Marissa Callaghan (12)
Marissa Callaghan (19)
Amber Dempster (35)
Leah McEvoy (60)
Amber Dempster (79)

5

Niamh Ruddy (54)

1

An early Marissa Callaghan brace set Cliftonville on course for victory (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

REDS HIT FIVE TO STAY IN TOUCH

Cliftonville Ladies defeated Portadown Ladies 5-1 at Solitude to stay in touch in the title race.

The game started at a good pace and looked lively with both teams enjoying possession in the final third. The deadlock was broken when Marissa Callaghan netted on 12 minutes to put the Reds ahead.

Soon after, on 19 minutes, Emma McMaster lifted in a lovely ball to Callaghan who added another goal to her tally to give Cliftonville a 2-0 lead.

Portadown enjoyed periods of possession but couldn't create any clear-cut chances before the interval while Cliftonville's recent forward signings Hannah Grieve and Amber Dempster combining well for Dempster to calmly slot home to give Cliftonville a 3-0 lead at the break.

After the break Portadown got their reward when Niamh Ruddy scored a pin point free kick from outside the 18 yard box to reduce the deficit.

However, Cliftonville restored their three-goal cushion Leah McEvoy showed her quality by slotting home number four.

Both teams had a lot more chances but it was Cliftonville who showed their experience and scored a fifth in the final minutes of the game when Dempster scored her second of the night.

Highlights:

Cliftonville Ladies: C. Callaghan, Grattan, Simpson, Weatherall, McCarthy, Orr, M. Callaghan, McMaster, Doherty, Dempster, Grieve subs Service (replaced McMaster 74), McEvoy (replaced Doherty 46), Da Silva (replaced Weatherall 74), McKenna (not used)

Portadown Ladies: McCabe, McAllister, Henderson, Ruddy, McConnell, Adamson, Burns, Donaldson, Calvin, Clements, McKenna

Referee: Ryan Hanna