Jordan Owens (16)
Jordan Owens (87)

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Jordan Owens celebrates his double against Linfield (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)

JORDAN BAGS A DOUBLE AS CRUES SINK BLUES

Jordan Owens bagged a double at Seaview as Crusaders defeated Linfield to inch a little closer to claiming the Gibson Cup.

The Crues got off to a blistering start, almost going in front inside the opening minute when Blues 'keeper Roy Carroll did well to stop a Owens effort.

At the other end, on five minutes, Andrew Waterworth fired straight at Brian Jensen after being played through by Kurtis Byrne's flick.

Owens opened the scoring on 16 minutes with a back post finish into the roof of the net after Billy Joe Burns had delivered a ball from the right.

Stephen Fallon might have levelled for Linfield soon after when a flowing move involving Waterworth and Byrne fell for him but Brian Jensen did well to smother the danger.

And Fallon had another effort after half-an-hour after an initial Byrne drive was pushed out while, in first half stoppage time, Waterworth saw a volley saved by the home 'keeper.

Crusaders applied some early half pressure with Gavin Whyte and then Owens seeing shots saved by Carroll.

Owens was denied again on 66 minutes from a Whyte free-kick when his stooping header into the bottom right well saved.

However, he did double Crusaders' lead with three minutes left when, again, Burns crossed from the right and Owens once more nodded home at the back post.

Linfield suffered the dismissal of Andrew Mitchell late in the game with a straight red card for a foul on Jamie Glackin.

BBC Sport NI coverage

Crusaders: Jensen, Burns, Beverland, Coates, Lowry, Ward, Carvill, Snoddy, Owens, Heatley, Whyte subs O'Neill (not used), Cushley (replaced Carvill 90+3), Forsythe (replaced Whyte 90+1), Glackin (replaced Heatley 78), Bonner (not used)

Linfield: Carroll, Stafford, Robinson, Haughey, Waterworth, Lowry, Millar, Byrne, M. Clarke, Fallon, Mitchell subs Callacher (not used), Rooney (replaced Clarke 88), Garrett (not used), Campion (replaced Fallon 72), Strain (replaced Byrne 72)

Referee: Ian McNabb

Attendance: 2265

Tags:  Crusaders  Linfield