Reds extend Premiership lead

Published Saturday, 08 December 2012
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Cliftonville have extended their lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership with victory over Coleraine at Solitude, while Crusaders could only manage a draw against Glentoran at the Oval.

Reds extend Premiership lead
Cliftonville's Joe Gormely celebrates making it two-nil against Coleraine. (© Pacemaker)

The Reds had Joe Gormley to thank for the victory, as his brace saw them earn a 3-1 win over the Bannsiders.

Liam Boyce opened the scoring after just five minutes when he rounded Coleraine keeper Michael Doherty, before Gormley netted his first of the afternoon in the 24th minute when his speculative shot took a wicked deflection off Johnny Watt to leave Doherty completely wrong-footed.

Coleraine were back in the game in the 37th minute when Curtis Allen pounced on David Scullion's flick from a Stephen Lowry pass and Oran Kearney's side pressed hard for an equaliser, but Gormley made sure of the points when he pounced on a defensive mistake in the 71st minute.

The win moves Tommy Breslin's side seven points clear at the summit.

Crusaders meanwhile failed to keep pace with their north Belfast rivals, as they came from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw at the Oval.

Glentoran took the lead in the 74th minute when David Howland's shot trickled in off the post past Sean O'Neill - the Crues stopper will have felt he could have done more to keep it out.

However, captain Colin Coates came to his side's rescue late in the contest with a rasping volley to ensure a share of the points.

In the game at Ferney Park Linfield overcame Ballinamallard United to stretch their unbeaten league run to four games.

Michael Gault opened the scoring five minutes before half time with a diving header from Carville's corner. But the Mallards were back on terms just before the break when Andy Crawford fired low past Alan Blayney to make it 1-1.

After providing the cross for the opening goal, Carville found the net himself in the 57th minute when he rose highest to head in at the near post after a well-worked free kick.

The points were sealed when Carville fired in a stunning volley from the edge of the area which cannoned off the post and in to make it 3-1.

At the bottom of the table things got worse for both Donegal Celtic and Lisburn Distillery, who both fell to heavy defeats on Saturday.

The Whites lost 4-1 at Glenavon, while DC lost 3-0 away to fellow strugglers Dungannon Swifts.

In the game at Stangmore Park Neal Gawley opened the scoring for the hosts with a fine finish from a Matt Hazlett pass, before Johnny Topley netted with a close-range header midway through the second half to make it 2-0.

Josh Cahoon wrapped up the win from the penalty spot seven minutes from time after Mark Burns had fouled the striker in the area - a foul that also saw Burns receive a straight red card.

Over at Mourneview Park Glenavon moved nine points clear of danger with a 4-1 win over a struggling Distillery side.

Lurgan Blues' player-boss Gary Hamilton got his side off the mark with a volley in the sixth minute, with Andy McGrory doubling the hosts' advantage with the second goal 20 minutes later.

David McCullough reduced the deficit two minutes before the break, but Distillery's fight back was all but halted in the 68th minute when Dominic Melley was sent off for a rash two-footed challenge.

Substitute Andy Mitchell grabbed a brace in the closing stages, his first coming from a header within a minute of his introduction.

Mitchell completed the rout with a fine finish in stoppage time to heap further misery on Whites manager Tim McCann.

Finally in the game at the Ballymena Showgrounds, Ballymena United fell to a fourth successive league defeat, this time at the hands of Portadown.

The Sky Blues had got off to a better start, and went ahead when Chris Rodgers headed home a Tony Kane cross off the underside of the bar with just eight minutes on the clock.

However, Portadown battled back in the second half and equalised when Kevin Braniff fired home from the edge of the box from a Joe McNeill pass five minutes after the restart.

Braniff netted again ten minutes later with a stunning volley to secure only a second away victory of the season for Portadown.

Danske Bank Premiership Results:

Cliftonville 3-1 Coleraine
Cliftonville: Boyce 5, Gormley 24, 71.
Coleraine: Allen 37.

Ballinamallard Utd 1-3 Linfield
Ballinamallard: Keohane.
Linfield: Gault 40, Carvill 57, 75.

Glentoran 1-1 Crusaders
Glentoran: Howland 74.
Crusaders: Coates.

Dungannon Swifts 3 - 0 Donegal Celtic
Swifts: Gawley, Topley 73, Cahoon 83.

Ballymena United 1-2 Portadown
Ballymena: Rodgers 8.
Portadown: Braniff 50, 60.

Glenavon 4-1 Lisburn Distillery
Glenavon: Hamilton 6, McGrory 26, Mitchell, Mitchell.
Distillery: McCullough 43.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
s magowan in belfast wrote (776 days ago):
What have flags got to do with Cliftonville increasing their lead in the Irish Premiership? surely the Red's fans should be crowing about their club's success at the minute instead of political points scoring.Keep politics out of the local game.
SHORT STRAND MAN in belfast wrote (776 days ago):
its linfield they do what they want.this won't even raise a ripple with their brethren in the i.f.a..2nd pitch invasion by them in a couple of weeks and as martin says its not a crime to make noise during a minutes this minute silence was ever given the go ahead i'll never know.
MARTIN in belfast wrote (776 days ago):
Making noise during a mintues silence isn't against the law, fans going onto the pitch is! However sport shouldn't be used as a vehicle for political opinions.
Reds fan in Belfast wrote (776 days ago):
No I don't agree funnily enough. Cliftonville fans done nothing wrong that day, however Linfield fans on the other a former player yourself (as you say) you should know that the field of play is for players and officials only.
Gazza in Baghdad wrote (778 days ago):
Well I'd like to think they will get the same action taken against them as cliftonville supporters got for disrespecting the minutes silence, wouldn't you agree???? I doubt it. Shared society, ha ha your having a laugh. Ps, and I'm not a linfield supporter, but played for both teams in the past.
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