What a night of high drama derby action it proved to be in the Sports Direct Women’s Premiership as Glentoran Women and Crusaders Strikers laid down big statement wins and Larne Women came from two goals down to earn a point.
Sion Swifts Ladies and Lisburn Ladies also collected three points apiece as the league made a return after a short break.
Leaders Glentoran are now six points clear at the top after getting the better of Linfield Women by the odd goal in five at Midgley Park.
Joely Andrews opened the scoring after a quarter-of-an-hour, but this was cancelled out almost immediately by Rhyleigh Marks. Sienna Leckey then edged the Blues in front before she was sent-off for handball late in the first half with Kerry Beattie knocking home the subsequent spot-kick.
Then, eight minutes after the break, Andrews headed home her second of the evening to ultimately secure the points for the Glens.
Across the city second placed Cliftonville Ladies fell to their first defeat of the season after going down 3-1 to Crusaders Strikers at Seaview.
The Crues raced into a three-goal lead at the break. Mairead McCann broke the deadlock after 12 minutes before she was upended for Darcie McNeill to fire home a penalty after half-an-hour.
Amy McGivern added a third right at the end of the first half and when Louise McDaniel pulled one back for the visitors on 50 minutes it looked like a comeback might be on the cards but, unfortunately for the defending champions, it failed to materialise.
Meanwhile, at The Showgrounds, Ballymena United Women and Larne shared the spoils in the Shane’s Hill Derby.
The Sky Blues held the balance of power at the break thanks to efforts from Shelly Stothers and Ellen McClure, although they did have to played almost an hour with ten players after Stothers was subsequently sent-off for two bookings.
Despite this, United did hold on until two goals midway through the second half from Amanda Morton and Sasha Clare saw the visitors battle through to earn a point to keep their unbeaten run going.
Sion Swifts Ladies kept the only clean sheet of the night with a 3-0 victory over Mid Ulster Ladies at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena.
Scoreless at the break, Sion edged in front on 49 minutes through Teegan Lynch with Zoe McGlynn doubling up on the hour. Lauren Haynes then completed the scoring midway through the second half.
Meanwhile, Jemma White opened the closed the scoring with a brace as Lisburn Ladies defeated Derry City Women 5-2 at The Brandywell.
White edged the visitors in front on 11 minutes with Michelle McDaid adding to Lisburn’s lead on the half-hour. Morgan Shannon made it three early in the second half but two goals in quick succession from Candystripes duo Bria McGilloway and Ellie Redden with less than a quarter-of-an-hour remaining set up a grandstand finish.
However Stacey Murdough knocked home Lisburn’s fourth ahead of White making doubly sure in stoppage time.