Sport

Irish Premiership round-up: Coleraine, Crusaders, and Larne win on the road

Jarlath O'Rourke celebrates adding a second goal for Crusaders. Pacemaker Press.
Jarlath O'Rourke celebrates adding a second goal for Crusaders. Pacemaker Press.

IIt was far from away day blues tonight in the Irish Premiership, as Crusaders, Larne, and Coleraine picked up three points on the road.

Glentoran and Larne played out a dull opening half, but a stunning Michael Glynn goal sent the champions on their way to victory.

Dylan Sloan's strike off the crossbar was one of few chances for either side in the opening 45, with Glynn's waltzing run past Aaron Wightman and finish more than welcome in the 50th minute.

Midfielder Wightman was again beaten when Andy Ryan doubled the Larne lead 13 minutes later, angling home from out wide.

Bobby Burns pulled one back nine minutes from the final whistle, but Tiernan Lynch's men held out for victory.

There was a frantic opening few minutes at Lakeview Park, with Andrew Hoey giving Loughgall the lead with just two minutes played.

The hosts were pegged back just three minutes later, however, as Conor McKendry slotted home from close range.

Coleraine began to exert their influence on proceedings, gaining an influence from midfield, and a Tiernan Kelly chance aside, they looked the more likely. And so it proved, as Paul Heatley teed up Jarlath O'Rourke for the simplest of finishes. 

In the latter period, it was the hosts who threatened, although Davy McDaid almost extended the Coleraine lead against the run of play. 

Coleraine did regain control once more, and they missed a penalty four minutes from time, as Berraat Turker defied Dean Jarvis, but Loughgall stuck in the fight. A Caolan Loughran header looked destined to be the equaliser in added time, but it drifted agonisingly wide as Coleraine saw it out.

At the Ballymena Showgrounds, it was essentially all one-way traffic, with a late Ryan Waide consolation goal giving the 2-1 scoreline a favourable look for Jim Ervin's men.

Adam Lecky gave the away side the lead on 17 minutes, smashing home a loose ball after good work from Ben Kennedy. 

Jarlath O'Rourke netted a second as Paul Heatley was proving a handful, and Crusaders had a third effort ruled out before the break as Ballymena struggled to match their pace.

Defender Colin Coates was sent off early in the second period, but just when it seemed as though Crusaders would coast home, 10-man Ballymena began to look more resolute.

They stuck in the fight long enough to make it a contest once more, but Waide's goal only came in the 97th minute, and it was a matter of too little, too late.