Institute 0 Crusaders 6
Crusaders continued their impressive start to the season, to comfortably see off a disappointing Institute side and make it five league wins from six games.
Stephen Baxter's side scored six, but in truth they never got out of second gear and should have won by a bigger margin, as 'Stute, who were reduced to ten men in the first half after Mark Scoltock's harsh red card, were second best throughout and really need to get a manager in place soon, to try and steady the ship.
Institute made five changes to their side which loss heavily at Glentoran and they also changed to their formation, switching to three at the back. Into the starting line-up came in goalkeeper Rory Brown, centre-back Scoltock and midfielder's Aidan McCauley, Shane McNamee and Cormac Burke.
As for the visitors they too made five changes from their team, which seen off Dungannon Swifts last weekend, with Howard Beverland, Sean Ward, Jordan Forsythe, Michael Roddy and Jordan Owens all in the starting eleven.
Played in glorious sunshine the visitors started well and went close on 15 minutes but Ruddy's left footed strike was bravely deflected wide by centre-back Caoimhin Bonner.
Bonner was called into action soon after as Paul Heatley broke clear of the 'Stute defence to latch onto Owens' flick-on, but his well hit shot, which had Brown beaten, was cleared off the line by the back tracking ex-Cliftonville man.
On 21 minutes the deadlock was broken in superb fashion as Heatley's stunning right footed volley from just inside the penalty box, gave Brown no chance, after Ross Clarke’s cross had picked him out.
Crues should have added a second on 33 minutes as Heatley burst in behind the 'Stute defence, before gifting Owens the chance, but the big striker side footed over from close range.
The Belfast men doubled their lead four minutes later as Owens out-jumped Brown to knock the ball down to Philip Lowry, who gleefully fired home into the empty net.
Institute's miserable day went from bad to worse on 43 minutes as referee Keith Kennedy harshly sent Scoltock off with a straight red card, after the centre-back had brought down Clarke.
Crusaders added a third on 50 minutes when Ruddy was brought down inside the box by a stupid sliding challenge from Ryan Morrow; Forsythe's resulting penalty was saved by a diving Brown, but the midfielder blasted home the rebound.
The Shore Road side added a fourth on 58 minutes as Jamie McGonigle, who replaced Owens at half-time, broke clear down right before cutting the ball back to Rory Hale, who side footed home from 10 yards.
The impressive Heatley scored his second and Crusaders fifth on 79 minutes, calmly side footing home from close range, as Clarke’s cut-back had picked out the winger.
In the closing stages Heatley was denied his hat-trick with a smart save by Brown, while Dean Curry denied Cushley, blocking the substitute's follow-up strike.
Right at the death, substitute Paul McElroy marked his debut with his first goal for Crusaders, breaking the offside trap to latch onto Hale's through ball, before firing home with his weaker right foot, from 12 yards.
Institute: R Brown, Morrow, Bonner (Leppard 38), Scoltock, D Curry, McLaughlin; Burke, McBride, McCauley (McIntyre 76), McNamee; McCready (G Brown 72).
Crusaders: O’Neill, Ward, Beverland, Hegarty, Ruddy; Forsythe, Hale, Lowry (Cushley 64); Clarke (McElroy 80), Owens (McGonigle HT), Heatley.
Referee: Keith Kennedy (Belfast).