Crusaders and Glentoran played out a dramatic 2-2 draw at Seaview on Saturday, the champions twice coming from behind.
Curtis Allen twice had given the Glens the lead but a first half Gavin Whyte penalty and a late Richard Clarke effort pegged them back.
Allen celebrated his new three year contract by opening the scoring on the 11 minutes. He bundled home an Eric Foley corner against the run of play.
The Crues had started well and forced three chances in the opening six minutes but Elliott Morris saved two Declan Caddell volleys and a Michael Carvill effort.
The Crues got back on top soon after the goal and Gavin Whyte tucked home a penalty equaliser.
It looked potentially harsh as Jonny Addis was penalised for pulling Owens’ shirt.
Just after the hour mark, the Glens were back in front, Allen converting a telling Aaron Harmon cross.
They were kept in front by a world class Morris save, at full stretch to claw out an Owens header.
The Crues went three at the back and piled on the pressure, which eventually paid off.
Richard Clarke equalise with a long range effort less than 10 minutes after coming off the bench.
And the hosts kept on piling forward and Caddell forced a last gasp save with an overhead kick.
CRUSADERS: O’Neill, Burns, Beverland, Gault, Caddell, Forsythe, McClean (Clarke 76), Owens, Heatley (Cushley 62), Carvill, Whyte. Subs: Lowry, Mitchell, Dougherty
GLENTORAN: Morris, Birney, Magee, Allen, Foley, Harmon, Addis, McAlorum (O’Flynn 84), Redman, Ferrin, Smith (K Nelson 70). Subs: D Nelson, Novo, McAuley.