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29 Oct 2022
© Brian Little/INPHO

There was a shuffling of the pack at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership after a weekend of action that saw the leading trio swap places.

Glentoran moved into pole position following a four-goal thumping of Larne at the BetMcLean Oval on Friday night.

The visitors had gone into the game top of the table but they were undone by a virtuoso performance from Conor McMenamin who scored two and set up the other two! The Northern Ireland opened the scoring on ten minutes with a free-kick from wide on the right before teeing Jay Donnelly up to make it 2-0 just before the hour. He then provided the telling pass for Danny Purkis to add a third soon after and completed the scoring in the closing moments with a deflected finish.

Crusaders moved above Larne in second spot on goal difference after a 2-0 win over Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park. Philip Lowry headed the visitors in front inside the opening 30 seconds after connecting with McCauley Snelgrove’s cross. The Crues then doubled their advantage early in the second half when the unfortunate Cahal McGinty turned the ball into his own net whilst attempting to clear Jarlath O’Rourke’s free-kick.

A special word must go to Swifts keeper Dwayne Nelson who saved twice from the spot, once to deny Adam Lecky in the first half and again to thwart O’Rourke after the break.

Cliftonville narrowly defeated Carrick Rangers by just one goal at Solitude. A game of few chances, Ryan Curran bagged the only goal of the game from the spot on 77 minutes although Rangers did have a late ‘equaliser’ ruled out by the match officials.

There was no fairytale return for Portadown boss Niall Currie after his bottom of the table strugglers went down by four goals away to Coleraine. The Bannsiders raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening ten minutes through a Paddy McNally own goal and a Lee Lynch lob. Matthew Shevlin made it 3-0 early in the second before James McLaughlin completed the scoring into the bottom corner before the hour.

Linfield hit two goals without reply past Newry City at The Showgrounds. Robbie McDaid kicked the scoring off with a low finish after quarter-of-an-hour with Joel Cooper making sure on 57 minutes.

Meanwhile, on Friday night, Glenavon defeated Ballymena United by the odd goal in five at Mourneview Park. Jordan Gibson fired United in front midway through the first half but goals from Matthew Fitzpatrick and Danny Wallace early in the second half tipped the balance in favour of Gary Hamilton’s side.

Conor Keeley levelled for Ballymena just after the hour but it fell to Jack Malone to bag Glenavon’s winner from the spot on 67 minutes.