Conor McCloskey (71)
Cathair Friel (86)
Cathair Friel (90 2)

3

Celebrations as Cathair Friel doubles United's lead (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

CRUES TITLE HOPES HIT WITH MASSIVE BLOW

Crusaders' hopes of retaining their league title for a third successive season suffered a massive blow with this three goal defeat to Ballymena United at The Showgrounds.

United's goals all came in the final quarter of the game. Conor McCloskey opened the scoring on 71 minutes, blasting the ball past Sean O'Neill after Cathair Friel knocked it into his path.

And Friel got on the scoresheet himself on 86 minutes when he rolled the ball home after O'Neill lost possession outside the area, before doubling up to  grab Ballymena's third in stoppage time.

BBC Sport NI coverage - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39681495

Ballymena United: Glendinning, Owens, Flynn, Jenkins, McCloskey, Ervin, Friel, Millar, McMurray, Loughran, McCaffrey subs Allen (not used), T. Kane (replaced Loughran 46), Henderson (replaced McCloskey 80), McKinney (replaced McCaffrey 63), McCracken (not used)

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Beverland, Caddell, Carvill, McClean, Keane, Forsythe, Owens subs Dougherty (not used), Mitchell (replaced Keane 74), Cushley (replaced Whyte 74), Snoddy (not used), Suarez (replaced Carvill 67)

Referee: Tim Marshall

Attendance: 1644

Tags:  Ballymena United  Crusaders