Irish Premiership: Lowry strikes late as Crusaders claim derby draw with Cliftonville – About Your Online Magazine


Cliftonville remains three points ahead of the Crusaders after a 2-2 draw at Seaview
Cliftonville remains three points ahead of the Crusaders after a 2-2 draw at Seaview

Philip Lowry scored the equalizer late in the match and saved the Crusaders in a 2-2 draw in the Belfast derby with Cliftonville at Seaview.

Second-half goals from Ryan Curran and Michael McCrudden turned the game in favor of Cliftonville after Jordan Forsythe’s opening goal in the first half.

But Lowry tied the game in the 87th minute with a short backheel.

The result means that fifth-placed Cliftonville remains three points ahead of Crusaders, in sixth place.

A minute of silence was maintained before the game for Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died at 99 on Friday.

Cliftonville, who came into play with convincing victories over Warrenpoint Town and Dungannon Swifts, started well and came close to taking the lead through striker Michael McCrudden, who saw his header saved by Sean O’Neill after Aaron Donnelly Cruz.

O’Neill again stood firm to deny Daire O’Connor after the Reds winger stripped Billy Joe Burns.

The Crusaders found their pace after facing initial pressure from Cliftonville and could have taken the lead through Paul Heatley, only for Aaron McCarey to frustrate the striker in a heads-up.

McCarey failed to stop Forsythe, however, when the midfielder headed Crusaders to an advantage in the 29th minute, waving home from Jarlath O’Rourke’s corner after a run near the post.

McCrudden is the key to Cliftonville’s return

Cliftonville came out hard in the second half and was rewarded 10 minutes after the restart, with Curran equalizing with his 13th goal of the season.

McCrudden delivered a precise cross to the danger area and Curran climbed higher than Forsythe before going beyond O’Neill.

The visitors successfully turned the game in the middle of the second period through McCrudden, who took advantage of Billy Joe Burns’ failure to hit McCarey’s long pass upwards to guide his left foot shot to the bottom corner for his sixth goal in three games.

Burns atoned for his error on both ends as he ran back to block Rory Hale’s effort to score on the line to keep the Crusaders in the game.

Then, in another corner of O’Rourke, the full-back directed his header towards the danger area, while Lowry finished in an improvised way with his back to McCarey’s goal, deflecting the Cliftonville goalkeeper to rescue a point for the home team.

Both teams are back in action on April 17, with the Crusaders hosting Glenavon with Cliftonville in Portadown.

Paula Fonseca