Battle of the Oval - Latvian referee under fire after chaotic scenes in Belfast derby clash

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Robbie McDaid - equaliser for Glens. Pic: NIFL.

Q Radio Sport

Ballymena United are back on top of the Danske Bank Premiership after a 2-1 victory against Linfield at the Showgrounds. 

They're now two points clear of the Blues.

Visiting boss David Healy says it could have been a different story...

The real drama of the day was in the controversial Belfast derby between Glentoran and Crusaders at the Oval.

The final score was 2-2, there was a mass brawl and a total of three players were sent off, two for the Crues.

Kyle Owens got his marching orders before Robbie McDaid equalised for the Glens, then Crues scorer Rory Patterson and Glentoran's John McGuigan saw red after that melee involving players and the benches in first half added time. 

It followed a tackle by Marcus Kane on Paul Heatley, who had earlier opened the scoring for the visitors before John Herron levelled it.

Crusaders accused the guest referee from Latvia Andris Treimanis of losing control of the match.

Manager Stephen Baxter called it an embarrassment and is demanding answers from the Irish FA about its referee exchange programme.

Crues winger Ross Clarke is backing his boss...

Also on Saturday, it finished 3-3 between Glenavon and Institute, Cliftonville beat Dungannon 5-1 and Ards drew 1-1 with Warrenpoint.

Glenavon have signed former Sligo Rovers and Derry City defender Seamus Sharkey on a two-and-a-half year deal. 





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