NI trio star as Reds storm back to sink champions and go five points clear at top

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Louise McDaniel with sisters Kirsty & Caitlin McGuinness. Pic: CFC.

Q Radio Sport

Cliftonville Ladies have extended their lead at the top of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership to five points after a remarkable comeback victory over champions Glentoran Women. 

Striker Kerry Beattie continued her fine goalscoring form with a sixth minute opener for the Glens before Casey Howe doubled the visitors' lead four minutes later. 

However, the league leaders hit back in emphatic style as their trio of Northern Ireland international summer signings all found the net. 

Winger Louise McDaniel - an arrival from Hearts - netted her first goal for the Reds in the 36th minute, the first of four goals for the home side in a devastating 33-minute spell. 

Caitlin McGuinness levelled the score a minute after the break and it was her sister Kirsty who then ensured the hosts pulled the game away from Glentoran, netting in the 52nd and 69th minutes. 

The defeat was the first of the campaign for the Glens and ensures the North Belfast side have continued their 100 percent winning start to the season.

Elsewhere, Linfield Ladies recorded their first win in three matches but suffered a huge scare against Derry City Women - who continue to demonstrate their improvements this season.

Lauren Cregan broke the deadlock for the Candystripes at New Midgley Park just before the hour mark, in what promised to set up potentially the biggest shock result in many years.

Linfield’s Alison Smyth had been thwarted from the penalty spot by Derry goalkeeper Clare Friel in the first half to add to the Blues frustrations, but the home side did eventually turn the score around.

Seven minutes after falling behind, Rebecca McKenna levelled it and when striker Smyth was handed her second opportunity from the spot five minutes later - she did not miss.

Katie Dickson added a third for Phil Lewis’s side late on to make sure of the points but it was a match that highlighted the fact that the league will be more competitive than ever this season.

Elsewhere, Sion Swifts Ladies got their first goals and point of the campaign as they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 against Crusaders Strikers.

Danielle McDowell’s penalty and Emily Wilson’s early second half strike had twice given the Crues the lead, but Teegan Lynch and Zara O’Hagan rescued a point for the hosts.

Zara O’Hagan - clinched point for Sion Swifts.

Cliftonville Ladies 4-2 Glentoran Women (McDaniel ’36, C McGuinness ’46, K McGuinness ’52, ’69; Beattie ‘6, Howe ’10) 

Linfield Ladies 3-1 Derry City Women (McKenna ’66, Smyth pen ’71, Dickson ‘90; Cregan ’59) 

Sion Swifts Ladies 2-2 Crusaders Strikers (Lynch ’11, O’Hagan ’60; McDowell pen ‘8, Wilson ’51) 


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