Crusaders move four points clear at top of Irish Premiership

Portadown's Brendan Shannon and Carrick's Steven McCullough 

NIFL - Ards 0 Crusaders 1; Dungannon Swifts 2 Ballymena United 2; Ballinamallard United 0 Coleraine 3; Portadown 4 Carrick Rangers 0

CRUSADERS moved four points clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership with a 1-0 win over Ards.

The first half was an entertaining affair with both sides having their chances.

Crues defender Howard Beverland had to be alert early in the second half to make a last ditch stop to prevent Ards from going in front while.

Moments later Ards were reduced to ten men when substitute Gareth Tommons was dismissed.

With 15 minutes remaining, Crusaders were also reduced to ten men following David Cushley's dismissal for a tackle on Joe McKinney.

Ards might have opened the scoring soon after when Johnny Taylor came close with a downward header from a Kyle Cherry free-kick.

But that winner arrived three minutes into added time when Heatley delivered the perfect cross from the left for Owens to power a header home from six yards.

At Stangmore Park, Ballymena United clawed back from two goals down to grab a point. Andrew Mitchell gave Dungannon an early 2-0 lead but Conor McCloskey got one back from Ballymena on 30 minutes.

The Sky Blues levelled just after the hour through Cathair Friel with a close range header after Tony Kane had delivered a corner from the right.

Coleraine cruised to a comfortable three goal defeat of Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park.

Ian Parkhill put Coleraine ahead early in the second half, turning home a ball from Jamie McGonigle after cutting in from the left.

Coleraine doubled their lead on 67 minutes after McGonigle caught Ross Taheny in possession before running through to slot the ball past James McGrath.

McGonigle then grabbed his second of the afternoon to complete the scoring in the closing minutes.

And Portadown hit four goals without reply past Carrick Rangers to clock up their first league win since the opening day of the season.

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