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Premiership

STILL ALL TO PLAY FOR IN PREMIERSHIP

16 May 2021
football
© Brian Little/INPHO Josh Robinson celebrates scoring Larne's late winner
It proved to be a big weekend in the Danske Bank Premiership, one that breathed life back into the title race and produced victories for Coleraine, Larne, Cliftonville, Ballymena United, Glenavon and Portadown.
 
Linfield went into the weekend knowing that a point at home to Larne would, given their huge goal difference, effectively secure a third successive league crown for David Healy's side.
 
However, the visitors hadn't read the script. Ronan Hale fired them in front just before the hour when he was on hand to tuck home the rebound after Mark Randall's initial effort had been saved.
 
Niall Quinn levelled matters with four minutes remaining with a low effort past Conor Mitchell into the bottom right, but there was still time for Josh Robinson to scramble home Larne's winner and record a first win over the Blues at Windsor Park for 46 years.
 
Linfield are still five points clear at the top going into the final two games of the season but, intriguingly, their next league outing sees them travel to face the only side that can catch them, Coleraine, next Tuesday night.
 
The Bannsiders kept their own title ambitions alive with a narrow victory over Crusaders in the lunchtime kick-off at Seaview. Substitute James McLaughlin, only on the pitch for three minutes, grabbed what proved to be the only goal of the game just after the hour with a header past Jonny Tuffey after getting away from his marker.
 
Elsewhere in Section A, two second half goals saw Cliftonville get the better of Glentoran at The Oval.
 
Rory Hale opened the scoring in the 63rd minute with a strong finish into the top corner in off the crossbar, with Michael McCrudden making sure with six minutes remaining with close range finish after Daire O'Connor had squared the ball into his path.
 
The battle for seventh spot and a European play-off place goes on with both Glenavon and Ballymena United winning well to keep their hopes alive.
 
On Friday night Glenavon hit four goals without reply past Warrenpoint Town. Andy Hall bagged two, Danny Wallace turned home an own goal and Danny Purkis rounded things off in stoppage time.
 
The Lurgan Blues remain three points ahead of the Sky Blues who travelled to Stangmore Park to claim a 3-1 win over Dungannon Swifts courtesy of goals from Conor Keeley, Leroy Millar and Trai Hume.
 
Meanwhile, Lee Bonis and Adam Salley found the net for Portadown in their 2-1 defeat of Carrick Rangers at Shamrock Park. Rangers boss Niall Currie resigned from his three-year stint in charge of the club after the game, although this isn't thought to be related to the result.