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Summary

  1. Ballymena United 2-0 Portadown
  2. Crusaders 2-2 Glentoran
  3. Linfield 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Live Reporting

By Lyle Jackson and Matt Gault

All times stated are UK

Final whistle

Irish Premiership

Thanks very much for following the action with us. See you next week when we will have a full programme of six matches. Leaders Crusaders are away to Ballinamallard while second-placed Linfield travel to Ards.

Crues held by Glentoran

Crusaders 2-2 Glentoran

Highlights from Seaview as champions Crusaders grab a 2-2 draw against Glentoran thanks to a late Richard Clarke equaliser.

Crusaders drew 2-2 at home to Glentoran

Ballymena bag three points

Ballymena United 2-0 Portadown

One for the McCaffreys to enjoy! Their boy Fra scores both goals to give Ballymena United a 2-0 win over Portadown.

Fra McCaffrey grabs both goals as Ballymena United beat Portadown 2-0

Easy for Linfield

Linfield 3-0 Carrick Rangers

See how Linfield ran out easy winners over Carrick Rangers at Windsor Park.

Linfield ease past Carrick Rangers at Windsor Park

How they stand

Top half of the table

So a decent afternoon for Linfield as they aim to close in on champions Crusaders at the top of the table. A three-goal victory over Carrick - but more importantly three points today for David Healy's Blues and they're now five behind the Premiership pacesetters.

Top half of the Irish Premiership
BBC Sport
Top half of the Irish Premiership

Keeper Morris on Seaview incident

Crusaders 2-2 Glentoran

I can take all the verbal abuse and name calling - I can take that all day. But when someone spits at you from two yards it is hard. But, listen, it was a good game today and I think both teams were disappointed they did not win

Elliot MorrisGlentoran goalkeeper

What they said

Ballymena United 2-0 Portadown

There were not that many clear cut chances. We had a lack of quality in important areas but we regrouped at half-time and in the second half we were much better and perhaps shaded a narrow victory. We had been poor in the last few matches but we know we can jump back up the table.

Allan JenkinsBallymena United

What they said

Crusaders 2-2 Glentoran

The match had a bit of everything and I am disappointed mainly. We were resilient and made ourselves hard to beat. Curtis has scored goals throughout his career in the Irish League and it was essential we got him on a new contract. I feel we are going to get the best years of him at 28. It is a great coup for the club.

Gary HaveronGlentoran manager

Glens keeper clashes with fan

Crusaders 2-2 Glentoran

However, there are some ugly scenes at the final whistle as Elliot Morris becomes involved in an incident with a fan behind the goal. The Glens keeper was rubbing his shirt after the incident, suggesting he may have been spat on. 

Team-mate Calum Birney intervenes quickly, pulling his goalkeeper away from the ensuing melee.   

Tempers flared at the end of the Crusaders v Glentoran match
Pacemaker
Tempers flared at the end of the Crusaders v Glentoran match

FULL-TIME

Ballymena United 2-0 Portadown

Ballymena move to within five points of third-placed Cliftonville thanks to a Fra McCaffrey double, seeing off Portadown at the Showgrounds.

Niall Currie will reportedly be appointed Portadown manager in the next few days and he has a remarkably difficult job ahead of him if he is to salvage what has been a miserable season for the Shamrock Park outfit. 

Portadown bound Niall Currie
Press Eye
Portadown bound Niall Currie

FULL-TIME

Crusaders 2-2 Glentoran

It's over at Seaview!

FULL-TIME

Linfield 3-0 Carrick Rangers

David Healy's men win comfortably to reclaim second place in the Premiership table. They're five points behind Crusaders now after the leaders are held to a 2-2 draw at home to Glentoran.

Forsythe misses!

Crusaders 2-2 Glentoran

Almost immediately after drawing level for the second time, Forsythe spurns a chance to complete the comeback, blazing his shot well over the bar after escaping a tired Glens defence. 

GOAL

Crusaders 2-2 Glentoran

Richard Clarke levels it!

Glentoran can't hold on as the home side are rescued by substitute Clarke, who fires in a right-footed effort from the edge of the area. 

It's yet another late goal at home for Crusaders!

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Smyth injured

Linfield 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Paul Smyth hobbles off but Linfield have a decent replacement in Aaron Burns. Most of the interest at Windsor is on the latest score at Seaview.

Can Glentoran hold on?

Crusaders 1-2 Glentoran

The visitors are camped inside their own half as Crusaders search for an equaliser. The Glens are defending resolutely - but will it be enough to hang on for what would be a memorable victory?

Less than 10 minutes remaining. 

Morris with a super save

Crusaders 1-2 Glentoran

Allen has bagged himself a brace but Elliott Morris has certainly staked a claim to be named man of the match. The Glens keeper produces the latest in an excellent series of stops to deny a Jordan Owens header which looked destined for the bottom corner.

Glentoran keeper Elliott Morris saves

GOAL

Ballymena 2-0 Portadown

A quickfire double as McCaffrey tucks away a cracking effort into the top corner! William Faulkner found his teammate with a fine pass and McCaffrey did the rest.

A devastating one-two punch from David Jeffrey's men and it looks a long way back for Portadown now. 

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GOAL

Ballymena 1-0 Portadown

Fra McCaffrey scores!

The Sky Blues have got their noses in front after Tony Kane's cross is not dealt with, allowing the midfielder to capitalise and smash home the opener. 

CLOSE!

