Womens Premiership


17 Jun 2023
© Stephen Hamilton/INPHO Strikers' Jessica Rea shields the ball from Aoife Mulkern

Cliftonville Ladies and Crusaders Strikers both recorded victories in the opening round of games in the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup.

Glentoran Women kicked their campaign off with a draw while there were narrow defeats for Linfield Women and Sion Swifts Ladies.

Despite the newly launched competition pitting the top women's teams north and south of the border against each other there was one all-NIFL clash in the first series of group games as Cliftonville welcomed Sion Swifts to Solitude.

The visitors got off to a great start when, midway through the first half, Zoe McGlynn made the most of a mix up in the Reds defence to tuck home the opening goal.

Cliftonville fought back to level just before the break when Fionnula Morgan nodded home Danielle Maxwell's corner inside the post with Maxwell herself then claiming the winner with a chip over the keeper with three minutes remaining.

Crusaders raced into a commanding lead at home to Treaty United but, in the end, had to hold on for the win.

Amy McGivern needed just three minutes to break the deadlock after connecting with Faith Johnston's pass.

Johnston then doubled the Strikers' lead around the half-hour mark with a left-footed volley from the edge of the box and when Caitlyn Hamilton added a third with a powerful header ten minutes into the second half it looked like the Crues had the points all wrapped up.

However, the Limerick based Treaty side battled hard to reduce the deficit through Cara Griffin on 67 minutes before the same player struck again in the closing moments to set up a nervous finish.

Glentoran had to share the spoils with Wexford Youths at the Blanchflower Stadium.

Leading scorer Kerry Beattie edged the Glens in front on 19 minutes from close range but Ciara Rossiter levelled on 36 minutes after forcing the rebound from a Rianna Jarrett effort over the line.

Meanwhile, at Midgley Park, Linfield suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Galway United courtesy of a solid finish by Jenna Slattery after just four minutes.

Group A
Athlone Town Women 1-4 Shelbourne Women
Linfield Women 0-1 Galway United Women

Group B
Glentoran Women 1-1 Wexford Youths Women
Shamrock Rovers Women 2-1 Peamount United

Group C
Cliftonville Ladies 2-1 Sion Swifts Ladies
Sligo Rovers Women 1-3 Bohemians Women

Group D
Cork City Women 2-1 DLR Waves
Crusaders Strikers 3-2 Treaty United Women

The competition continues next Saturday with Sion Swifts hosting Sligo Rovers (kick-off 3pm) while Linfield (v. Shelbourne), Glentoran (v. Peamount United), Cliftonville (v. Bohemians) and Crusaders (v. DLR Waves) are all on the road.