Irish Premiership: Leaders Crusaders beat Glenavon to go six clear

Paul Heatley scored for Crusaders
Paul Heatley scored a brilliant equaliser for Crusaders against Glenavon

Sean O'Neill saved a stoppage-time penalty as unbeaten Crusaders beat Glenavon 3-2 to extend their lead at the top of the table to six points.

Linfield got a late win over Glentoran while while Cliftonville moved into the top three with a 4-0 win at Dungannon.

Ballymena United drew 1-1 against Coleraine who finished the match with nine men after two red cards.

Larne won 4-1 away to Institute while a 4-0 win for Carrick means bottom club Warrenpoint are still without a point.

Crusaders keeper Sean O'Neill saved a Josh Daniels penalty with the final touch of the match to help his side earn a 3-2 win and maintain the Crues' excellent start to the season.

A spot-kick from second-half substitute David Cushley 12 minutes from time proved the difference between the sides as he found the bottom corner after Paul Heatley was brought down in the box by Aaron Harmon.

The visitors had taken the lead in the first minute of the match when Rhys Marshall headed home a Patrick Burns cross, but Heatley equalised with a wonder goal 12 minutes later.

Jordan Forsythe lifted the ball into the box and Heatley let the ball fall over his shoulder before finishing with an acrobatic overhead kick.

Philip Lowry gave the Crues the lead eight minutes after the interval with a close-range header after Forsythe had flicked on a corner.

Andy Mitchell levelled the match for the Lurgan Blues with a 68th-minute penalty before Cushley scored from the spot at the other end.

Chris Hegarty then fouled Conor McCloskey in the final minute only for O'Neill to save from Daniels to make it six wins and a draw for the league leaders from their opening seven Irish Premiership matches.

Millar strikes late to give Blues crucial win

Kirk Millar scored with three minutes remaining to give Linfield a crucial win over Glentoran at Windsor Park.

Both sides had several chances to take the lead, with Robbie McDaid going closest for the Glens as he headed off the crossbar with 15 minutes to go.

Bastien Hery and Joel Cooper linked up to find Mark Stafford in the area in the dying minutes, with the defender having the awareness to tee up Millar, who jinked inside and slotted home off the unfortunate Conor Pepper.

David Healy sprinted down the touchline in celebration after the goal and Windsor Park erupted as the Blues made it two wins in a row.

Garry Breen opened the scoring in Cliftonville's 4-0 win at Dungannon
Garry Breen opened the scoring in Cliftonville's 4-0 win at Dungannon

Reds pile misery on Swifts

Joe Gormley scored twice as Cliftonville recorded a resounding 4-0 victory over Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.

Garry Breen opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time for the Reds when he escaped his man and fired low beyond Sam Johnston.

With the game still delicately poised at the break, two quickfire strikes from Gormley and Ryan Curran on 49 and 51 minutes established a commanding lead for the visitors. Gormley tapped home from Curran's cross before the Reds No.9 grabbed his own goal when he headed Levi Ives' free-kick off Johnston and into the net.

Gormley rounded Johnston to add a fourth nine minutes from time to seal a convincing win for Paddy McLaughlin's side and lift them into third place, heaping the misery on the Swifts, who have now lost their last three games with an aggregate score of 0-12.

Honours even in drama-filled derby

Coleraine maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw at Ballymena United, despite finishing the game with just nine men.

James McLaughlin put the Bannsiders ahead on 13 minutes but he then went off with a hamstring injury before visiting skipper Stephen O'Donnell was sent off on 37 minutes for a second bookable offence.

Scot Whiteside's glancing header brought Ballymena level on the stroke of half-time but the home side couldn't force a winner, even after the last minute dismissal of defender Adam Mullan, who picked up a second caution for bringing down the clear-breaking Ross Lavery.

Ballymena's Kofi Balmer challenges Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley
The derby clash at Ballymena ended 1-1

Larne ease past 'Stute

Larne comfortably secured their first win in four league matches with a 4-1 success away to one-from-bottom Institute.

Johnny McMurray and Martin Donnelly each scored twice for the mid-table visitors.

Larne had keeper Conor Mitchell sent off for a rash second-half challenge when the score was 3-0 but Institute's only goal came from a Joe McCready penalty.

Nixon hat-trick Carrick big win as Warrenpoint remain rooted to the bottom

Stewart Nixon's hat-trick saw Carrick Rangers piling on the misery on bottom club Warrenpoint Town as the East Antrim outfit moved above Glenavon into ninth spot in the table.

After Warrenpoint missed early chances, Nixon put Rangers ahead on 17 minutes after latching on to a short backpass from Evan Moran.

Nixon punished more woeful defending to double Carrick's lead within two minutes and Warrenpoint's day went from bad to worse soon after as Dermot McVeigh was red carded for a wild lunge at Nixon.

Despite being down to 10 men, Warrenpoint should have pulled a goal back before the break as Brandon Doyle was denied by Aaron Hogg and Nixon's 63rd-minute penalty, after Eamon Scannell's handball, put the game to bed.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership
Ballymena United1-1Coleraine
Dungannon Swifts0-4Cliftonville
Warrenpoint Town0-3Carrick Rangers
Bluefin Sport Championship
Ards2-0Ballyclare Comrades
Dundela3-2H&W Welders
Loughgall1-2Ballinamallard United
Newry City1-2Dergview
Portadown3-1Queen's University

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