LINFIELD found their shooting boots in this five-goal thumping of Crusaders at Windsor Park.
The Crues might have taken the lead on 28 minutes courtesy of a Chris Morrow drive from the edge of the box which Alan Blayney did well to keep out.
But two minutes later at the other end Albert Watson headed the Blues in front after he rose highest to meet a Michael Carvill corner from the left.
Linfield doubled their lead eight minutes later after Philip Lowry met a Mark McAllister right-sided cross to beat Sean O'Neill from 12 yards.
Crusaders were reduced to ten men on 51 minutes when Gareth McKeown was dismissed by referee Raymond Crangle for a foul on Carvill inside the area - and from the subsequent spot-kick Peter Thompson confidently blasted the ball down the middle to add Linfield's third.
Daryl Fordyce - only on the pitch three minutes - added Linfield's fourth with ten minutes remaining with a snapshot from a Neil Dougan cross from the left.
The scoring was completed three minutes after that through Billy Joe Burns whose 25-yard drive deflected off Colin Coates and past O'Neill.
Linfield: Blayney, Gault, Murphy, Lowry, Thompson, Carvill, B.J. Burns, Ervin, Mulgrew, Watson, McAllister subs Douglas (not used), Fordyce (replaced McAllister 77), Garrett (replaced Gault 86), Dougan (replaced Lowry 77), Casement (not used)
Crusaders: O'Neill, McKeown, McBride, Leeman, Coates, Hazley, Dallas, McCann, Morrow, Rainey, Owens subs Magowan (replaced Hazley 65), Watson (not used), Snoddy (replaced McCann 65), McMaster (not used), Gibson (replaced Rainey 65)
- Stephen McBride and Peter Thompson (Picture: Brian Little/PressEye.com)