Linfield beat Ports to stay top

Published Saturday, 08 March 2014
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Linfield maintained their two point lead over second-placed Cliftonville with a 2-1 victory over Portadown at Shamrock Park on Saturday.

Linfield beat Ports to stay top
Linfield's Andrew Waterworth scores his second goal against Portadown. (© Pacemaker)

The Blues, who claimed the County Antrim Shield in midweek, went ahead in the opening minute when Andrew Waterworth was quickest to the rebound after Phillip Lowry's initial shot came back off the post.

Portadown drew level two minutes before half time when Sean Mackle curled the ball into the top corner from just inside the area, but Waterworth made sure of the three points for David Jeffrey's side with a close-range header after another Lowry shot had come back off the woodwork.

The result keeps the Blues ahead of defending league champions Cliftonville, but the Reds maintained their own title challenge with an emphatic 5-0 demolition of Ballinamallard.

Liam Boyce was the star of the show for Tommy Breslin's side, rifling home a low drive in the 29th minute for the games opening goal before adding a second soon after and completing his hat-trick in the 39th minute with a low finish past Alvin Rouse in the Mallards' goal.

Having secured the match ball Boyce turned provider in the 57th minute when his through-ball found strike partner Joe Gormley, before Chris Curran completed the route with a well-taken goal against his former club.

Elsewhere on Saturday Glenavon fought back from 2-0 down to seal a 3-2 victory over Dungannon Swifts at Mourneview Park to tighten their grip on a top-six spot ahead of the league split.

The Lurgan Blues fell behind to two quick-fire goals from Jamie Glackin, who followed up a third-minute tap-in with a neat finish to give his side the advantage.

However Glenavon were back in the contest in the 32nd minute when Mark Patton found the top corner, and just two minutes later it was all-square when Shane McCabe netted with a 20-yard thunderbolt.

Reece Marshall completed the comeback with a rasping shot into the roof of the net midway through the second half to seal a victory which sees Gary Hamilton's side move four points ahead of seventh-placed Ballymena United.

Finally on Saturday Ards were 2-0 winners away to Warrenpoint town in the battle of the League's bottom two sides.

Mark Burns opened the scoring for the visitors with a firm header from a corner in the 46th minute, and William Faulkner completed the scoring for Niall Currie's side when Town keeper Jonathan Parr could only push Andy Mitchell's header into the striker's path.

Saturday's Danske Bank Premiership results:

Cliftonville 5-0 Ballinamallard United

Glenavon 3-2 Dungannon Swifts

Portadown 1-2 Linfield

Warrenpoint Town 0-2 Ards

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Adrian in Coleraine wrote (323 days ago):
@ s magowan ! Iam in awe of you following irish football for so long the knowledge you show in your postings you should be a sky sports pundit !
martin in belfast wrote (324 days ago):
I think the league will go right down to the last day of the season. Linfield are in the box seat, the game between the reds and the blues will be a must win for the reds. The IFA wont be happy with their investment if Linfield don't win it this year.
Darzo in Co Down wrote (324 days ago):
@ Dee i think ur talking rubbish tbh the best side is normally who is sitting top and maybe if u look at the league table the mighty linfield are top haha!! Hope use enjoy the last few weeks with the league trophy before its back home 2 windsor park haha COME ON LINFIELD
s magowan in belfast wrote (324 days ago):
you could be right Dee,but i have been following Irish League football for many decades now and one thing i have learned never to underestimate Linfield.Having said that,i think the Reds are a great footballing side and have the two of the best strikers in the league.It should be a close and exciting run in to the end of the season.
Dee in Newtownabbey wrote (326 days ago):
You get the feeling in this race that the Reds are just hanging back, sizing up their prey and then they'll pounce taking top spot and retaining their league crown. Linfield should enjoy their moment in the limelight. I think the common consensus among those with an interest in the Irish league, outwith Linfield of course, is that Cliftonville are the better side. It's looking like it might come down to the head-to-head between both clubs. The Reds will take that because over the last couple of years in the head-to-heads Cliftonville have clearly had the upper hand in the games between both clubs.
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While Crusaders may be bossing the Danske Bank Premiership, it was their North Belfast rivals Cliftonville who made the headlines again this weekend.
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