MAXWELL GIVES GLENS THE OVAL EDGE
Glentoran Women began their defence of the league title with a hard-fought victory at home to Belfast rivals Crusaders, but the title favourites had to wait over an hour to break the deadlock.
Teenage midfielder Danielle Maxwell - one of the league’s multiple Northern Ireland international stars - opened the scoring in the 65th minute with a finish at the back post.
After a cagey first half, the Glens created chances in the second - Casey Howe’s effort flying wide of Maddy Harvey-Clifford’s goals.
With 25 minutes remaining, the game’s only goal came as Maxwell provided the finish from a Joely Andrews cross.
Despite late pressure from the Crues - with defender Julie Nelson moved up front - the hosts held on for a hard-fought victory.
Glentoran Women: McKinnon, Timoney, Foy, E. McMaster, Rogan, Kelly, Andrews, Maxwell, Beattie, Bailie, Howe subs Caldwell (replaced Rogan 59), A. McMaster (replaced Howe 82), McKearney (not used), Marshall (not used), Dunne (replaced Kelly 79)
Crusaders Strikers: Harvey-Clifford, Archibald, McGivern, McDowell, McCann, Nelson, Redmond, Armour, Otter, Chalmers, Wilson subs Johnston (not used), Rodgers (not used), McLaren (replaced Archibald 89), Boyle (replaced Redmond 73), Rea (replaced McDowell 90)