Irish Premiership: Ballymena United go four points clear

Ballymena beat Ards 2-0
Ballymena started the day two points ahead of second-placed Linfield

Ballymena United are four points clear at the top of the Irish Premiership after beating bottom club Ards 2-0.

First-half goals by Leroy Millar and Jude Winchester saw the leaders set a club record of 17 games unbeaten in all competitions.

Linfield drew 0-0 with Glenavon in the second versus third game at Windsor.

Institute skipper Michael McCrudden scored four goals as his side beat Cliftonville 6-4 while Crusaders saw off Warrenpoint 3-1 at Seaview.

Coleraine manager Rodney McAree enjoyed a 2-1 home win over his former team Dungannon Swifts.

Relive all the drama from Saturday's Irish Premiership matches

Gary Hamilton's Glenavon drew 0-0 away to Linfield
Gary Hamilton's Glenavon drew 0-0 away to second-placed Linfield

Ballymena's win was their ninth in a row in the league - and they had the luxury of being able to afford two missed penalties.

Millar headed in from a James Knowles cross for 1-0 with Winchester finishing coolly from 10 yards out after Millar had slid the ball through to make it two.

Knowles and Winchester had chances for further goals from the penalty spot, but Ards keeper Sam Johnston brilliantly saved both.

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton complained that his side had been denied a legitimate goal in the 0-0 draw at Linfield.

"It was an even game, but the thing that disappoints me most is the header from Dylan King that looked like it had crossed the line," said Hamilton.

"We thought at the time that it had crossed the line and having looked at it back on TV it looks like it did.

"The problem is we don't have anyone brave enough to give decisions like that against Linfield at Windsor Park."

Philip Lowry scored the first as Crusaders beat Warrenpoint 3-1
Philip Lowry scored the first as Crusaders beat Warrenpoint 3-1

Institute moved up to seventh place in the table after a remarkable 10-goal game at the Brandywell.

Michael McCrudden scored four times for Institute, while Joe McCready netted twice for the north-west side in a match which hinged upon a red card for Cliftonville keeper Brian Neeson after giving away a second-half penalty, less than 60 seconds after the Reds had missed a spot kick of their own at the other end.

Rory Donnelly notched a hat-trick for Cliftonville, whose other goal came from Joe Gormley.

Crusaders are up to fourth, just two points behind Glenavon, after 3-1 home win over Warrenpoint Town.

Philip Lowry's 53rd-minute glancing header was quickly followed by a David Cushley shot for 2-0.

A late own goal by Crues skipper Colin Coates gave Warrenpoint hope but Ross Clarke fired in with the last kick of the game to make it safe for Stephen Baxter's champions.

A Darren McCauley penalty and James McLaughlin shot put Coleraine 2-0 against Dungannon who got one back through Daniel Hughes.

Danske Bank Premiership
Ballymena United2-0Ards
Coleraine2-1Dungannon Swifts
Crusaders3-1Warrenpoint Town
Institute6-4Cliftonville
Linfield0-0Glenavon
Bluefin Sport Championship
Carrick Rangers2-0Portadown
H&W Welders1-0Dundela
Knockbreda2-2PSNI

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