Irish Premiership: Linfield keep up pursuit of leaders Crusaders

Michael Carvill and Joel Cooper
Michael Carvill of Crusaders and Glenavon's Joel Cooper in action at Mourneview Park

Linfield beat Dungannon Swifts 4-1 at Stangmore Park to keep up their pursuit of Premiership leaders Crusaders, who were 1-0 winners at Glenavon.

The Blues scored three second-half goals to ensure victory while Declan Caddell netted the Crues' winner.

The league positions remain unchanged as the top five sides all won.

Cliftonville saw off Portadown 3-0, Coleraine triumphed 3-1 over Ards, Ballymena beat Carrick Rangers 3-1 and Ballinamallard defeated Glentoran 1-0.

Re-live all the action from a busy day in the Irish Premiership

Mark Haughey put Linfield ahead in the 18th minute with a powerful header over Andy Coleman from Stephen Lowry's free-kick.

Ally Teggart poked home an equaliser before the break but Andrew Waterworth and Cameron Stewart were left to convert simple tap-ins early in the second half.

Jimmy Callacher stabbed the ball home from Ross Gaynor's cross to make the three points safe for the visitors.

At Mourneview Park, Caddell scored his eighth goal of the season in the first half, controlling a brilliant ball from David Cushley, before drilling an excellent finish into the net.

Paul Heatley wasted a good chance to extend the Crues' lead but the champions eventually eased to a comfortable success.

Jay Donnelly
Jay Donnelly scored Cliftonville's second goal against Portadown at Solitude

Jude Winchester bundled the ball in from close range to give Cliftonville the lead against the lowly Ports at Solitude, then Jay Donnelly and Chris Curran also struck before the interval.

Donnelly got on the end of a Levi Ives cross to fire home and then Curran's effort sneaked under visiting goalkeeper Chris McGaughey.

Two goals in two minutes early in the first half set Coleraine on their way to victory over Ards, Ian Parkhill shooting into the top corner from the edge of the area for the opener and then Jamie McGonigle turning and firing into the bottom corner.

Michael Ruddy pulled one back from the penalty spot after Gareth McConnaghie fouled Matthew Shevlin but substitute James McLaughlin made it 3-1 with six minutes remaining, his ninth of the season.

Friel at the double for Ballymena

Cathair Friel blasted the ball into the net from a Joe McKinney cross to give Ballymena an eighth-minute lead against Carrick Rangers, their opponents in next month's League Cup final decider.

Visiting defender Paddy McNally rose highest to head in Stephen McCullough's corner to level after the interval but goals by Friel and Johnny McMurray in the closing stages proved decisive for the Sky Blues.

Friel fired a half-volley past Brian Neeson for his 19th of the season on 89 minutes and his strike partner McMurray bundled the ball over the line in added time.

Ryan Mayse grabbed Ballinamallard's winning goal over Glentoran in the first half at the Oval, connecting with a low cross from David Elliott and slotting home.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership - Saturday 28 January
Ballymena United3-1Carrick Rangers
Dungannon Swifts1-4Linfield
Glentoran0-1Ballinamallard United

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