Blues through to complete Shield line-up - ladies set for a fight to the finish for title

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Linfield beat Amateur League East Belfast 5-1 on Wednesday night to reach the quarter-finals of the Toals County Antrim Shield.

15-year-old winger Charlie Allen started for the Blues, while fellow schoolboy Dale Taylor, also 15, came on as a second-half substitute. 

Linfield face Cliftonville in the last eight.

The Reds had a 4-0 victory over Knockbreda in one of the seven ties played on Tuesday night.

Holders Crusaders launched their defence with an 8-1 victory against Amateur League Sirocco Works.

Jamie McGonigle hit five goals on his first Crues start including an early hat-trick in three minutes.

The only shock was the Welders winning 2-1 away to Carrick.

Glentoran beat Ballyclare 3-1 with 15-year-old Charlie Lindsay making his debut to become the Glens' youngest ever player.

Meanwhile, Premiership sides Coleraine and Institute both crashed out of the North West Cup.

And a much-changed Portadown lost 6-1 against local rivals Annagh United in Mid-Ulster. 




Women's Premiership 

Crusaders produced one of the shocks of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership season as they ended Glentoran’s slim title hopes.

Northern Ireland international Julie Nelson grabbed a double for the Crues in East Belfast and while Makyla Mulholland netted a late consolation for the Glens, Spike Hill’s side held on for the points in a 2-1 success.

The top two sides, Sion Swifts and Linfield, both kept their title challenges on track with routine victories - defeating Comber Rec and Cliftonville by scorelines of 12-0 and 5-0 respectively.

Jamaica international goalkeeper Nicole McClure was among the scorers for Sion - with a penalty - while Ciara Grant hit a hat-trick.

Kristin Desmond and Michelle McDaid struck twice, while Ciana Brogan, Taz McCarter, Moya Feehan and Samantha Brand also were on target.

Casey Howe netted either side of the break for the Blues at New Midgley Park before Rebecca Bassett, Kirsty McGuinness (penalty) and substitute Rebecca McKenna completed the comprehensive victory.

Sion retain a four-point lead at the top over Linfield, who have played two games fewer and have three matches of their league campaign remaining.

Linfield’s trip to Glentoran on Saturday evening may prove definitive for the destination of this season’s league title.

















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