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Crusaders 5-1 Ballinamallard

Crusaders turned in an impressive performance to defeat Ballinamallard United and maintain their five point lead at the top of the table.

The Crues moved in front for the first time just after a quarter-of-an-hour had elapsed when Gavin Whyte found Declan Caddell who, in turn, teed up Paul Heatley to beat Stefan McCusker from six yards.

Ballinamallard levelled ten minutes later through Ryan Mayse after he beat the offside trap to slot the ball beyond Sean O'Neill to perhaps put themselves in with a shout of getting something from the game.

But, within five minutes, Crusaders regained the advantage after Jordan Owens turned a looping header over McCusker from a Billy Joe Burns cross.

Caddell might have added a third for Stephen Baxter's side on 48 minutes only to be denied by a good stop from McCusker but, four minutes after that, they did take one step closer to victory when Caddell turned provider after his corner was nodded home from six yards by Craig McClean.

Gavin Whyte came close to adding a fourth when he crashed a 20-yard drive off the crossbar but, on 69 minutes, he did find the net after showing great composure to get on the end of a long ball forward to slide a shot past McCusker.

And Whyte struck again on 76 minutes to complete the scoring after he ran through the defence to flick the ball over McCusker - and there was almost a sixth soon after only for Owens to lob an effort against the crossbar. (report taken from

Elsewhere, the U20s also tasted defeat at Fisher Park in the final minutes of an entertaining game.

James Edgar gave the lead with a deflected first half strike, but the Crues hit back through Soares before Calum Frempong scored to give the Mallards a lead at half time.

Crusaders equalised in the second half and then in injury time snatched a winner to deny Derek Sharpe's side.

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