Derby joy for Cliftonville as Larne see off Dungannon
Cliftonville moved above Linfield into second place with a 3-1 victory over 10-man Crusaders at Solitude on Saturday in the Danske Bank Irish Premiership.
In a thrilling North Belfast derby, defender Johnny Addis headed the hosts into the lead on 13 minutes when he connected with a Jamie McDonagh corner at the back post.
Crusaders were reduced to 10 men when Declan Caddell was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Chris Gallagher, which led to a melee between coaches and substitutes from both sides following the incident.
A few minutes before the end of the first half, Crusaders equalised against the run of play.
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Jarlath O’Rourke floated in a pinpoint free-kick which Josh Robinson met on the volley to make it 1-1 on 43 minutes.
However, with seconds remaining, Ryan Curran fired an angled drive past Jonny Tuffey from a throw-in, which Crusaders argued had not been taken correctly.
After the break, Tuffey kept the visitors in the game with several fine saves, but Crusaders’ resistance was ended when Levi Ives smashed home the Reds’ third from outside the area after some probing link-up play from Daniel Kearns and McDonagh.
Meanwhile, Larne climbed to fourth in the table above Crusaders after clinching all three points with a comfortable 2-0 success over Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.
Larne were in control in the first half but it was Dungannon who found the back of the net first, only for Cahal McGinty’s header to be ruled out for offside.
On the stroke of half-time, Larne forged ahead when John Herron latched onto a long throw from Kofi Balmer, creating space for himself to shoot across Swifts’ ‘keeper Declan Dunne into the top corner.
Larne searched for a second and went close when Navid Nasseri’s corner came back off the near post.
But the ex-Linfield man had the final say when he secured victory for Larne on 84 minutes, smashing home the rebound when Ronan Hale’s shot had been well saved by Dunne/
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