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Live Reporting

Richard Petrie and Michael Morrow

All times stated are UK

  1. Boxing Day bonanza

    That's all folks!

    Well, that's just about it from a thrilling afternoon of Boxing Day action which more than lived up to the hype surrounding the traditionally best-attended games of the Irish Premiership season.

    Goals aplenty, red cards, matches packed with's footballing festive fayre had it all.

    Leaders Ballymena battled to secure what may prove to be a precious point come the end of the season against Coleraine while Linfield demolished Glentoran to close the gap to two at the top.

    Paul Heatley's hat-trick and David Cushley's double helped Crusaders trounce Cliftonville at Solitude and perhaps breathe life into their title defence, with Glenavon grabbing a point at Dungannon.

    Institute added to Ards' woes with a 1-0 win at the Brandywell and Warrenpoint Town shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw with Newry City.

    You can feast on all the goals from today's games on the BBC Sport NI website tonight and we'll be back to satisfy your Irish League appetite with coverage of another full programme of games in the Premiership on Saturday.

    Until then, enjoy the rest of the Christmas break and see you on Saturday.

    Crusaders hat-trick hero Paul Heatley
    Image caption: Crusaders hat-trick hero Paul Heatley
  2. Big changes needed at Oval - McFall

    Linfield 4-0 Glentoran

    Video content

    Video caption: Glentoran manager Ronnie McFall says money is not available for new players in the January window
  3. We have to take the positives - Donnelly

    Dungannon Swifts 1-1 Glenavon

    Quote Message: It looked like it was going to be one of those days for us as we created a lot of chances but couldn't score, but we have to take the positives from grabbing a late goal. It's been frustrating for me recently because of injury but it felt good to get back and score. from Stephen Donnelly Glenavon striker
    Stephen DonnellyGlenavon striker
  4. Our work-rate has been superb - Cushley

    Cliftonville 1-5 Crusaders

    Quote Message: The boys have been working really hard recently and we were phenomenal today. It was a brilliant all-round performance. Cliftonville came on strong in the second half but we dealt with that well. The boys are flying at the minute. from David Cushley Crusaders forward
    David CushleyCrusaders forward
  5. Watch: The Irish League Show

    Available on Thursday evening on the BBC iPlayer

    Highlights and analysis of all the weekend's Irish Premiership action on the BBC iPlayer.

    Presented by Joel Taggart with Chris Morgan and guest pundit Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew

    Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew
    Image caption: Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew
  6. Cliftonville boss Gray 'has problems'

    Cliftonville 1-5 Crusaders

    Philip Major

    Sportsound summariser

    Quote Message: Cliftonville manager Barry Gray has a number of problems on his hands. Their defensive issues are well documented but their was no zip about their midfield today at all. Nobody from midfield got beyond the front two and they hardly created any chances at all, whereas Crusaders were excellent.
  7. How they stand...

    Premiership table

    Ballymena's lead at the top is reduced to two points while Ards find themselves five points adrift at the bottom.

    Irish Premiership table
  8. McAree happy with performance

    Ballymena Utd 3-3 Coleraine

    Coleraine manager Rodney McAree says his players performed very well for long periods of their incident-packed draw with Ballymena.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coleraine manager Rodney McAree
  9. Points more important than personal glory - McCrudden

    Institute 1-0 Ards

    Quote Message: It's good at the minute, we're in a good run of form. It's nice to score but it's all about the three points. Nine goals in six games for me is a good ratio and if I can keep that up it will be excellent. The partnership that me and Joe (McCready) have is frightening and I don't think any defence wants to come up against us. from Michael McCrudden Institute captain
    Michael McCruddenInstitute captain
  10. Some of our players are not good enough to play for Glentoran - McFall

    Linfield 4-0 Glentoran

    Quote Message: It is an embarrassing day, that's all you can say. it goes without saying that the club is well short of quality players to get them back to where they want to be, no question about that. I can't see it (purchasing any players in January), the money just is not there. We are well short as regards getting back to our former glories. At the end of the day they (the players) have got to take pride in wearing the jersey and you have got to question are they good enough to wear the red, green and black. Today has shown that a lot of them are not, it is just as simple as that. from Ronnie McFall Glentoran manager
    Ronnie McFallGlentoran manager
  11. Coleraine 'disappointed'

