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Live Reporting

By Michael Morrow and Mark Sterling

All times stated are UK

  1. And breathe...

    That's all from us on a breathless day of Premiership action which produced a remarkable 21 goals from five fixtures.

    Ballymena beat Linfield in the clash of the top two to return to the summit, while behind them, Glenavon missed the chance to put more pressure on the pacesetters as they were held to a draw at home by Institute.

    The game at the Oval produced so many talking points as Glentoran and Crusaders slugged out a 2-2 draw but it was a match marred by three red cards and an unseemly melee - a tough afternoon for the visiting referee from Latvia.

    Elsewhere, Cliftonville ended a difficult week on a positive note by thrashing Dungannon Swifts, while Ards and Warrenpoint could not be separated in a 1-1 draw at Bangor.

    Don't forget the Irish League Show on the iPlayer and online tomorrow, when Coleraine winger Josh Carson is our special guest.

    Then join us again next Saturday for a full six-game programme of fixtures - it will have a tough act to follow after today!

    Until then, bye for now.

  2. Worst I've ever seen - Baxter

    Glentoran 2-2 Crusaders

    Quote Message: That's the worst refereeing performance I've seen in 30 years of being in football. You really had to be here to see it and believe it. I blame the IFA for organising these exchange programmes - I don't blame the referee, in fact I felt sorry for him in the end. It was farcical and it's not fair on the teams. Our association needs to apologise. from Stephen Baxter Crusaders manager
    Stephen BaxterCrusaders manager
  3. Looking up at the rest

    BBC Sport
  4. Sky Blues sitting pretty at top

    BBC Sport
    Image caption: Top of the table
  5. Our physio was punched - McFall

    Glentoran 2-2 Crusaders

    Quote Message: Our physio was punched in the melee but I’m not sure who by. When you bring referees in from different countries they aren’t used to our culture and it’s difficult for them – that was evident from start to finish. It was disappointing for both sides. I thought we were better than Crusaders in the first half especially, but if you’d have offered me a draw before the game I’d have been happy with it. from Ronnie McFall Glentoran manager
    Ronnie McFallGlentoran manager
  6. We were top drawer - McLaughlin

    Glenavon 3-3 Institute

    Quote Message: We don't want to focus too much on their late goal - it was a fantastic point for us in a game where no-one gave us a chance. I'm delighted with the performance and the result. We were top drawer and the boys showed their quality in abundance today. from Paddy McLaughlin Institute manager
    Paddy McLaughlinInstitute manager
  7. 'I can ask no more' - Nixon

    Ards 1-1 Warrenpoint Town

    Quote Message: I couldn't ask any more of the players today. They worked hard. Some of them are off colour at the moment but that comes with the position we are in the table. We've got to keep fighting. from Colin Nixon Ards manager
    Colin NixonArds manager
  8. The players kept thinking positively - Jeffrey

    Ballymena Utd 2-1 Linfield

    Quote Message: We were unfortunate to go in one goal down at half time but I encouraged the players to keep believing, pressing and passing and they did that. Leroy Millar is most underrated except by myself and Bryan McLaughlin. He is a local boy who has come good, really progressed and has done phenomenally well. Today was about trying to secure three points to make sure that we can consolidate in the top six. Obviously we are in a lovely position, the aim when you play teams that are ahead of you is to try and beat them and we did that today. from David Jeffrey Ballymena United manager
    David JeffreyBallymena United manager
  9. Gray hails 'first class' players

    Cliftonville 5-1 Dungannon Swifts

    Quote Message: The players were first class today - it goes to show what we can do when we want to do it. They were hungry and wanted to do it for themselves and the club and that is something special. There are always challenges in football - you never know what is around the corner but you have to continue to do the job that you are here to do and the performance today shows how focused the players have been this week. from Barry Gray Cliftonville manager
    Barry GrayCliftonville manager
  10. Lindsay 'won't get depressed' as run ends

    Cliftonville 5-1 Dungannon Swifts

    Quote Message: I thought we started really well, created a couple of chances and got our goal but it pretty much went downhill after that. Our performance levels, energy levels and decision-making weren't up to the levels of recent weeks but we didn't get too high when we were on a good run and we won't get too depressed now when we have a defeat. Today is disappointing but we have to look at the positives of previous weeks and get back to those levels. from Kris Lindsay Dungannon Swifts manager
    Kris LindsayDungannon Swifts manager
  11. Saturday scoreboard

    BBC Sport

    Glentoran 2-2 Crusaders

    It's ended 2-2 after an eventful match at the Oval.

    Crusaders twice took the lead in the first half but Glentoran twice equalised.

    The Crues ended the game with nine men and the Glens with 10, with a melee at the end of the first half the key talking point.

    Neither side were happy with the performance of the Latvian referee who had an interesting welcome to the Irish League.


    Glenavon 3-3 Institute

    An enjoyable game ends all-square with Institute denied valuable points by a late goal for the second game in a row.

    Glenavon grabbed an 88th-minute equaliser but they will see this as points dropped as they bid to put pressure on the leaders.


    Ballymena Utd 2-1 Linfield

    Ballymena see out the last few seconds and move above Linfield at the top of the league!

    For the first time in their history they've won nine in a row.

    Remember though, it's very important to remember, that Ballymena are not title contenders*...

    *Ballymena are absolutely title contenders


    Cliftonville 5-1 Dungannon Swifts

    A troubled week for Cliftonville ends on a positive note.

    Dungannon may feel the scoreline is a bit harsh but the Reds were in razor-sharp form in attack.

    All this, of course, after they had gone behind to an own goal inside the opening five minutes.


    Ards 1-1 Warrenpoint Town

    Warrenpoint manager Stephen McDonnell said before the game his priority was to avoid defeat and he has got his wish.

    'Point stay ninth in the table while basement side Ards move to within three of Newry City.

    Ards boss Colin Nixon would have preferred to have picked up all three points but at least his side have stopped the rot which saw them pick up just one point from five outings previous to this.

  17. Is that the chance?

    Ballymena Utd 2-1 Linfield

    Jordan Stewart gets the better of Steven McCullough on the right and Thomas McDermott comes to gather..he drops it!

    Thankfully for the keeper, a mass of bodies descend upon the ball which gets stuck in the mud before eventually being cleared.

  18. No six shooter for Reds

    Cliftonville 5, Dungannon Swifts 1

    That should have been six for Cliftonville as Dungannon defender David Armstrong leaves his back-pass short and Joe Gormley nicks the ball past keeper Alex Moore but alert substitute Jake Dykes is on hand to clear and deny Gormley a hat-trick.

  19. Great strike from O'Neill

    Glentoran 2-2 Crusaders

    Glens sub Paul O'Neill hits a fine, dipping effort which Harry Doherty tips over the bar.

    Good effort, good save.

  20. Into injury time

    Ballymena Utd 2-1 Linfield

    Linfield corner in the last minute of the 90. Bad time for Niall Quinn to scuff a delivery as it is cleared at the near post.

    Four minutes of injury time.