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Stephen Garrett ( 5)
George McMullan (15)
Liam Boyce (28)
James Knowles (32)
Joe Gormley (50)
Liam Boyce (53)
Diarmuid O'Carroll (63)
Stephen Garrett (83)


Diarmuid O'Carroll celebrates, one of five Cliftonville players to score (Picture: Darren Kidd/


CLIFTONVILLE crushed Ballymena United at The Showgrounds to move seven points clear at the top of the table.

Stephen Garrett fired the Reds in front as early as the fifth minute with a close range tap-in after United 'keeper Dwayne Nelson failed to deal with a Martin Donnelly left-foot cross.

And, within ten minutes, it was 2-0 courtesy of a thundering George McMullan effort from the edge of the box in off the underside of the bar.

The scoring continued on 28 minutes after Marc Smyth played Liam Boyce through to take the ball past Nelson and into the net.

Remarkably, it was 4-0 on 32 minutes. Following a counter-attack from a corner the Reds surged forward with Boyce playing the final pass across the six yard box for James Knowles to finish.

Ballymena might have pulled one back five minutes later when a Tony Kane free-kick dipped late to hit the crossbar.

But Cliftonville added to their haul five minutes into the second half after Joe Gromley got away from his marker to rifle an upstoppable 25-yard shot past Nelson.

It was 6-0 three minutes after that when Nelson could only palm the ball away as far as Boyce who promptly returned it into the net.

Number seven arrived on 63 minutes courtesy of substitute Diarmuid O'Carroll with a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

The scoring was completed with seven minutes remaining when Garrett knocked home his second of the day.


Attendance: 1006

Tags:  Ballymena United  Cliftonville