In videos: IFA Premiership highlights

Published Saturday, 17 March 2012
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Linfield moved 12 points clear at the top of the Carling Premiership after an emphatic victory over Belfast rivals Donegal Celtic on Saturday.

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    Linfield v Donegal Celtic
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    Interview: David Jeffrey
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    Crusaders v Glentoran
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    Lisburn Distillery v Coleraine
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    Interview: John Cunningham
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    Ballymena Utd v Dungannon Swifts
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    Interview: Darren Murphy
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    Interview: Glenn Ferguson

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With Portadown falling to a shock 3-1 defeat at the hands of bottom-placed Carrick Rangers on Friday night, the stage was set for the defending champions to further extend their advantage at the top of the table.

Michael Carville opened the scoring in some style for the hosts, bending a free kick round the DC wall and into the top corner after 24 minutes.

William Murphy doubled the advantage for the Blues six minutes after the restart when he scrambled the ball across the line, two goals in the last ten minutes from Gary Brown - his first coming from the penalty spot - completed a 4-0 rout.

Elsewhere, Cliftonville moved level on points with Portadown with victory over Glenavon, but only after weathering a spirited second-half comeback from the visitors.

It was Glenavon who took the lead on the 17 minute through a side-footed effort from January signing Matty Burrows, but Ciaran Caldwell equalised 24 minute in with a good finish from Chris Scannell's cross.

Scannell got himself on the scoresheet soon after when he volleyed in on 34 minutes, and Caldwell added his second of the afternoon with a strike just before half-time.

Scannell secured his brace when he lofted the ball over Andy Coleman four minutes after the restart for the Reds' fourth goal, but Burrows gave his side a lifeline when he finished at the back post on the 77 minute for his second of the afternoon.

Brian McCaul added a third from the penalty spot, but Cliftonville held on for a 4-3 victory.

In the game at Seaview, Crusaders earned a 2-0 victory over Glentoran to move above their Belfast rivals in the league table.

Chris Morrow drew first blood with a header 58 minutes in, and David Rainey wrapped up a valuable victory with a delightful chip over Elliot Morris in injury-time.

Ballymena United and Dungannon Swifts drew 1-1 at the Ballymena Showgrounds, although they could arguably count themselves unlucky not to have claimed all three points after the visitors opened the scoring with a controversial goal.

Sky Blues' keeper Dwayne Nelson looked to have been fouled after coming to claim a cross, but the referee allowed play to continue, with Michael Funston firing into the empty net.

Ballymena were level on the stroke of half time when Gary McCutcheon latched onto a Rory Carson corner.

Glenn Ferguson's side were reduced to ten men when Tony Kane was sent off for striking out at Swifts defender JP Gallagher and that incident led to a stormy end to the encounter, although neither side could muster a winner.

But the surprise result of the weekend was Carrick Rangers beating Portadown on Friday night.

Carrick took the lead on 35 minutes when Shane Dolan fired home from the penalty spot.

Ian West added a second on 53 minutes before Garry Breen clawed one back for the Ports at Seaview.

A strike in the 71st minute by David Bell wrapped up all three points for Carrick Rangers.

Full IFA Premiership Results:

Saturday 17 March

Ballymena United 1 - 1 Dungannon Swifts
Ballymena Utd: McCutcheon (45); Kane (red card 69)
Dungannon Swifts: Funston (33)

Cliftonville 4 - 3 Glenavon
Cliftonville: Caldwell (23,45); C Scannell (34, 49)
Glenavon: Burrows (17,77); McCaul penalty (87)

Crusaders 2 - 0 Glentoran
Crusaders: Morrow (58), Rainey (90+1)

Linfield 4 - 0 Donegal Celtic
Linfield: Carvill (24), Murphy 51, Browne penalty (81, 83)

Lisburn Distillery 3 - 1 Coleraine
Lisburn Distillery: Cooling penalty (57), Liggett (82), Davidson (86),
Coleraine: Hunter og (44)

Friday 16 March

Carrick Rangers 3 - 1 Portadown
Carrick Rangers: Dolan (35), West (52), Bell (71)
Portadown: Breen (60)

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It's a two-horse race now, but one even the most-seasoned pundit would be brave to call.
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