11 Apr 2023
© Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

It was a huge night for Larne as they moved closer to a first league title while basement boys Portadown suffered a blow to their survival hopes at the hands of Newry City.

There were also victories for Crusaders, Glenavon and Carrick Rangers.

Larne hit two goals without reply past Cliftonville at Solitude to move ten points clear at the summit.

Lee Bonis opened the scoring midway through the first half after connecting with a ball over the top, with Joe Thomson doubling up just before the hour with a finish from the edge of the area.

Crusaders came from behind to get the better of Coleraine at Seaview.

Michael McCrudden had given the Bannsiders the lead at the break from the spot, but a Jordan Forsythe penalty levelled matters early in the second half.

Philip Lowry edged the Crues in front on 65 minutes with a close range header with Forsythe making sure just over ten minutes later with his second of the evening.

At Shamrock Park Newry City picked up an important three points at Portadown’s expense.

James Teelan bagged the only strike of the evening on 35 minutes on the follow up after Brian Healy’s initial effort had been pushed out.

Glenavon continued their good run of form with victory over Ballymena United at Mourneview Park by the odd goal in five.

Matthew Fitzpatrick helped himself to a brace, opening the scoring on 20 minutes and adding number two just after the interval.

Mikey Place pulled one back for the Sky Blues from the spot soon after but a Jack Malone penalty with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining restored Glenavon’s two-goal cushion. Craig Farquhar headed Ballymena’s second in stoppage time, but it was too little too late to salvage anything.

Meanwhile, at the Loughview Leisure Arena, a David Cushley double helped Carrick Rangers defeat Dungannon Swifts.

He knocked home a 21st minute penalty and doubled his tally with around 15 minutes left on the clock.