Irish Premiership: Owens goal keeps Crusaders at the top

Jordan Owens celebrates after scoring
Crusaders stay top thanks to an injury-time winner scored by Jordan Owens

Leaders Crusaders needed a late Jordan Owens goal to see off Ards 1-0 and stay one point ahead of Coleraine at the top of the Irish Premiership table.

Striker Owens hit the crucial goal from a corner deep into injury-time.

Eoin Bradley came on as a sub to give Coleraine a 1-0 win at Dungannon and Sammy Clingan earned Glenavon a 1-1 draw at home to Cliftonville.

Bottom-placed Ballinamallard conceded a late equaliser against Glentoran while Ballymena beat Carrick Rangers 3-0.

Linfield's match away to Warrenpoint was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch at Milltown.

Action from Dungannon Swifts against Coleraine
Coleraine have lost just one league game this season

At Seaview, it looked like Crusaders were going to be held to a 0-0 draw at home by Ards for the second time this season.

But Owens pounced after visiting keeper Sam Johnston, who otherwise had a superb game, failed to collect a corner and Owens scored from close-range.

A draw for Crues would have seen Coleraine regain the top spot as they won 1-0 at Stangmore Park.

Bradley made the breakthrough in the 76th minute and, when the striker was fouled by David Armstrong, Coleraine had the chance to make it two from the spot but Darren McCauley's penalty was saved by Andy Coleman.

Joe Gormley scores for Cliftonville at Mourneview Park
Joe Gormley put Cliftonville into the lead at Mourneview Park

Third-placed Glenavon salvaged a 1-1 draw at home to Cliftonville thanks to former Northern Ireland player Clingan who marked his 34th birthday with the equaliser at Mourneview Park.

Clingan had been at fault when losing possession deep in his own half, leaving Rory Donnelly through on goal. His shot was palmed out by keeper Jonathan Tuffey but Joe Gormley who was on hand to fire in the rebound.

The Lurgan Blues pressed for an equaliser in the second half and striker Andrew Mitchell's shot crashed off a post while Reds keeper Brian Neeson pulled off a brilliant save to deny recent signing Stephen Murray.

The home pressure eventually paid off as Andy Hall pulled the ball back for Clingan to shoot in the late leveller.

Bottom-placed Ballinamallard were denied what would have been only their second league win of the season as James Knowles equalised with an injury-time free-kick.

Kevin Braniff scored two goals in Ballymena's home win over Carrick Rangers
Kevin Braniff scored two goals in Ballymena's home win over Carrick Rangers

Recent signing Sean Noble, who scored in the cup last week, put the Mallards in front on 13 minutes after being put through by Shane McGinty's pass.

But the Glens quickly equalised with Curtis Allen getting a touch on an inswinging free-kick by Knowles to net his 10th league goal of the season.

However, the hosts regained the lead five minutes before half-time through a Ryan Curran penalty after defender Willie Garrett's foul on McGinty.

After a goal-less first half at the Showgrounds, Kevin Braniff scored twice and Matthew Shevlin added the last as Ballymena saw off one-from-bottom Carrick Rangers.

Danske Bank Premiership
Ballinamallard United2-2Glentoran
Ballymena United3-0Carrick Rangers
Crusaders1-0Ards
Dungannon Swifts0-1Coleraine
Glenavon1-1Cliftonville
Warrenpoint TownPostponedLinfield
Bluefin Sport Championship
Larne1-1H&W Welders
Limavady United1-1Portadown
Knockbreda1-2Loughgall
Lurgan Celtic0-1Ballyclare Comrades
PSNI2-3Institute

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