Published Saturday, 24 August 2013
Cliftonville's Joe Gormley scores a hat trick at Stangmore Park (© Pacemaker)
The Reds have picked up where they left off last season as they go about the defence of their title with wins over Ards and Linfield in their opening two games, but they suffered an early shock as they fell behind to Warrenpoint early in the first half.
Stephen Hughes sweetly-struck shot beat Conor Devlin with just seven minutes on the clock to give the newly-promoted sidec an unlikely lead.
It was short-lived however, as Joe Gormley latched on to a through-ball to tuck away the equaliser in the 25th minute, and Ryan Catney's long-range effort made it 2-1 to the visitors just after the break.
Warrenpoint dug deep and found an equaliser of their own just after the hour mark, with Stephen McCabe converting from the spot after being fouled by Stephen Garrett.
However Tommy Breslin's side found another gear, and Gormley struck twice in the last 15 minutes to seal his hat-trick and ensure a third successive league win for the Reds.
Remarkably, it's also the third time that the Reds have been on the right end of a 4-2 scoreline this season.
Linfield, meanwhile, saw their miserable start to the season continue as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Crusaders at Seaview.
Jordan Owens was the man who did the damage by scoring both goals, the first a header from Chris Morrow's cross in the 39th minute.
His second came in the 66th minute when he nodded home a Morrow corner.
The result means that the Crues now have their first points of the season, while Linfield have just a single point after failing to win any of their opening three games.
Elsewhere, Portadown made short work of Ards, with Gary Twigg netting a brace en route to a 2-0 victory to give Ronnie McFall's men their first win of the season.
The former Shamrock Rovers hitman headed in his first in the 39th minute from Chris Casement's cross, and added a second when he latched onto a clever pass from Peter McMahon and rounded Ards keeper Graeme McKibben.
Ards remain winless and pointless after three games, and look to have work to do already if they are to avoid relegation at the end of the season.
In the game at the Showgrounds Ballymena United made it two wins from three with a 2-1 victory over previously-unbeaten Dungannon Swifts.
The Sky Blues controlled the contest throughout, with Allan Jenkins' header giving them a deserved lead after 14 minutes.
Darren Boyce equalised for Dungannon against the run of play with a free kick in the 61st minute, but Ballymena equalised almost straight from the kick-off with Shane Dolan converting from close-range after some impressive build-up.
Finally on Saturday, Glentoran played out a 0-0 draw against Ballinamallard at the Oval.
The Mallards had chances to snatch victory, but Ryan Campbell hit the post and the visitors also had an effort cleared off the line.
In Friday night's game Glenavon drew 2-2 with Coleraine at Mourneview Park.
Gary Browne opened the scoring for the visitors with a low drive into the bottom corner after just six minutes, but Guy Bates equalised three minutes before the break.
David Rainey put his side into the lead with a super curled effort into the top corner in the 83rd minute, but Bannsiders substitute Joel Bradley struck from close range deep into injury time to snatch a point for Oran Kearney's side.
Danske Bank Premiership Results:
Saturday 24 August:
Warrenpoint Town 2 - 4 Cliftonville
Warrenpoint: Stephen Hughes (7), Stephen McCabe (60p)
Cliftonville: Joe Gormley (25, 77, 90+3), Ryan Catney (49)
Portadown 2 - 0 Ards
Portadown: Gary Twigg (37, 83)
Glentoran 0 - 0 Ballinamallard United
Crusaders 2 - 0 Linfield
Crusaders: Jordan Owens (37, 67)
Ballymena United 2 - 1 Dungannon Swifts
Ballymena: Allan Jenkins (14), Shane Dolan (62)
Dungannon: Darren Boyce (61)
Friday 23 August:
Glenavon 2 - 2 Coleraine
Glenavon: Guy Bates (42), David Rainey (83)
Coleraine: Gary Browne (6), Joel Bradley (90+2)
© UTV News