Title race set for a dramatic finale

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The North Belfast derby ended 3-3

Q Radio Sport

The destination of the Gibson Cup will go down to the wire, but some issues were settled on the penultimate day of what has been an enthralling Danske Bank Premiership campaign.

Linfield and Cliftonville, locked in an intriguing battle for the title, were both restricted to a point apiece as they took on Larne and Crusaders respectively.

The Blues had home advantage against Tiernan Lynch's on form side but, after a nervy afternoon, had to settle to a scoreless draw with the visitors perhaps coming closest with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining when David McDaid fired over from a good position.

It was a different scenario for Cliftonville as they made the short trip to face Crusaders at Seaview. The Reds moved in front after half-an-hour through Colin Coates but goals from Billy Joe Burns, Ben Kennedy and Jordan Forsythe midway through the second half seemed to put the Crues firmly in control.

But Cliftonville had other ideas and hit back with a Ryan Curran double to revive the title hopes for Paddy McLaughlin's side which, at one point, seemed to be crumbling away.

The other top six game saw Coleraine return to form with a 3-2 home win over Glentoran. All the goals came in the second half with Matthew Shevlin bagging a double either side of an Aaron Jarvis finish while the Glens responded through Michael O'Connor followed by a stoppage time consolation from Ruaidhrí Donnelly.

Glenavon made sure of seventh spot and a European play-off place with a narrow victory over Portadown at Mourneview Park, the only goal of the game coming on 14 minutes through Danny Wallace. The defeat also ensures the Ports will enter into a relegation play-off.

Ballymena United rounded off their home campaign in style with a three-goal defeat of Carrick Rangers. David Parkhouse opened the scoring on six minutes, with the unfortunate Mark Surgenor turning the ball into his own net soon after before skipper Leroy Millar hit a third before the half-hour mark.

And Dungannon Swifts also bagged a home win against relegated Warrenpoint Town with both goals coming via Marc Walsh and Ryan Mayse in the first half.

Rory Hale and Ben Kennedy in action at Seaview

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