Ciaron Harkin's long-range effort and also denying Martin Smith.
The Mallards took the lead against the run of play in the 34th minute, which sparked a flurry of four goals before the break.
Curran blasted his spot kick into the roof of the net after Jonathan Leddy was needlessly brought down by Carson inside the area.
The visitors were level shortly afterwards when Carson made amends for his clumsy challenge at the other end by heading into an open net after Bradley had sent McCauley's cross back across goal.
The Bannsiders took the lead within seconds of the restart when McCauley's low shot had enough power to beat Brownlee.
The two sides were level just before the break after Ballinamallard were awarded their second penalty of the night.
Curran once again converted after O'Flynn had been fouled in the box by Stephen O'Donnell.
Oran Kearney's side regained the lead shortly after the restart as Bradley rose highest to get his head on McCauley's in-swinging free-kick.
Bradley got his second goal in the 77th minute when his 25-yard free kick found the top corner of the net and the striker was replaced shortly afterwards by Burns.
The former Linfield forward wasted no time in marking the start of his Coleraine career with a composed 85th minute finish to round off the scoring.
Ards end losing streak
Glentoran remain in sixth place in the table but their hopes of a top-half finish were rocked by their defeat to an Ards side that had lost four consecutive games before their visit to the Oval.
The Glens had the best chances of the opening half but Allen headed over the bar from just six yards out and Robbie McDaid's effort forced a point-blank save from Sam Johnston.
The visitors worked their way into the game and eventually broke the deadlock in the 58th minute when Guillaume Keke struck.
The French striker kept his composure to score after a flick by Kyle Cherry had sent him through on goal.
Ards doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Glens' goalkeeper Elliott Morris dropped the ball over his own line after fumbling David McAllister's corner.
Allen's late goal revived the home side's challenge and they came close to grabbing a point when a free by James Knowles forced a superb save from Johnston as Ards held on to take all three points.
|Danske Bank Premiership|