Linfield 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Mark Stafford almost heads his second but the ball comes off the upright.

GOAL

Crusaders 1-2 Glentoran

Allen scores his second of the afternoon! 

Crusaders have been punished for a slow start to the second-half as Allen strikes again, arriving late into the area to poke home Aaron Harmon's cross under Sean O'Neill. 

Once again, the champions will have to show their resilience if they're to get something from this game. That goal sets it up for an interesting second-half indeed. 

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GOAL

Linfield 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Defender Mark Stafford heads the Blues into a 3-0 lead from Kirk Millar's corner in the 57th minute. The points look safe for Linfield - now they'll be hoping leaders Crusaders drop some in their match against Glentoran.

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Fantastic home record

Crusaders 1-1 Glentoran

Stephen Baxter's side have won eight out of their nine games at home this season. Will it be another late goal today to claim three points for the league leaders?

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter
Press Eye
Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter

GOAL

Linfield 2-0 Carrick Rangers

Andrew Waterworth bags his second in the 53rd minute. Kirk Millar sets it up, crossing from the right and the Blues striker races in to net from just a few yards out.

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CLOSE!

Linfield 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Paul Smyth has a chance to put Linfield 2-0 up early in the second half but skies over from close-range.

From the archives

Crusaders v Glentoran

Crusaders will be hoping to do better than their 1993 counterparts today. Roll back the years, Glenmen, here are clips of a 4-0 at Seaview. Those were the days.

Glentoran beat Crusaders 4-0 in 1993

Haire nearly fires Ports ahead

Ballymena 0-0 Portadown

It hasn't been a classic at the Showgrounds, with no goals going into the break but Aaron Haire came close to scoring a beautiful opener, whistling a left-footed effort just wide of the post. Closest either side came during the first-half. 

HALF-TIME

Irish Premiership

Ballymena United 0-0 Portadown

Crusaders 1-1 Glentoran

Linfield 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Portadown goalkeeper Chris McGaughey turns the ball over the bar
Press Eye
Portadown goalkeeper Chris McGaughey turns the ball over the bar during a goal-less first half at the Showgrounds

Morris denies Carvill again

Crusaders 1-1 Glentoran

The hosts have regained the initiative since equalising and Carvill is unlucky not to fire the home side ahead. Morris races off his line to deny the midfielder for the second time this afternoon. The Glens keeper has been exceptional so far today.

Not much to report at the Showgrounds

Ballymena 0-0 Portadown

It doesn't sound like an exciting affair, with not a great deal of goalmouth action to report. The Sky Blues have scored 38 goals already this season, but aren't looking too threatening so far today. 

GOAL

Crusaders 1-1 Glentoran

Gavin Whyte converts confidently and Crues are level!

That's disappointing for Glentoran, especially as they have been comfortable since taking the lead. However, Addis only has himself to blame after tugging away at Owens right in front of the referee. 

Whyte stepped up and dispatched the spot-kick straight into the bottom corner. Morris went the right way but couldn't get near it. 

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PENALTY

Crusaders 0-1 Glentoran

Crusaders have a penalty! Jonny Addis pulling Jordan Owens' shirt. Clear penalty. 

GOAL

Linfield 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Striker Andrew Waterworth charges through to shoot past Rangers keeper Brian Neeson from the edge of the box. Linfield scored five last Saturday and six in midweek, so it could be a long afternoon for Aaron Callaghan's visitors.

Friday night action

Ards 3-3 Ballinamallard United

Ards 3-3 Ballinamallard United

Adam Lecky scores a hat-trick for Ballinamallard but they have to settle for a draw away to fellow strugglers Ards. The Mallards led on three occasions, but Ards hit back each time with Craig McMillen, Emmett Friars and Michael Rudy on target. John Bailie was in charge of Ards, with manager Niall Currie expected to be moving to take over at Portadown.

Carson volleys over for Ports

Ballymena 0-0 Portadown

Mark Carson volleys just over the bar as the Ports look to end another troubling week for the club with a much-needed victory. 

GOAL

Crusaders 0-1 Glentoran

Curtis Allen bundles in the opener at Seaview! 

Well, it's been all Crusaders in the early exchanges but Glentoran have punished them for not converting their early chances. 

After forcing a corner, a header at the back post causes chaos in the six-yard box and, with the home side unable to clear, Allen fires in from close range. The striker celebrates his new contract in style!

Glentoran take the lead against Crusaders

Morris saves from Carvill

Crusaders 0-0 Glentoran

How is this still 0-0? Crusaders have settled into an early rhythm as Carvill is denied by a fine save from Elliot Morris. The champions have unlocked the visitors' defence three times already. It's looking ominous for Gary Haveron's men. 

Caddell has another sight of goal!

Crusaders 0-0 Glentoran

Glentoran living dangerously already as Forsythe finds Caddell at the far post. With the ball flying over the top of the head, the midfielder was unable to generate enough power on his shot. 

Early chance for Crues

Huge opportunity for Crusaders as Caddell gets on the end of a BJ Burns cross, guiding his effort just wide of the post. Crues starting on the front foot. 

Team news

Ballymena United v Portadown

Ballymena team - Glendinning, Kane, Owens, Taggart, Jenkins, Faulkner, Friel, Ervin, Millar, McCaffrey, McCracken  

Portadown XI v Ballymena Utd - McGaughey Shannon O'Hara Breen Hughes Mouncey Z.Wilson Garrett Haire Byrne Carson #DanskeBankPrem