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Reigning Champs Crusaders crash on opening day

Darren Murray on song at Seaview
Darren Murray on song at Seaview

Champions Crusaders lose at Seaview as the Danske Bank Premiership gets under way

Reigning Danske Bank Premiership Champions Crusaders suffered an opening day loss to lively Portadown at Seaview on Saturday.

Ports striker Darren Murray grabbed all the headlines after scoring two goals - one from the penalty spot - before seeing red late in the game.

Paul Heatley's 14 minute equaliser was sandwiched between the two goals from Murray, who handed in a transfer request at Portadown earlier this summer.

He and strike partner Gary Twigg had a field day at the expense of Crusaders' depleted back line and the Gibson Cup holders can have no complaints about the result.

Elsewhere on opening day, last year's runners-up Linfield eased to a 4-0 victory over Ballymena United at The Showgrounds.

Aaron Burns opened his account for the season with a brace, with Andy Waterworth and Reece Glendinning adding to the Braidsiders' misery late on.

Glenavon could not carry on where they left off last season as they lost 1-0 at home to Cliftonville, with Davy McDaid getting the only goal of the game at Mourneview Park.

Newly promoted Carrick Rangers benefitted from a Miguel Chines double at Stangmore Park where Dungannon Swifts midfielder Ally Teggart scored a late consolation goal.

Coleraine got their season off to a flyer courtesy of a 1-0 home win over a disappointing Glentoran side as debutant James McLaughlin scored to make sure of all three points, whilst Ballinamallard got a win on their travels on opening day.

John Currie netted the only goal of the game as Mark Clarke was sent off for 'Point at Milltown, a straight red card for a challenge on the goalscorer early in the second half.