21 Oct 2023
© Pacemaker Press

Great goals and big results were very much the order of the day during another action packed afternoon of Sports Direct Premiership action.

Perhaps the most significant result of the day came at the Ballymena Showgrounds as Jim Ervin’s Sky Blues lifted themselves off the foot of table with victory over derby rivals Coleraine.

The Bannsiders were forced to play the last hour with ten men following Matthew Shevlin’s dismissal for a challenge on keeper Sean O’Neill.

United moved in front early in the second half through Noah Stewart’s low finish, before the teenager doubled up soon after following a defensive mix-up.

Coleraine pulled one back just after the hour courtesy of a Josh Carson spot-kick but Alex Gawne made sure for United three minutes into added time.

Crusaders moved into second spot after coming from behind to hit four past Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.

Thomas Maguire fired the Swifts in front around the half-hour mark after nipping in front of Jonny Tuffey to touch the ball home.

James Teelan levelled for the Crues early in the second half after being teed up by Jordan Forsythe on the edge of the area, with Josh Robinson then tipping the balance in favour of Stephen Baxter’s side with a 72nd minute header.

Ben Kennedy added a third seven minutes after that with a superb strike into the top right corner from 25 yards before Malachy Smith knocked home a fourth right at the end of normal time.

Glentoran got off to a great start at home to bottom of the table Glenavon at the BetMcLean Oval.

Junior Uzokwe fired the Glens in front as early as the third minute from a Cameron Palmer ball into the six yard box, before doubling up just ten minutes after that from another Palmer delivery.

Patrick McClean then got the final touch in a goalmouth scramble on the stroke of half-time as Glentoran extended their lead, with the visitors leaving Belfast with only a stoppage time Jack Malone finish to show for their efforts.

And it was a great day for Loughgall’s Benji Magee as he bagged a hat-trick in the Villagers’ defeat of Newry City at Lakeview Park.

Magee broke the deadlock early in the second half with a superb strike from the right, but Adam Salley hit back for the visitors just five minutes after that.

However Magee restored Loughgall’s advantage on 65 minutes after bursting through the defence to fire into the top left corner, and claimed the match ball in stoppage time to make sure of Loughgall’s victory.

The weekend had kicked off on Friday evening when both leaders Linfield and champions Larne were in action.

Linfield extended their hold on the top to seven points thanks to a Chris McKee second half strike handing them victory over Cliftonville at Solitude, whilst Larne had goals from Tomas Cosgrove and Paul O’Neill to guide them to a home derby defeat of Carrick Rangers.