WOMEN'S PREMIERSHIP PREVIEW: GAMEWEEK 3

It's gameweek three in the Danske Bank Women's Premiership and the big games continue to come thick and fast!

Cliftonville Ladies v Crusaders Strikers (venue: Solitude; kick-off: 8pm)

This game needs no introduction as we look forward to the first North Belfast Derby of the season.

Cliftonville get back in action this week after a rest in game week two. The Reds opened the season with a 7-1 thrashing of newly promoted Portadown at Shamrock Park. In a dream opening fixture in which Northern Ireland International Marrisa Callaghan scored four goals this fixture should be more closely fought.

Crusaders enter this match after a 1-0 victory over Portadown last week. Last season when these sides met, Crusaders triumphed 3-0 at Seaview and the Reds defeated Crusaders 2-1 at home on the last day of the season. Crusaders and Sion Swifts are the only two sides not to concede a league goal so far this season. Last season there wasn’t much of a gap between the sides so another competitive fixture is to be expected and enjoyed.

Glentoran Women’s v Sion Swifts Ladies (venue: The Oval; kick-off: 8pm)

Glentoran will welcome Sion Swifts to the Oval. The Glens will be aiming to pick up their victory of the season having drawn one and been defeated last week in a thriller away to champions Linfield. Despite that defeat the Glens will have plenty of positives to take from the loss, chiefly scoring three times and playing some flowing football.

Sion have started the season in fine form, winning 3-0 at home to Derry City last week. The Swifts travel to the capital where they defeated Glentoran 3-2 last season in a high scoring thriller. Infact both league games between the sides last season produced plenty of goals, Sion winning 4-3 in Strabane. So far this campaign both sides have scored three goals however Sion have only played one fixture.

Portadown Ladies v Linfield Ladies (venue: Shamrock Park; kick-off: 8pm)

The final fixture of the evening will see Portadown host Linfield for the first ever meeting between the sides.

Portadown will be boosted by the appointment of Seamus McCorry as manager, McCorry is an A license coach and has recently returned from Australia. The Ports will be aiming to pick up their first points of the season following defeats to Cliftonville Ladies and Crusaders Strikers at Shamrock Park.

Linfield will make the journey South West and sit proudly at the top of the league after two games. The Blues have injury doubts around Ali Smyth and Abbie Magee who picked up knocks against the Glen’s last week. Linfield have re-signed Hannah Doherty who has been studying at University in America. Linfield have released forward Amber Dempster.