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Live Reporting

By Michael Morrow and Mark Sterling

All times stated are UK

  1. So long, 2018

    That's all folks!

    And so, the curtain comes down on this year's Irish Premiership journey. It's been a thrilling year, packed with drama, surprises and, most importantly, goals.

    Today was no different, continuing what's been an enthralling festive period in local football.

    Ballymena United are your leaders heading into the new year after today's hard-fought 3-1 win over Newry City. They don't get much of a rest, though, as Tuesday presents the first of many significant assessments of their title credentials in 2019 with a trip to Crusaders, who are five points off the pace after edging Glentoran at The Oval.

    Linfield remain two points behind the Sky Blues after heaping further misery on Cliftonville with a 2-0 win at Solitude. David Healy's side travel to Ards on New Year's Day and will find Colin Nixon's side in buoyant form after thumping Dungannon Swifts 3-0.

    Elsewhere, Glenavon will look to bounce back from dropping another two points in today's thrilling draw with Institute when they entertain Warrenpoint Town, who fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Coleraine.

    Full New Year's Day programme:

    • Ards v Linfield
    • Coleraine v Cliftonville
    • Crusaders v Ballymena United
    • Glenavon v Warrenpoint Town
    • Glentoran v Dungannon Swifts
    • Newry City v Institute

    We're back on Tuesday. Happy New Year - let's hope 2019 offers up the same blend of excitement and tension that has made 2018 so memorable.

  2. Nixon ' proud' of Ards players

    Dungannon Swifts 0-3 Ards

    Quote Message: It's only one result but I'm really, really proud of my players today. After the run we have been on it's great to get a win for everyone involved with the club. from Colin Nixon Ards manager
    Colin NixonArds manager
  3. It wasn't a penalty or a red card - McFall

    Glentoran 0-1 Crusaders

    Quote Message: I didn't think it should have been a penalty - I thought it was six of one and half a dozen of another as Jordan Owens had his arm around Ross Redman. It shouldn't have been a red card either and I think the reaction of their players influenced both decisions. But I was happy with our response today after our Boxing Day defeat against Linfield. from Ronnie McFall Glentoran manager
    Ronnie McFallGlentoran manager
  4. Kane is shown late red card

    Glentoran 0-1 Crusaders

    Glentoran captain Marcus Kane is shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Sean Ward in the dying seconds at the Oval.

    Video content

    Video caption: Glentoran captain Marcus Kane is shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Sean Ward.
  5. We need to take our chances - Hamilton

    Glenavon 3-3 Institute

    Quote Message: We're disappointed with not taking three points today. I felt we played well enough and created enough chances to win the game. Looking back at all the matches we've dropped points in, we've created more chances. If I reflect on the game as a whole, I think we should be winning that game. There's a stonewall penalty turned down and that's not the first time but that's just the way it is, some things you can control and some things you can't, but when you score three goals at home you should be winning the game. They're gutted in the dressing room. We should have won the last three games but it's a case of not taking the chances, from the game at Windsor against Linfield to Dungannon on Boxing Day through to today. from Gary Hamilton Glenavon boss
    Gary HamiltonGlenavon boss
  6. We scored at the best time - Baxter

    Glentoran 0-1 Crusaders

    Quote Message: It was great to get the goal when we did as it was basically game over given how late it came. It was important for us to come here and win because we have been on a good run of late and we now go to Ballymena looking to get more points there. I didn't see the penalty very clearly but everyone around me said it was a stonewall decision. from Stephen Baxter Crusaders manager
    Stephen BaxterCrusaders manager
  7. Jeffrey hails 'fantastic feeling'

    Ballymena Utd 3-1 Newry City

    Quote Message: It's a fantastic feeling. We knew how tough it would be and Newry fought like absolute tigers, even when they were down to 10 men. I knew it was going to be tough for our players, emotionally and mentally, after Boxing Day but I'm very, very pleased with the performance and result. We're not getting carried away but we're not going to be churlish and say we're not enjoying being top of the pile at this moment in time. from David Jeffrey Ballymena United manager
    David JeffreyBallymena United manager
  8. Gray laments avoidable goals

    Cliftonville 0-2 Linfield

    Quote Message: We have nothing to show for a game where we have shown more endeavour and desire than what we did in the Boxing Day fixture. I will give the players credit for that but we still have nothing to show for it. Another two sloppy goals in key times of the game that put it out of reach. from Barry Gray Cliftonville manager
    Barry GrayCliftonville manager
  9. 'Win deserved' - McAree

    Warrenpoint Town 0-1 Coleraine

    Quote Message: It's always a difficult game at Milltown. They work very hard and make it difficult for you. I feel as though we deserved the win - it was just a case of persevering, keeping it going and grinding out the result we wanted. We had some big performances today - Eoin Bradley came on and gave us another dimension and Jamie McGonigle and Graham Crown did exceptionally well. from Rodney McAree Coleraine manager
    Rodney McAreeColeraine manager
  10. "Our boys were top drawer" - Paddy McLaughlin

    Glenavon 3-3 Institute

    Institute boss Paddy McLaughlin has been speaking after watching his side draw 3-3 with Glenavon at Mourneview for the second time in four weeks.

