IRISH LEAGUE: Crusaders stay top with home win over Ballymena

Crusaders David Cushley  and Ballymena's Tony Kane

Crusaders David Cushley and Ballymena's Tony Kane

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CRUSADERS 2 BALLYMENA UNITED 1

Crusaders remain top of the pile after their latest home victory against Ballymena Utd allowed the north Belfast side to maintain their seven point lead over Linfield at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Crusaders Jordan Owens   and Ballymena's Ross Glendinning

Crusaders Jordan Owens and Ballymena's Ross Glendinning

The 2-1 scoreline makes the game appear closer than it actually was because had the Crues taken their chances in the opening half they would have been out of sight by half time.

However a splendid display by United keeper Ross Glendinning prevented that from happening and the home side had to be content with a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Gavin Whyte and David Cushley.

So when Tony Kane scored his 18th goal of the season with a spectacular free kick twelve minutes from time it set up a grandstand finish.

But the Crues saw the game out and go marching on towards the title.

Crusaders Gavin Whyte scores

Crusaders Gavin Whyte scores