Big wins for Blues and Reds

Published Saturday, 15 February 2014
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There were big wins for the top two sides in the Irish Premiership on Saturday, with both leaders Cliftonville and second-placed Linfield securing sizeable victories over Crusaders and Ballinamallard respectively.

Big wins for Blues and Reds
Ivan Sproule scores for the Blues on Saturday. (© UTV)

Linfield dominated proceedings right from the start, and Phillip Lowry opened the scoring with a tap-in from Ivan Sproule's cross in the 24th minute.

Matthew Tipton converted from close range soon after, before Andrew Waterworth's fine 38th minute effort saw the blues go in 3-0 ahead at the break.

It was more of the same in the second half as Lowry knocked in his second just before the hour mark, and could have taken home the match ball when he stepped up to take the penalty after Mark Stafford had been penalised for handball.

However Lowry missed out on the hat-trick as his effort was well saved by Alvin Rouse in the Mallards' goal.

That wasn't the end of the scoring though as Sproule netted his first goal for the club in the 68th minute, with Ross Clarke completing the scoring to seal an impressive victory.

The Reds, meanwhile, put Crusaders to the sword, securing an emphatic 4-0 victory over their north Belfast rivals to stay a point clear at the top of the table.

Chris Curran grabbed the opener in some style with a delightful curled effort past Sean O'Neill in the 35th minute, with Barry Johnston doubling the hosts' advantage with a deflected effort two minutes later.

With Cliftonville two goals up ahead at the break, Joe Gormley made it 3-0 when he finished off the first move of the second half by lofting the ball over O'Neill and into the visitors' goal, and Liam Boyce added a fourth in the 52nd minute to wrap up the points for Tommy Breslin's side.

Elsewhere on Saturday Glenavon were 4-2 winners over mid-Ulster rivals Portadown, a result which sees them move up to sixth in the table.

Peter McMahon headed in the opener for the Ports in the 11th minute, but Andy McGrory equalised with a stunning effort from the edge of the area ten minutes later.

James Singleton's firm header put the hosts in front five minutes into the second half, before substitute Robbie McDaid converted a Mark Patton cross to make it 3-1.

Portadown were reduced to ten men when McMahon petulantly kicked out at McGrory with fifteen minutes to go, but in spite of the setback the visitors rallied and made it 3-2 when Darren Murray scored at the second attempt after James McGrath had saved his initial effort.

However the goal proved a mere consolation as player-boss Gary Hamilton teed up McDaid to score Glenavon's fourth from close range to seal a 4-2 victory.

In Saturday's other derby game Coleraine drew 2-2 with Ballymena United at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

Glenn Ferguson's side found themselves two goals down early in the second half, thanks to a wind-assisted effort from David McDaid at the end of the first half and a long-range strike from Ruairi Harkin in the 55th minute.

However the hosts showed commendable fighting spirit to battle back into the contest, and they got their reward when Michael McLellan capitalised on a one-on-one with Coleraine stopper Eugene Ferry to slide the ball home.

Ballymena had to wait until five minutes from time to equalise, with Alan Teggart converting from the spot after a foul by David Ogilvy to secure a share of the spoils

Elsewhere Dungannon Swifts were 1-0 winners away to Warrenpoint Town with Terry Fitzpatrick's 14th minute header proving decisive.

After a later kick-off at 5.30pm, Ards defeated Glentoran 2-1 at Clandeboye Road.

Saturday's Danske Bank Premiership results:

Ballymena United 2-2 Coleraine

Cliftonville 4-0 Crusaders

Glenavon 4-2 Portadown

Linfield 6-0 Ballinamallard United

Warrenpoint Town 0-1 Dungannon Swifts

Ards 2-1 Glentoran

© UTV News
Comments Comments
S.B. in Belfast wrote (345 days ago):
Definately the best performance of the season from the Reds and they should have scored at least 6 or 7 against the Crues who are not a bad side either. Cliftonville are really hitting top form now and are getting their full squad back. They have already shown that they are a far more talented footballing side than Linfield by beating them three times in the League this season quite comfortabley so the question of who is the better team has already been answered. David Jeffrey put it up to Cliftonville in his post match interview by asking if the Reds were up for the battle? It did sound like a bit of fear and bravado from David but only inconsistency can stop the Reds winning the title again. It definately seems now that the Blues are the more fearful ones.
Darzo in Co down wrote (345 days ago):
Well done linfield :) lets keep going 2 the end and when two trophes for the club and the big man DAVY wat a living legend! SUPER LINFIELD DAVY BIG DAVY DAVY BIG DAVY DAVY BIG DAVY BIG DAVY JEFFERYS
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