    Quote Message: We've been here before. I'm sure it was great to watch with both sides really going at it, playing attacking football and scoring some great goals. But we're delighted with our point, it's a tough place to come but our boys were top drawer again. There were a few choice words at half-time, we gave them a kick up the backside which they needed but we got on the front foot and controlled the game a bit more in the second half. We're disappointed not to hold out for the win but we're glad with a point. We've had a really good December so it sets us up nicely for Tuesday. from Paddy McLaughlin Institute manager
    Paddy McLaughlinInstitute manager
  11. McDonnell 'deflated'

    Warrenpoint Town 0-1 Coleraine

    Quote Message: We feel really deflated. We missed endless opportunities and Chris Johns pulled off several very good saves. We should certainly have got something out of that game but we've let it slip away again and that's five without a win now. We'll dust ourselves down and go again on New Year's Day. from Stephen McDonnell Warrenpoint Town manager
    Stephen McDonnellWarrenpoint Town manager
  12. Linfield won't rely solely on momentum - Healy

    Cliftonville 0-2 Linfield

    Quote Message: The players are doing OK at the minute, and have a bit of momentum but the big test now comes at Ards (on Tuesday). We have dropped points against them already this season so it now becomes a massive test for us and whether it is momentum taking us into the game or our own qualities, we will be right leading into a big game. from David Healy Linfield manager
    David HealyLinfield manager
  13. Mullen 'gutted' for Newry players

    Ballymena Utd 3-1 Newry City

    Quote Message: I'm gutted for the lads with the amount of effort they put in. We have come to a team that are top of the league and played pretty well for large parts of the game but, again, silly mistakes are costing us. The week we have had, conceding late on at Warrenpoint, you question your luck but you have to hope that somewhere along the season we will have a bit of luck ourselves but we're not feeling down on ourselves. from Darren Mullen Newry City manager
    Darren MullenNewry City manager
  14. O'Connor sent off for the Blues

    Cliftonville 0-2 Linfield

    Michael O'Connor's substitute cameo lasted about five minutes before he was sent off for two yellows. Luckily for Linfield it didn't cost them the win.

    Video content

    Video caption: O'Connor sent off for the Blues
  15. Cushley wins it from the spot

    Glentoran 0-1 Crusaders

    Ross Redman pulls Jordan Owens down in the box and David Cushley side-foots home from the spot to give the Crues a late win.

    Video content

    Video caption: Cushley wins it from the spot
  16. McGonigle seals win for Coleraine

    Warrenpoint Town 0-1 Coleraine

    Watch Jamie McGonigle secure victory for Coleraine at Warrenpoint Town.

    Video content

    Video caption: McGonigle seals all three points for Coleraine
  17. FULL-TIME

    Glenavon 3-3 Institute

    The referee brings to an end a riveting encounter at Mourneview as Glenavon and Institute play out their second 3-3 draw at the venue in the space of a month.

    Two Rhys Marshall headers put the hosts in the driving seat at half-time but Stute came roaring back, with Stephen Curry, Michael McCrudden and Colm McLaughlin all scoring in the space of eight frenetic minutes to leave the Lurgan Blues reeling.

    They recovered, though, with Andy Mitchell pouncing to snatch a point. Another stirring display by Paddy McLaughlin's side but Gary Hamilton will be seething at his players failing to see out the game after establishing a two-goal cushion.

    There have been too many cracking Irish Premiership games to count in 2018 but few have been as breathless and captivating as the second period at Mourneview today.

    Who would have thought Institute were going to be this year's most entertaining side?

  18. Irish Premiership results

    Final scores

    Irish Premiership results
  19. FULL-TIME

    Glentoran 0-1 Crusaders

    Joy for the Crues but utter despair for the Glens as an injury-time penalty from David Cushley gives the Irish Premiership champions all three points at the Oval.

    The Glens hit the post in the first half and looked like they were heading for a well-earned point until Ross Redman pulled down sub Jordan Owens in the box and Cushley made no mistake from the spot.

    The win sees the Crues leapfrog Glenavon into third place in the table.

  20. RED CARD

    Glentoran 0-1 Crusaders

    Glentoran captain Marcus Kane is shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Sean Ward in the dying seconds.

    That's eight red cards in 11 league matches for the Glens.