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03 Mar 2021
© Brian Little/INPHO
A potentially pivotal night in the Danske Bank Premiership produced victories for Coleraine, Crusaders, Glentoran and Warrenpoint Town while there were draws at the Ballymena Showgrounds and Mourneview Park.
Leaders Linfield saw their advantage at the top whittled down to just two points following a second defeat in seven days to derby rivals Glentoran.
Jay Donnelly needed just nine minutes to open the scoring at The Oval before Conor McMenamin doubled the Glens' advantage just after the half-hour mark. Stephen Fallon pulled one back for Linfield in first half stoppage time but Rhys Marshall made sure of the points for Mick McDermott's men on 63 minutes.
Coleraine extended their unbeaten run to 13 games thanks to a couple of Ben Doherty penalties which handed them a two-goal victory over Portadown at The Showgrounds.
Crusaders leapfrogged Larne into third spot on goal difference following an Adam Lecky hat-trick which earned the visitors the points as the sides met an Inver Park.
Scoreless at the break, Lecky opened the scoring nine minutes into the second half, doubled up a quarter-of-an-hour later before claiming the match ball on 76 minutes.
Cliftonville joined the pair on 36 points. The Reds made the trip to face Ballymena United and thought they might have sealed the win when Ryan Curran converted from the spot late in the game but Shay McCartan hit back for the Sky Blues to divide the spoils with five minutes to go.
At Mourneview Park Carrick Rangers played for an hour with ten men but managed to return from their visit to face Glenavon with a point.
Daniel Kelly fired Niall Currie's side in front after just nine minutes but they suffered the dismissal of Chris Rodgers after half-an-hour. Colin Coates levelled for Glenavon early in the second half but they were unable to make their numerical advantage count.
Meanwhile, at Milltown, Warrenpoint Town stormed back from going behind inside the first minute to sweep to victory over Dungannon Swifts.
The Swifts got off to a dream start thanks to Ben Gallagher's early goal but an Alan O'Sullivan double plus further finishes for Daniel Byrne and Adam Evans helped 'Point comfortably claim the points.