Crusaders’ victory at Celtic Park at the weekend, coupled with Linfield’s draw with Ballymena United, left the Danske Bank Premiership title race’s final straight in clear view of themselves and leaders Cliftonville.
Equally, the victory that came courtesy of three second-half goals which included a brace from veteran David Rainey, left Donegal Celtic in clear view of the trap drop along with Lisburn Distillery.
The contrasting fortunes of both teams was summed up inside two minutes when Mark Miskimmin’s failure to make the most of a gifted opportunity to put Celtic in front, was responded to with Rainey showing him how it was done.
After Rainey gave the Shore Road title contenders a 52nd minute lead - following a first-half that saw Yohann Lacroix the busier of the two goalkeepers – Timmy Adamson drilled a half-volley beyond ‘keeper John Connolly just three minutes later.
With the game buried, Rainey bagged a second in the 90th minute, a superb diving header to meet David McMaster’s perfect cross.
Frustrated Celtic boss Pat McAllister can only hope the Crues are in such clinical form when they face Distillery tomorrow evening and pray that his wee hoops can gain from their trip to Ballymena United.
McAllister said: “If games lasted 55 minutes we would be on top of the league.
“We are playing well and then just throwing games away.
“I took the blame for my selection in last Tuesday’s defeat to Linfield. Miskimmin’s miss changed the game but even at 1-0, we should have had a penalty.
“Had we got that, we would have taken something. That’s how fine the line is between us winning and losing.”