Irish Premiership: Leaders Crusaders stay two points clear

Philip Lowry of Crusaders in action against Dungannon's Dougie Wilson
Crusaders are trying to win the Irish Premiership title for the third time in four seasons

Crusaders maintained their two-point lead over title rivals Coleraine as the Irish Premiership's top two both won on Saturday.

Northern Ireland Under-21 midfielder Gavin Whyte scored twice after Colin Coates had headed the first in Crusaders' 3-0 win over Dungannon.

Jamie McGonigle netted twice and Brad Lyons got the other as Coleraine won 3-1 away to Ards.

Linfield and Glentoran drew 1-1 while Ballinamallard held Glenavon 0-0.

Ballymena's poor recent run continued as they lost 3-1 at home to Warrenpoint Town.

Joe Gormley got the only goal as fifth-placed Cliftonville won 1-0 away to one-from-bottom Carrick Rangers.

Coleraine have lost just one match in this season's Irish Premiership
Coleraine have lost just one match in this season's Irish Premiership

Crusaders will be happy to keep their noses in front with six matches left in the Premiership campaign.

They took the lead in the 33rd minute against Dungannon at Seaview when skipper Coates headed in after a long free-kick into the box.

Whyte made it two with a deflected shot after the break and then pounced on a defensive mistake to make it 3-0 near the end.

Coleraine, who finished third last season, kept up their title push by winning 3-1 away to Ards.

They were two up inside the opening eight minutes through McGonigle and Lyons but Ards quickly got one back with a Ross Clarke goal.

McGonigle got his second with a 74th-minute penalty given for a foul on Eoin Bradley.

There are six matches left in the race for the Irish League title
There are six matches left in the race for the Irish League title

Harry McConkey was in charge for the first time as Ballinamallard picked up just their second away point of the season by drawing 0-0 away to Glenavon.

"Our attitude was to make it difficult for Glenavon and we managed that," said new boss McConkey.

"I am hoping on the back of this we can maybe gain some momentum."

Glentoran took the lead away to Linfield with a superb strike by Marcus Kane but Robert Garrett secured a 1-1 draw for the Blues.

New Warrenpoint manager, 25-year-old Stephen McDonnell, celebrated a 3-1 away win over Ballymena in his first match since succeeding Matthew Tipton.

Johnny McMurray put Ballymena into the lead and they fluffed a chance to go two up when Tony Kane missed a penalty.

Sean Mackle levelled with a spot-kick and Town sealed the win with goals by Anton Reilly and Alan O'Sullivan.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership - Saturday 17 March
Ards1-3Coleraine
Ballymena Utd1-3Warrenpoint Town
Carrick Rangers 0-1Cliftonville
Crusaders3-0Dungannon Swifts
Glenavon0-0Ballinamallard Utd
Linfield1-1Glentoran

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