Published Saturday, 14 December 2013
Linfield players celebrate as they go back on top of the league. (© Presseye)
The Blues had been behind the Crues on goal difference going into this weekend's games, and took the lead against the Mallards midway through the first half when Andrerw Waterworth got across his marker to head home Billy Joe Burns' left wing cross.
Waterworth turned provider when his low cross from the right was converted from close range by Mark McAllister in the 72nd minute, and substitute Matthew Tipton made sure of the points with a penalty nine minutes from time after John Currie had handled in the area.
In the game at Seaview, Crusaders' stalemate against Glentoran saw them extend their unbeaten sequence to 23 matches in all competitions, but the goalless draw saw them slip two points behind Linfield.
Paul Heatley had the best chance to win it for Stephen Baxter's side, but his goalbound effort was well stopped by Elliot Morris.
It also ended goalless in the game between Glenavon and Ballymena United at Mourneview Park, a game which saw the Lurgan Blues finish with ten men after Kyle Neill was sent off for a second bookable offence.
In spite of their numerical disadvantage Glenavon had the better chances in the second half, and player-manager Gary Hamilton had the ball in the net only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.
In the game at Shamrock Park, Portadown were 2-0 winners over Coleraine, with the goals coming from Chris Ramsey and Gary Twigg.
Ramsey found the net with a glancing header from Chris Casement's corner with eight minutes on the clock, while Twigg pounded a long kick upfield by Ports keeper David Miskelly before steering the ball past the advancing Wayne Drummond.
Finally Warrenpoint Town secured only their fourth win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.
Matt Hazley opened the scoring for Dungannon when he ran on to a Ryan Harpur through-ball in the second minute before sliding the ball past Jonathan Parr from a tight angle.
Town equalised in the 36th minute when Daniel Hughes found the net with a superb lob over Gareth Buchanan, but in the second half the visitors found themselves without their manager on the sidelines as Barry Gray was sent to the stands.
In spite of that setback Hughes netted the winner with a classy 20-yard curling strike that crept in off the post to seal a victory that moves Warrenpoint four points clear of the automatic relegation spot currently occupied by Ards, who lost 4-0 at home to Cliftonville on Friday night.
Joe Gormley and Martin Donnelly scored early in the first half to put the Reds ahead. Liam Boyce added a third on the hour mark before Gormley sealed the win.
Crusaders 0-0 Glentoran
Dungannon Swifts 1-2 Warrenpoint Town
Dungannon Swifts: Hazley 2.
Warrenpoint Town: D Hughes 36, 83.
Glenavon 0-0 Ballymena Utd
Linfield 3-0 Ballinamallard Utd
Linfield: Waterworth 22, McAllister 72, Tipton 81 (PEN).
Portadown 2-0 Coleraine
Portadown: Ramsey 9, Twigg 21.
Cliftonville 4-0 Ards
Cliftonville: Gormley 9, Donnelly 13, 79, Boyce 58.
© UTV News