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03 Dec 2022
© Stephen Hamilton/PressEye Chris Hegarty scored twice as the Crues beat Glentoran

We might be only a few days into December but already the Danske Bank Premiership has served up a Christmas Cracker of a weekend.

Larne kicked the action off on Friday evening with a narrow defeat of Glenavon at Mourneview Park in the streamed BBC game.

A Sean Ward own goal with ten minutes remaining proved the difference between the sides but it was enough to return Tiernan Lynch’s charges to winning ways and stretch their lead at the top.

Crusaders moved into second spot after a thrilling 3-2 victory over Glentoran at Seaview on Saturday.

Adam Lecky opened the scoring for the Crues as early as the fourth minute but, within sixty seconds, the Glens levelled through Danny Purkis.

Chris Hegarty then restored home advantage midway through the first half, a lead they held until the 51st minute when Jay Donnelly brought Glentoran back onto level terms.

However Lecky doubled his tally just before the hour to ultimately secure the points for Stephen Baxter’s men.

Cliftonville had started the day second but slumped to fourth following a 4-1 reversal away to Ballymena United.

David McDaid handed the Sky Blues the lead at the break with a superb solo effort on 36 minutes, before two goals in as many minutes early in the second half from Kym Nelson and Josh Kelly put the United firmly in control.

Ronan Hale did pull one back for the Reds with 20 minutes remaining but McDaid struck again in the 82nd minute to secure a comprehensive victory.

Linfield climbed into third after a 3-1 win over Carrick Rangers at Windsor Park.

Eetu Vertainen fired the Blues in front with barely two minutes on the clock and doubled up just short of the half-hour mark. Ben Tilney set up a bit of a nervy finish when he pulled one back for the visitors with ten minutes to go but Robbie McDaid made sure in stoppage time.

Meanwhile, at the Showgrounds, Coleraine cruised to a comfortable two-goal defeat of Dungannon Swifts.

Both goals came early in the first half. Matthew Shevlin kicked the scoring off after three minutes with Conor McDermott following up just eight minutes after that.

The action continues tomorrow with a big game at the foot of the table as 10th place Newry City host basement boys Portadown, kick-off 2pm.