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George McMullan (88p)

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Linfield boss David Jeffrey roars his delight as the Blues move closer to another title (Picture: William Cherry/PressEye.com)

BLUES EDGE EVER CLOSER ..... BUT THE CRUES KEEP UP THE PRESSURE

LINFIELD staged a stunning smash and grab raid at The Oval to claim all three points from the latest 'Big Two' clash and move that bit closer to retaining the Gibson Cup.

The Glens had led from Daryl Fordyce's 27th minute opener but they were rocked by two late Blues goals from Paul Munster (86) and Michael Carvill (90+3) to effectively put the seal on any title hopes Scott Young might have harboured.

Crusaders remain Linfield's only credible obstacle following their 4-1 thumping of recently crowned Co-operative Insurance Cup holders Lisburn Distillery at Seaview.

Gareth McKeown and Michael Halliday more or less killed the game off inside the opening ten minutes with further goals coming from Stuart Dallas and Jordan Owens before Jordan Hughes secured a late, late consolation for Tommy Wright's side.

At the foot of the table Donegal Celtic came from two goals down to secure a point at home to Ballymena United and move six clear of Newry City who fell to a 10th minute Darren Murphy goal at Dungannon Swifts.

Reports and statistics

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Attendance: 345