16 Sep 2023
© Alan Weir/Pacemaker Press Aaron Prendergast celebrates opening the scoring for Glenavon

It was a three point Saturday for Glenavon, Loughgall and Coleraine while leaders Glentoran inched a point clear at the top following a scoreless draw at home to Dungannon Swifts.

And, on Friday night, Larne laid down a huge marker with a two-goal defeat of Linfield at Inver Park.

Glentoran moved into pole position on goal difference overnight and extended their lead despite being held at the BetMcLean Oval by Dungannon Swifts.

A quiet game, Warren Feeney’s side came closest to breaking the deadlock when they hit the woodwork early in the second half before having an effort ruled out offside.

Managerless Glenavon began life without Gary Hamilton under the stewardship of Reserves boss Gary McAlister, coach Chris Chambers and Mark Haughey assisted by Paul McCrum and managed to steer the Lurgan Blues to a 2-1 victory over Carrick Rangers at Mourneview Park.

The visitors were reduced to ten men early on following Kyle Cherry’s dismissal for a tackle on Jack Malone but it took Glenavon to just after the hour mark to make their advantage count when Aaron Prendergast sent a Stephen Teggart cross past Ross Glendinning.

Rangers levelled through a Danny Purkis wonder goal into the top corner after he had noticed Rory Brown straying off his line.

But Glenavon went on to claim the points not long after that when Malone converted from the spot, awarded after Peter Campbell had been upended.

Coleraine picked up their first win in five league outings with a 3-1 home defeat of Newry City.

Josh Carson found a way through on 40 minutes after a quickly taken free-kick, before Matthew Shevlin added a second just before the hour.

Lee Newell pulled one back for Newry with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining but Andy Mitchell restored Coleraine’s two-goal lead right at the end of normal time.

And Loughgall continued their impressive start to the season after coming from behind to get the better of bottom of the table Ballymena United at The Showgrounds.

Colin Coates edged the Sky Blues in front towards the end of the first half but two goals from Nathaniel Ferris just before the hour steered the Villagers into the lead. Andrew Hoey then made sure on 66 minutes with a strong effort high into the net.

Meanwhile, on Friday night, goals from Paul O’Neill and Andy Ryan saw champions Larne defeat Linfield at Inver Park.

The weekend action concludes on Monday night when Crusaders welcome Cliftonville to Seaview, kick-off 7:45pm.