TITLE RACE TAKES BIG TWIST
Glentoran Women came from a goal behind to defeat Cliftonville Ladies and breathe life into the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership title race.
Going into the encounter at Ashfield Boys HS, the Reds had won all 12 of their league matches this season and a win in East Belfast would have stretched their lead at the top of the standings to 13 points.
After a tense, scoreless first half, the encounter caught fire on the hour mark when the Glens thought they had taken the lead after Joely Andrews turned home from Caragh Hamilton’s free-kick, but the goal was disallowed for an infringement on visiting goalkeeper Nicole Adams.
Cliftonville took the lead within a minute of that incident as Toni-Leigh Finnegan turned home after the Glens had failed to properly clear a corner.
It took the hosts just minutes to restore parity as Nadene Caldwell produced an excellent finish from the edge of the area to level the score to conclude a thrilling four minutes.
The Glens were in the ascendancy and their superiority paid off when Emma McMaster gave them the lead for the first time with 15 minutes left on the clock. As Cliftonville pushed for a late leveller, Hamilton pounced on a loose back-pass to produce a cool finish and secure the points.
Glentoran now trail Cliftonville by seven points, but the defending champions have a game in hand over their title rivals – whom they will face twice more this campaign in the closing weeks.
Glentoran Women: McKinnon, Foy, McMaster, Caldwell, Hamilton, Andrews, Beattie, Howe, Bailie, Tweedie, McCarron subs Lancaster (not used), Rogan (replaced Howe 73), McIntyre (not used), McDade (not used), McDaid (replaced Hamilton 90+2), Mervyn (not used), McKearney (not used)
Cliftonville Ladies: Adams, White, Burrows, Moran, Finnegan, Maxwell, McDaniel, C. McGuinness, K. McGuinness, McKimm, Carleton subs Murphy (replaced Adams 28), Morgan (replaced Moran 81), Montgomery (not used), Reilly (not used), Irvine (not used), Doherty (not used), Magee (replaced Finnegan 85)