Irish Premiership: Ballymena United outclass Crusaders while Curtis Allen scores his 100th Glentoran goal

Watch: Ballymena up to third after Crues hammering

Ballymena United scored twice in 90 second half seconds to condemn Crusaders to a sixth league defeat with a 3-0 win.

Leaders Glenavon needed two late efforts to beat Newry as Mark Stafford gave Linfield a late win at Dungannon.

Cliftonville scored two early goals to beat Coleraine 2-1 while Curtis Allen surpassed the 100-goal mark in Glentoran's 4-0 thumping of Ards.

A Michael McCrudden volley gave Institute a 1-0 win over Warrenpoint.

Relive the key moments from Saturday's Irish Premiership

Reigning champions Crusaders have now lost back-to-back league matches for the second time this season as Ballymena were simply too strong for Stephen Baxter's side.

Adam Lecky dinked over Sean O'Neill to open the scoring before Willie Faulkner and Andy McGrory registered a quickfire double to exploit a Crusaders defence that has shipped 23 goals this campaign.

Andy Hall scored his fifth goal of the season in the 79th minute to edge Glenavon ahead against a spirited Newry at Mourneview Park before Ben Doherty's inswinging corner evaded everyone to double the advantage just minutes later.

Mark Sykes struck the post with a wonderful curling effort while Newry striker Declan Carville was shown a second yellow card late one at the visitors ended with 10-men.

Having surrendered their unbeaten run to Ards last week, Linfield returned to the top of the table albeit possibly briefly with Glenavon two points behind with a couple of games in hand.

Dougie Wilson's looping header had given the Swifts the lead before parity was restored as Jake Dykes turned Niall Quinn's cross into his own net.

Dungannon fought valiantly to protect a point after Seanan Clucas was dismissed on the hour mark following a second booking but eventually succumbed to the relentless Linfield pressure as Stafford bundled in at the back post.

Curtis Allen
Allen opened the scoring to net his 100th Glentoran goal

Former Blues man Allen reached his century of goals for Glentoran early in the opening half at the Oval before Robbie McDaid doubled the advantage.

Second half goals from Marcus Kane and Allen pushed the Glens back above Coleraine in the table and within a point of Crusaders with a game in hand, although they did end the game with 10-men as substitute John McGuigan was sent off late-on.

Levi Ives curled in a wonderful free-kick for the second week running to give Cliftonville the perfect start at the Showgrounds and Rory Donnelly doubled the lead soon after with a close-range header.

Darren McCauley turned in Jamie McGonigle's low cross to cut the deficit in half but the Bannsiders could not find an equaliser as they fell to a home defeat for the second time this season.

At Milltown the game was decided by a moment of real quality from Stute captain McCrudden, whose volley gave Paddy McLaughlin's side their third win in four league matches while Michael O'Connor was shown a straight red late in the game for Point.

Danske Bank Premiership
Ballymena Utd3-0Crusaders
Dungannon Swifts1-2Linfield
Warrenpoint Town0-1Institute
Glenavon2-0Newry City
Bluefin Sport Championship
Carrick Rangers4-2PSNI
Dundela2-2Limavady United
HW Welders2-3Larne
Loughgall4-2Ballyclare Comrades
Portadown5-0Ballinamallard United

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