Published Saturday, 20 October 2012
Crusaders Paul Heatley celebrate at Ferney Park (© Pacemaker)
Two goals in four second half minutes from Paul Heatley proved to be the undoing of the Mallards, with the first coming courtesy of a fine shot in the 69th minute.
It wasn't long before Heatley had doubled his tally and his second goal was a strike of real beauty - a looping volley that left Mallards' keeper Alvin Rouse with no chance.
It's only the third time the Mallards have tasted defeat in their debut season in the Irish League top flight.
Cliftonville replace the County Fermanagh side at the league summit following their 4-1 victory over Dungannon Swifts.
Joe Gormley opened the scoring for Tommy Breslin's side in the 10th minute with his 10th goal of the season, before Liam Boyce made it 2-0 four minutes before the break.
Boyce was on target again in the 65th minute when he capitalised on a mistake by Swifts defender Adam McMinn, and Martin Donnelly completed the scoring for the hosts fifteen minutes from time.
Former Reds striker Stephen O'Neill's fine volley provided some consolation for Dungannon, who remain in ninth place in the table.
In the game at the Oval, Glentoran ended their run of two consecutive defeats with a 2-1 victory over Glenavon.
Richard Clarke fired the opener for Eddie Patterson's side just before the half-hour mark, turning on the edge of the area before firing a rasping drive into the bottom corner.
The Lurgan Blues equalised midway through the second half thanks to a fine individual effort from substitute Mark Brown, who weaved his way through the Glens defence before lashing his shot past Aaron Hogg.
However, Glentoran restored their lead in the 72nd minute when Stephen Carson's corner was met by the head of Mark Clarke.
Elsewhere, Lisburn Distillery failed to capitalise on their victory over fellow strugglers Donegal Celtic last weekend as they fell to a 4-0 defeat at home to Ballymena Utd.
Jamie Davidson opened the scoring for the visitors in the first half with a great shot into the top corner, before former Whites player David Cushley made it 2-0 with a fantastic strike in the 57th minute.
Two goals in a six minute spell from substitute James McCabe completed the scoring in a rout which is sure to put further pressure on Distillery manager Tim McCann.
Donegal Celtic continue to occupy bottom spot in the table after they suffered a narrow defeat away to Portadown.
Brian Gartland's low shot in the 72nd minute proved the difference between the sides as he ended the stubborn resistance of Belfast Hoops goalkeeper John Connolly, who had pulled off a string of fine saves during the game.
Danske Bank Premiership results in full:
Ballinamallard 0 - 2 Crusaders
Crusaders: Heatley, 63, 85
Cliftonville 4 - 1 Dungannon Swifts
Cliftonville: Gormley, 10, Boyce 41, 65, Donnelly 74
Swifts: O'Neill 82
Glentoran 2 - 1 Glenavon
Glentoran: R Clarke 28, M Clarke 72
Glenavon: Brown 69
Lisburn Distillery 0 - 4 Ballymena United
B Utd: Davidson 28, Cushley 57, McCabe 63, 69
Portadown 1- 0 Donegal Celtic
Portadown: Gartland 72