Danske Bank Premiership clubs break new ground in Europa Conference League

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Glens manager Mick McDermott. Pic: GFC

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Three Danske Bank Premiership teams kick off their campaign in the new Europa Conference League on Thursday night.

Glentoran welcome The New Saints from Wales to The Oval for the first round qualifier (6.45pm).

Larne also have Welsh opposition for their first ever game in Europe - they go to Bala Town.

And Coleraine are in Bosnia to face FK Velez.

Glentoran striker Rory Donnelly. Pic: GFC.  

Glentoran Women missed the chance to return to the top of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership following a surprise 2-1 defeat at Sion Swifts Ladies. 

Teegan Lynch opened the scoring just before the break for the hosts and Aimee Neal added a second on the hour mark. 

Kerry Beattie gave champions Glentoran hope with five minutes remaining - remarkably her eighth goal against Sion in three appearances this season - but it was not enough for the Glens. 

This was just Sion’s second league victory of the campaign, and it takes them to within three points of fourth-placed Linfield. 

The Glens remain second - two points behind league leaders Cliftonville Ladies, who have a game in hand. 

Elsewhere, Crusaders Strikers strengthened their grip on third spot with a three-goal victory at home to Derry City Women. 

First half goals from Mairead McCann and Emily Wilson alongside an 87th minute strike from Jess Rea were enough for the Crues, who now have four wins from their last five games.

Mairead McCann, Emily Wilson and Jess Rea scored for the Crues

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