    Ballymena Utd 3-3 Coleraine

    Quote Message: It was a good game but from our point of view we are disappointed at having to play the last 40 minutes with 10 men. I thought James went in hard but won some of the ball for his first yellow and the second challenge was not reckless either - just a little bit mis-timed. By the end there was just one ball after another coming into our box and it's hard to defend when you maybe don't have the physical presence at that stage. Our players are disappointed not to be leaving with three points, especially as we led 3-1. But we are coming away from a match against the league leaders with a lot of positives. Chris Johns didn't deserve to be on the losing side with his performance. from Rodney McAree Coleraine manager
    Rodney McAreeColeraine manager
  12. Warrenpoint 'got out of jail' - McDonnell

    Warrenpoint Town 2-2 Newry City

    Quote Message: We got out of jail, in fairness. Newry dominated the full game in my opinion. Everything that could have gone wrong in one particular game for our lads went wrong - it was probably our poorest performance of the season. But we'll take it and it keeps the gap (between Warrenpoint and Newry) to three points and that's important. from Stephen McDonnell Warrenpoint Town manager
    Stephen McDonnellWarrenpoint Town manager
  13. Jeffrey lauds 'phenomenal' Ballymena

    Ballymena Utd 3-3 Coleraine

    Watch Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey praise his side's display which saw them salvage a late draw against Coleraine.

    Video content

    Video caption: Phenomemal - Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey
  14. Mullen 'not happy' after conceding late equaliser

    Warrenpoint Town 2-2 Newry City

    Quote Message: We were caught waiting on a ball coming into the box so I'm not happy at all. That's the second time it (conceding a late goal) has happened against Warrenpoint so we haven't learned our lesson and we've paid the price for it. We should have had the game wrapped up before Darren King's red card. from Darren Mullen Newry City manager
    Darren MullenNewry City manager
  15. Healy delighted with dominant Blues

    Linfield 4-0 Glentoran

    Quote Message: I thought our performance was fantastic today from minute one. You go in at half-time winning 1-0, but you're frustrated. We always knew that there was more in the tank and derby games can be hit or miss so derby games are all about winning those early battles in order to win the war. We dominated everything today and 4-0 is a great result. from David Healy Linfield manager
    David HealyLinfield manager
  16. Jeffrey praises Ballymena battling qualities

    Ballymena Utd 3-3 Coleraine

    Quote Message: I thought we were phenomenal. That was an absolute classic. Both sides went at it from the start and I must say Chris Johns was phenomenal. But for his brilliance we would have come away with three points. We showed resilience, resolve, courage and attitude and we didn't know when we were beaten. We just kept battling, fighting and pressing to get something from the game. It wasn't two points dropped - it was a point gained because we were staring defeat in the face." from David Jeffrey Ballymena United manager
    David JeffreyBallymena United manager
  17. 'Honours even' at Ballymena

    Ballymena Utd 3-3 Coleraine

    Scott Young

    Radio Ulster summariser

    Quote Message: That was a great advert for Irish League football. Rodney McAree will be delighted with the attitude and application of his players. There were some really big performances for Coleraine today. David Jeffrey will be happy to salvage a point from 3-1 down. He has worked a miracle to get Ballymena where they are now.
  18. Six games, 23 goals, five red cards...

    Full-time scores

    How's that for festive Boxing Day fare?

    Irish Premiership results
  19. Consolation for Cliftonville

    Cliftonville 1-5 Crusaders

    He could barely bring himself to celebrate, but Rory Donnelly did grab a late consolation goal for the Reds.

    Video content

    Video caption: Late consolation goal for Cliftonville

    Ballymena Utd 3-3 Coleraine

    Referee Arnold Hunter blows the whistle to bring down the curtain on a six-goal thriller on Warden Street.

    It may be a cliche but this was a real Christmas cracker. Stunning stuff.

    Ballymena extend their unbeaten run to 18 matches in all competitions and are now two points ahead of Linfield at the top.