Q Radio Sport
All four Belfast sides enjoyed impressive starts on the opening night of the 2022 Danske Bank Women’s Premiership with comprehensive victories.
Linfield were the biggest winners on the night as Rebecca Bassett grabbed a hat-trick in a six-goal victory over newly-promoted Mid Ulster.
Katie Dickson had given the Blues a first half lead with Kerri Halliday doubling the score seven minutes later, before two goals in two minutes from Bassett took the game away from the visitors.
Mia Fitzsimmons added a fifth with five minutes remaining before Bassett completed the scoring in injury time to complete an impressive opening day for the Blues.
Champions Glentoran also got off to a winning start against the league’s other newly-promoted side Lisburn.
Two goals in the opening 11 minutes from Northern Ireland internationals Joely Andrews and Nadene Caldwell ensured Billy Clarke’s side were always going to be in control of the game.
Lisburn held their own and created chances of their own but a Casey Howe tap-in added a third for the Glens before the break while Caragh Hamilton scored a fourth eight minutes into the second half.
Cliftonville were also four-goal winners on the night but they had to wait until the hour mark to open their account against Sion Swifts as Kirsty McGuinness broke the deadlock.
That was the first of three Reds goals in nine minutes as Marissa Callaghan scored from the penalty spot, Kirsty’s sister Caitlin added a stunning third and with 11 minutes remaining, Callaghan bagged her second and the team’s fourth.
Northern Ireland international Emily Wilson scored either side of the break to help Crusaders Strikers to a three-goal home win over Derry City.
Jonny Tuffey’s side eased to the opening day win with Amy McGivern adding a third with twenty minutes remaining.
Glentoran 4-0 Lisburn (Andrews '9, Caldwell '11, Howe '45, Hamilton '53)
Linfield 6-0 Mid Ulster (Dickson ’27, Halliday ’52, Bassett ’64, ’65, ‘90 Fitzsimmons ‘85)
Sion Swifts 0-4 Cliftonville (K McGuinness ’60, Callaghan pen ’62, ’79, C McGuinness ‘69)
Crusaders 3-0 Derry City (Wilson ’38, pen ’65, McGivern ‘71)
Champions Glentoran got off to a winning start against newly-promoted Lisburn. Pictures courtesy of Johnny Caldwell