Michael McCrudden brace as Cliftonville win along with Larne and Glenavon
Cliftonville extended their unbeaten league run to five games last night with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Dungannon Swifts.
The Reds have produced extremely strong form at Solitude this season and despite a solid start by Dungannon, Paddy McLaughlin’s men edged ahead through Michael McCrudden.
They doubled their lead shortly after the restart as defender Ryan O’Reilly grabbed his first goal for the club, poking in a pass across goal.
McCrudden was on the scoresheet again, this time smartly chipping the ball over an onrushing Roy Carroll to put the result beyond any doubt.
There was also a win for Larne as they edged past Portadown 2-1 at Shamrock Park.
Larne – coming off a 3-0 weekend triumph over Carrick Rangers – came in motivated to close the gap on Coleraine and Glentoran and got off to a perfect start when Andy Mitchell scored a 10th minute penalty.
Portadown equalised in first-half added time through Lee Bonis with the 21-year-old making the most of an advantage to score from close range.
The visitors found their way back in front through Ronan Hale, who scored yet another screamer by striking the ball with the outside of his right boot past Jacob Carney into the top corner from a tight angle.
Glenavon continued their unbeaten streak by recording a 1-0 victory at home to Warrenpoint Town.
It looked like the two sides would go into the interval on even terms until Danny Purkis latched on to an attempted backpass in the 45th minute and rounded Gabriel Sava to put the Lurgan Blues ahead, which proved to be enough to secure all three points.
A superb second-half Cathair Friel volley helped Carrick earn a point with a 1-1 draw at home to Crusaders.
It took Crusaders just four minutes to break the deadlock as Jamie McGonigle pounced onto a poor backpass and took the ball around helpless goalkeeper Aaron Hogg before slotting his eighth goal of the season into an empty net.
Friel then produced a moment of magic, taking the ball down on his chest and firing in from the edge of the box.
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