Irish League: Big Two victory sends Glens three points clear as Reds stay in title mix

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McMenamin sinks Blues. Pic: GFC

Weekend football round-up

Glentoran are back on top of the Danske Bank Premiership after a hard-fought victory in Friday's top of the table showdown with Big Two rivals Linfield.

It finished 1-0 to Mick McDermott's men with Conor McMenamin grabbing the winner at the BetMcLean Oval after an hour.

The Blues went close to levelling it in the closing stages, but home keeper Aaron McCarey pulled off a remarkable save, before Paddy McClean bravely blocked the rebound.

It was quite a spectacle, cagey but absorbing as the old rivals slugged it out at the iconic east Belfast stadium.

Boss McDermott and goalkeeper McCarey have been speaking to Glens TV:

Mick McDermott:

Aaron McCarey:

Here's that save and the McClean block, courtesy of Glens TV:

There are still 11 games remaining for both clubs so expect more twists and turns in an intriguing battle for the Gibson Cup.

The other serious title hopefuls, Cliftonville, are back in action on Saturday.

Conor McMenamin celebrates his winner in the Big Two derby at the BetMcLean Oval with Seanan Clucas and Sean Murray. Pic: GFC

So the Glens leapfrog Linfield into pole position with a three-point advantage.

Cliftonville are a further point behind in third spot following a 2-0 win over Coleraine at Solitude on Saturday. Scoreless at the break, a Ryan Curran double early in the second half proved enough for the Reds to come out on top.

Crusaders moved into fourth spot with a 2-1 win away to Larne. Daniel Larmour kicked the scoring off on 68 minutes before Kofi Balmer levelled for Larne not long after. However the Crues left with the points thanks to Adam Lecky's finish with eight minutes remaining.

Ballymena United closed the gap on a top six spot to two points with a narrow victory over Dungannon Swifts at The Showgrounds, the only goal of the game coming through substitute Steven McCullough on 87 minutes.

Glenavon claimed the Mid Ulster derby honours over Portadown thanks to first half finishes from James Singleton, Mark Haughey and Conor McCloskey.

Meanwhile, Warrenpoint Town swept to a 4-2 win at home to Carrick Rangers to claim their third victory of the campaign.

Fra McCaffrey opened the scoring after 77 seconds but the visitors levelled with just over a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock through Stewart Nixon.

Greg Moorhouse restored home advantage on 31 minutes, with McCaffrey bagging his second of the game just five minutes after that. Alan O'Sullivan added number four midway through the second half and although Jordan Gibson pulled another one back for Rangers on 74 minutes it wasn't enough to spark a late revival.



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