Q Radio Sport
The big festive derbies seldom disappoint and Monday's offerings were no exception on a day that brought late winners, red cards, action throughout and bragging rights handed out for another year.
Linfield and Glentoran were separated only by goal difference going into their top of the table clash and at the end of the game there was still nothing between them following a frenetic 1-1 draw at Windsor Park.
Trai Hume fired the Blues in front midway through the first half, and Linfield were handed a further advantage on the hour when Conor McMenamin was sent-off following a challenge on Jimmy Callacher. However, leading scorer Jay Donnelly bagged an equaliser for the Glens to ultimately square the game.
⚽️ Glentoran boss Mick McDermott after his 10 men secured a share of the spoils on derby day at Windsor Park with 20-goal striker Jay Donnelly grabbing the equaliser. “It’s a massive goal and a massive point”👇— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) December 27, 2021
🎥 Glens TV pic.twitter.com/EMrwuHiCIS
David Parkhouse bagged a late winner as Ballymena United squeezed past Coleraine on Warden Street. Paul McElroy opened the scoring for the Sky Blues after four minutes, a lead they held until the 60th minute when substitute James McLaughlin levelled for the Bannsiders.
But Parkhouse popped up right at the end of normal time to score his first for the club following a long lay-off through injury.
Ballymena United net a late winner against Coleraine
Nine-man Glenavon produced a memorable performance to defeat near neighbours Portadown at Shamrock Park. Scoreless for most of the first half, Peter Campbell fired Gary Hamilton's side in front on 37 minutes.
Remarkably the Lurgan Blues then suffered the dismissals of Campbell himself and then Robert Garrett in separate incidents before the break but still held on for the entire second half to claim what will go down as a famous victory. Their last 'Boxing Day' win at Shamrock Park was way back in 1967.
Meanwhile, at the Loughview Leisure Arena, Larne were 3-1 victors over Carrick Rangers despite going behind after half-an-hour.
David Cushley fired the 'Gers in front from the spot on 32 minutes but Tomas Cosgrove and then Ronan Hale tipped the balance in favour of the visitors before the break, with David McDaid making sure with number three a few minutes from time.
The games Cliftonville-Crusaders and Warrenpoint Town-Dungannon Swifts were postponed due to Covid. No new date for either fixture has so far been announced.
So derby day is done and the winners were: @Glenavon_FC @BallymenaUnited & @larnefc - with a point apiece in the top of the table clash @OfficialBlues v @Glentoran and two off due to Covid.— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) December 27, 2021
After all that, this👇& they go again in 2022 (Saturday).
📸GFC #NIFL #DanskeBankPrem pic.twitter.com/jWUfq7ZaGc
Jay Donnelly equalises for 10-man Glentoran at Windsor. Pic: GFC