COOL CRUES WIN NORTH BELFAST DERBY
A dominant first half performance saw Crusaders Strikers defeat the previously unbeaten Cliftonville Ladies in the big north Belfast derby at Seaview.
The Strikers started well, and duly moved in front after 12 minutes when Mairead McCann ran onto a superb Darcie McNeill through ball to coolly slot home.
McNeill was rewarded after half-an-hour with a confident finish from the spot, awarded after McCann was pushed on the edge of the area.
Then, on the stroke of half-time, Amy McGivern added a third when she made the most of a defensive error to finish beyond Rachael Norney.
Cliftonville, as expected, started strongly after the break and pulled a goal back on 50 minutes through Louise McDaniel from close range.
The Reds might have reduced the deficit further as the second half progressed but despite Fionnula Morgan striking the woodwork and a number of other chances being created the resolute home defence held on secure a memorable victory.
Crusaders Strikers: Harvey-Clifford, Hamilton, McGivern, McCann, Beggs, Redmond, Otter, Chalmers, McNeill, McLaren, Rea subs Mann, McDowell-Tuffey, Johnston, McNeill, McVarnock, Morrison, Rodgers
Cliftonville Ladies: Norney, White, Burrows, Morgan, Finnegan, Maxwell, McDaniel, C. McGuinness, Carleton, Callaghan, Magee subs Bradley, Doherty, Markey, O. McGuinness, Irvine, Campbell, Shaw