Published Saturday, 23 February 2013
Gormley celebrates after scoring the crucial goal. (© Presseye)
The Reds game against Ballinamallard at Ferney Park remained scoreless largely due to superb performances by both goalkeepers, with Cliftonville stopper Conor Devlin and Mallards keeper Alvin Rouse both excelling on several occasions.
It was always going to take a moment of brilliance to beat either keeper, and that moment duly came in the 70th minute, with Gormley deftly flicking the ball up before blasting it into the corner of the net.
That goal proved even more valuable when it emerged that Crusaders had failed to secure all three points at home to Dungannon Swiftts.
In fact the Crues could even have lost the game, with the visitors taking a first half lead when Neal Gawley scrambled the ball into the net after his initial effort was kept out by Yohann Lacroix.
Stephen Baxter's side pressed hard for the equaliser throughout the second half and hit the post on no less than three occasions before finally drawing level in the 80th minute when Jordan Owens nodded home from a Jason Mitchell cross.
In the end the draw could prove more valuable to Dungannon than to Crusaders, with the Swifts now seeking to stay out of the relegation dogfight after the league split next month.
The Co Tyrone side slipped to tenth in the league in spite of the valuable away point after Glenavon's sensational 7-0 demolition of Ballymena United at Mourneview Park.
Six different players got their names on the scoresheet with skipper Brendan Shannon opening his sides account in the fifth minute before strikes from Ciaran Martyn and Mark Farren made it 3-0 at the break.
Gary Liggett turned the ball into his own net six minutes after the restart before Mark Farren scored the goal of the game in the 60th minute, meeting an acrobatic cross from player-boss Gary Hamilton with a spectacular overhead kick of his own.
Further goals from Kyle Neill and Guy Bates wrapped up an impressive win for the Lurgan Blues, who move further away from the drop zone.
In the game at Ballyskeagh, Lisburn Distillery's relegation worries deepened as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at home to Glentoran.
Sean Ward opened the scoring for the visitors in the 28th minute, before Richard Clarke doubled his sides advantage on the hour mark.
Andy Waterworth's 75th minute strike wrapped up a miserable afternoon for the Whites, who are now five points adrift of 11th-placed Donegal Celtic, who secured a valuable point with a scoreless draw away to Coleraine.
Finally Linfield moved level on points with Crusaders courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Portadown at Windsor Park.
Michael Gault opened the scoring when he coolly slotted the ball past David Miskelly from inside a crowded penalty area in first half injury time.
The Blues received a huge slice of luck for their second, with David Miskelly managing to keep out Michael McAllister's goalbound effort with his feet, only for the ball to rebound back off the striker and into the net.
Saturday's final scores:
Glenavon 7-0 Ballymena Utd
Glenavon: Shannon 5, Martyn 14, Farren 35, Liggett 54 (OG), Brown 60, Neill 66, Bates 80.
Ballinamallard 0-1 Cliftonville
Cliftonville: Gormley 70.
Coleraine 0-0 Donegal Celtic
Crusaders 1-1 Dungannon Swifts
Crusaders: Owens 80.
Dungannon Swifts: Gawley 40.
Linfield 2-0 Portadown
Linfield: Gault 45, McAllister 77.
Lisburn Distillery 0-3 Glentoran
Glentoran: Ward 28, Clarke 60, Waterworth 75.