Irish Premiership: Leaders Crusaders suffer first defeat at Coleraine

Coleraine are now the only unbeaten team in the Irish Premiership
Coleraine are now the only unbeaten team in the Irish Premiership

Crusaders lost for the first time this season and saw their lead at the top of the Irish Premiership halved to three points as Coleraine beat them 4-2.

The Crues led through former Coleraine player Jamie McGonigle, but Ben Doherty quickly equalised and the second-placed Bannsiders romped to a big victory.

Cliftonville remain third and level on points with Coleraine after beating Institute 1-0.

Glentoran grabbed a late 2-1 win against bottom club Warrenpoint.

Glenavon came from behind to beat Ballymena United 3-1 while Larne and Dungannon Swifts drew 0-0 at Inver Park.

Champions Linfield were not in action as their match away to Carrick Rangers takes place on Monday night.

But David Healy's Blues may well be happy to see Crusaders' impressive start to the campaign come to an end at the Showgrounds.

In a thoroughly entertaining top-two clash, former Bannsiders striker Jamie McGonigle opened the scoring for the visitors at the second attempt after seeing his initial effort saved by Chris Johns.

While the Crues looked dangerous going forward, the blustery conditions wreaked havoc on the Belfast side's defence. Ben Doherty profited when Sean Ward failed to deal with a long punt up the pitch before Jordan Owens sliced the ball into his own net on the half-hour mark.

Cliftonville v Warrenpoint Town
Cliftonville are three points off the top of the table after their 1-0 win over Institute

Eoin Bradley's perfectly judged free-kick put daylight between the sides on 50 minutes and Jamie Glackin made sure with a fine finish into the roof of the net just before the hour.

Chris Hegarty headed a consolation goal for Crusaders.

Ruaidhri Donnelly's first-half header was enough to earn Cliftonville a 1-0 victory over struggling Institute as the Reds moved to within three points of leaders Crusaders.

Prior to Donnelly's 39th-minute goal, Stute's Aaron McCauley wasted a glorious chance as his point-blank effort was blocked by Richard Brush.

Ryan Curran saw a second-half Reds penalty saved by Paul Wells with Conor McMenamin also hitting the woodwork but this was not one of Cliftonville's better displays while second-bottom Institute, managed for the first time by Sean Connor, remain on a solitary league point after eight games.

Rhys Marshall of Glenavon
Glenavon's Rhys Marshall was on target for the second week running

Glenavon moved above Carrick Rangers into ninth position with just their second league win of the season.

Cathair Friel side-footed home from Leroy Millar's cross to give Ballymena the lead after 10 minutes but Rhys Marshall curled the ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the area to equalise just before the half hour mark.

Steven McCullough diverted Aaron Harmon's cross into his own net to nudge the hosts ahead on 57 and substitute Jordan Jenkins fired in from Stephen Murray's delivery one minute from time to ensure the three points.

Ballymena's second top-flight reverse of the season sees them drop to sixth.

There was heartbreak for Warrenpoint Town as Paddy McClean's late header snatched a 2-1 win for Glentoran at the Oval.

Hrvoje Plum curled home a delightful free-kick, his third of the season, to put Glentoran in control but the east Belfast side failed to take their chances despite a dominant first half.

Robbie McDaid of Glentoran
Glentoran have won four of their last five matches in the Irish Premiership

Alan O'Sullivan grabbed a deserved equaliser for a rejuvenated 'Point after the break, but McClean's header crept over the line in the 89th minute despite the best efforts of visiting keeper Evan Moran.

Larne and Dungannon Swifts thrashed out a scoreless stalemate at Inver Park.

The home side dominated the opening 45 minutes and came close on 11 minutes when Marty Donnelly's follow-up header came back off the crossbar after a superb reflex save from Sam Johnston.

The Swifts keeper produced a string of fine saves to keep the home side at bay before the break but Larne were unable to find a way through a dogged Dungannon defence in the second period as the Swifts halted a run of three straight Premiership defeats.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership
Cliftonville1-0Institute
Coleraine4-2Crusaders
Glenavon3-1Ballymena Utd
Glentoran2-1Warrenpoint Town
Larne0-0Dungannon Swifts
Bluefin Sport Championship
Ballinamallard United4-0Dundela
Ballyclare Comrades4-0Knockbreda
Dergview1-2Portadown
H&W Welders2-2PSNI
Loughgall0-0Ards
Queen's University1-3Newry City