Coleraine missed out on a chance to go 11 points clear as they were held to a 2-2 draw by second-placed 10-man Glenavon in the Irish Premiership.
The Bannsiders led twice through Jamie McGonigle and Josh Carson but Glenavon, despite James Singleton’s dismissal, hit back to stay eight points behind.
Crusaders remain in third place after their 4-2 win away to Ards.
Champions Linfield had Josh Robinson sent off but beat Ballinamallard 6-0 while Dungannon won at Warrenpoint.
The major match was the clash of the top two at Mourneview Park and there was no shortage of drama.
McGonigle put the leaders in front with a delightful eighth-minute finish which was followed six minutes later by the big talking point as the hosts were reduced to 10 men.
Ian Parkhill was running through on goal when he was brought down by Singleton who got a straight red from referee Raymond Crangle.
Despite being a man down, Glenavon produced a 25th-minute equaliser when Northern Ireland Under-21 international Mark Sykes got in to beat Chris Johns.
Josh Carson restored Coleraine’s lead early in the second half but former Northern Ireland midfielder Sammy Clingan netted a 78th-minute penalty after keeper Johns brought down Andy Hall.
It was only the second time unbeaten Coleraine have failed to win in their 14 league matches this season, the only other team managing to hold them being Glentoran.
Defender Mark Haughey and striker Andrew Waterworth each netted twice as champions Linfield romped to a 6-0 win away to Ballinamallard.
Kirk Millar and Jordan Stewart got the other two to leave Ballinamallard still four points adrift at the bottom of the table.
The dismissal of Robinson came after he was involved in a clash in the net straight after Waterworth had made it 3-0 in the 42nd minute.
Crusaders saw off Ards 4-2 to maintain their 100% away record in the league.
Midfielder Gavin Whyte scored two with Paul Heatley and David Cushley also on target.
Ards got late goals through Guillaume Keke and Kyle Cherry.
Joe Gormley netted a double and Daniel Hughes got the third in Cliftonville’s home win over Carrick Rangers while Dungannon came from behind to win at Warrenpoint.
Alan Davidson gave Warrenpoint an early lead but goals by Ryan Mayse and Kris Lowe won it for Dungannon who had Ryan Harpur sent off late on.
|Danske Bank Premiership|
|Warrenpoint Town||1-2||Dungannon Swifts|
|Bluefin Sport Championship|
|Newry City||1-1||H & W Welders|