Irish Premiership: Crusaders and Coleraine still level on points after wins

Jordan Owens scored a goal in both halves to secure victory for Crusaders
Jordan Owens scored a goal in both halves to secure victory for Crusaders

Crusaders and Coleraine stay level on points at the top of the Irish Premiership table after securing wins over Linfield and Ballymena United.

A Jordan Owens double saw the Crues win 2-0 at Seaview while Darren McCauley's second-half goal gave the Bannsiders a vital home win over their derby rivals.

Crusaders enjoy a much superior goal difference with two games each left.

Glenavon moved into third place by winning 3-1 at Cliftonville, Andy Mitchell netting twice.

Bottom club Ballinamallard United were held to a 2-2 draw by Dungannon Swifts at Ferney Park but they close the gap to just one point on Carrick Rangers, who went down 1-0 at home to Ards.

Lorcan Forde's goal two minutes into added time gave Warrenpoint a 1-0 victory over Glentoran and assures the Milltown men of Premiership safety.

Re-live Saturday's Irish Premiership action as it happened

Owens grabbed his first goal with a low strike in the 14th minute to ease any nerves among Crusaders fans and the big striker was on target with a back-post header four minutes from time to maintain his side's 100% winning record over Linfield this season.

The Blues had Andrew Mitchell sent-off for a late challenge on Jamie Glackin a minute from time.

Coleraine supporters had to wait until the 57th minute to witness their side's winning strike at Ballycastle Road, McCauley rifling a low right-foot shot into the bottom corner past Ross Glendinning for his 17th of the season.

Josh Carson received a red card from referee Keith Kennedy for a rash challenge on Willie Faulkner which sparked a melee involving several players and he will miss his side's visit to Windsor Park to face Linfield next Saturday.

The Bannsiders' victory leaves them unbeaten at their home ground this season as their other remaining top-flight fixture is away to Glenavon on the final day of the campaign.

Ballymena's Tony Kane in action against Coleraine goalscorer Darren McCauley
Ballymena's Tony Kane in action against Coleraine goalscorer Darren McCauley

Crusaders are at home to north Belfast rivals Cliftonville next week before travelling to take on Ballymena on 28 April.

All the scoring came in the second half at Solitude where Andy McGrory netted a penalty in the 66th minute after Jaimie McGovern was dismissed for bringing down Joel Cooper.

Mitchell doubled the Lurgan Blues' advantage a minute later, Joe Gormley pulled one back soon after, but Mitchell's second of the match sealed a first triumph in eight outings for Gary Hamilton's charges.

Michael McLellan's goal on the stroke of half-time ensured that Ards celebrated their manager Colin Nixon agreeing a new three-year contract with the club by taking all three points at Taylor's Avenue.

Carrick will now face either a relegation play-off at best but could yet be automatically be relegated if they are overhauled by the Mallards.

The two basement sides meet in a crucial game at Ferney Park on Tuesday evening.

Stephen O'Flynn gave Harry McConkey's team the lead against Dungannon but Alan Teggart and Daniel Hughes replied for the Swifts, only for Ryan Curran to equalise.

Danske Bank Premiership - Saturday 14 April - Results
SECTION A
Cliftonville1-3Glenavon
Coleraine1-0Ballymena Utd
Crusaders0-2Linfield
SECTION B
Ballinamallard United2-2Dungannon Swifts
Carrick Rangers0-1Ards
Warrenpoint Town1-0Glentoran
Bluefin Sport Championship
Dergview8-0Lurgan Celtic
H & W Welders2-1Ballyclare Comrades
Knockbreda2-2PSNI
Loughgall1-3Institute
Bluefin Sport Intermediate League
Dundela0-3Banbridge Town
Portstewart3-1Queen's University
Tobermore Utd4-3Donegal Celtic