Linfield's Philip Lowry with the match ball after his four goals at Windsor Park (Picture: William Cherry/PressEye.com)
Saturday, 13 August 2011
PHILIP Lowry helped himself to a four goal haul today at Windsor Park as Linfield thumped Donegal Celtic to move into top spot in the standings.
The 22-year-old midfielder opened the scoring after just seven minutes with a glancing header from a Nathan Hanley free-kick before adding further goals on 35, 58 and 61 minutes.
David Armstrong grabbed Linfield's fifth towards the end - and all this despite the Blues playing the entire second half with ten men following Hanley's dismissal seconds from the break.
Glentoran are the only other side with an 100% record after just two games thanks to their workmanlike defeat of Dungannon Swifts at The Oval.
They were fortunate to take a 17th minute lead after a Jim O'Hanlon effort took a massive deflection off Adam McMinn.
Stephen Carson and Darren Boyce combined for the latter to add a second on 43 minutes whilst the Swifts earned a consolation through Ryan O'Neill six minutes from time.
Morning leaders Ballymena United raced into a three-goal lead before being pegged back Glenavon at The Showgrounds.
Gary McCutcheon took just 72 seconds to grab an early advantage - and this was swiftly followed by Jordan Baker on five minutes before McCutcheon knocked home a 32nd minute penalty.
Glenavon's revival began on 37 minutes thanks to Mark Haughey before United old boy Kevin Kelbie added a second barely two minutes later.
United were reduced to ten men early in the second half but they held onto their lead until three minutes from the end when Niall Henderson slotted past Aaron Kerr from a Kelbie through ball.
Cliftonville sit fourth in the table following their 1-1 draw at Coleraine.
Chris Scannell struck two minutes into first half stoppage time to hand the Reds an at times unlikely looking lead.
They held it until 62 minutes when substitute Leon Knight opened his account for the season with a dinked ball over Ryan Brown.
Portadown found their shooting boots after their disappointing start to the season last week with a 5-1 defeat of Lisburn Distillery at Shamrock Park.
Kevin Braniff slotted the ball home from 12 yards on 36 minutes to break the deadlock with Neal Gawley levelling for the Whites ten minutes into the second half.
However, the floodgates opened shortly afterwards with a Matt Tipton double, another from Braniff and a Shane McCabe strike all contributing to an emphatic win for Ronnie McFall's side.
Newly promoted Carrick Rangers still await their first points of the season after falling to a narrow defeat at 'home' to Crusaders.
Goals from Stuart Dallas and Colin Coates helped the Crues to a comfortable two-goal lead by the hour mark and although Paul Owens did pull one back on 72 minutes it wasn't enough to springboard Rangers to getting something from the game.
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