Reds return to top of tree as teams get set for festive fixtures

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Paul O'Neill - on target for Cliftonville

Q Radio Sport

Cliftonville returned to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership after being temporarily knocked off the summit following overnight victories for Linfield and Glentoran.

The weekend also produced away wins and clean sheets for Ballymena United and Portadown while Coleraine and Crusaders drew a blank on the Ballycastle Road.

First half goals from Paul O'Neill and Ryan Curran helped the Reds defeat Carrick Rangers at Solitude. O'Neill opened the scoring on 17 minutes with Curran then doubling Cliftonville's advantage just before the break.

Paddy McLaughlin's side had slipped to third spot after both Linfield and Glentoran had won on Friday night.

Linfield needed just one goal - a Chris Shields 30th minute spot-kick - to get the better of Larne in the streamed game at Inver Park, while Glentoran hit two goals without reply past Glenavon with Conor McMenamin and Rory Donnelly finding the net in the first half.

Coleraine welcomed Crusaders to The Showgrounds but the scoreless draw was a result neither side wanted, although the hard fought game did produce chances at either end.

Ballymena United are back into seventh spot thanks to a 2-0 away win over Dungannon Swifts. Kenny Kane kicked the scoring off midway through the first half but it took a 94th minute Paul McElroy finish to make sure for the Sky Blues.

Meanwhile, at Milltown, Portadown edged a one-goal victory in the battle of the bottom two with Adam Salley bagging the winner on 68 minutes.

Paul O'Neill beats Kyle Cherry and Jim Ervin to the punch 

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