It was a point each tonight at Seaview as Crusaders and Glenavon played out a 1-1 draw in fron of BBC Sport NI live cameras. It was the proverbial "game of two halves" that saw Crusaders dominate in the first but Glenavon pushing on in the second half with the result probably a fair one by 9.35pm.
Crusaders went on the front foot from the start of the game and David Cushley was a busy man as he went close in the opening minutes after a bright start. Ronan Hale tested Jonny Tuffey in the Glenavon goal and Crusaders looked at every opportunity to open the scoring but Glenavon stood firm. Glenavon came back at Crusaders and Rhys Marshall shot wide before Colin Coates tackled bravely to stop Glenavon threatening. A Kyle Owens header was deflected for a corner and from that Rory Hale was unlucky after picking the ball up on the edge of the box before shooting. Crusaders hit back and Glenavon scrambled several attacks away and Philip Lowry was unlucky as he tried for a goal. Sean O'Neill was in the right place at the right time when he saved on the line before Rory Hale made a terrific block tackle to stop a Glenavon shot. Ronan Hale tested Tuffey again after a good twisting run into the box but a minute later Tuffey was finally beaten when a long range low shot from David Cushley flew by him into the net and it was 1-0 Crusaders after 43 minutes. Reece McGinley nearly made it 2-0 before half time but Tuffey saved on this occasion and the half ended Crusaders one up.
Glenavon came out the second half with the bit between their teeth and tested Sean O'Neill twice early on. Glenavon forced several corners and free kicks but nothing really troubled the Crusaders net before Sean O'Neill was called on to make a fantastic reaction save and from the follow up Crusaders got lucky as the ball crashed off the post and away to safety. This got Crusaders going again and Tuffey was again in the action when he tipped over a David Cushley blaster which was sure to have stung the fingers. Robbie Garrett then shot wide before Sean O'Neill got down well to a Glenavon shot. The goal finally came for Glenavon on 78 minutes when Josh Daniels met the ball perfectly and volleyed home giving O'Neill no chance. Glenavon went looking for the winner and Crusaders did well to stop that happening and it was Sean O'Neill again who kept the score level with another decent save. Bothe sides had little chance in the last few minutes and match finally ended 1-1.
So a point gained on second place Ballymena United in the Danske Bank Premiership and it is all eyes now on next weeks Tennents Irish Cup Quarter Final against Ballymena United. In the tie of the round it will an absolute classic and one not to be missed.