Cliftonville and Glentoran both lead the way in the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership with each side securing impressive victories in Wednesday night’s action, to make it six points each from the opening two rounds of fixtures.
The Reds secured a landmark 3-2 victory over Linfield at Solitude, the Glens won 3-0 at Sion Swifts, while elsewhere Crusaders Strikers claimed their first points of the campaign with a 4-1 victory over Derry City.
Defending champions Glentoran eased to a three-goal win at Sion Swifts thanks to a 15-minute hat-trick from striker Kerry Beattie.
The Northern Ireland international hit a second-half salvo to secure Billy Clarke’s side the points – the equivalent fixture last season saw the only match in which the Glens dropped points in a shortened campaign, when they went down to a 4-3 loss.
A trio of international players were also on the scoresheet for Cliftonville as they secured an impressive 3-2 victory at home to Linfield.
Kirsty McGuinness and Marissa Callaghan gave the Reds a two-goal lead at the break and despite Rebecca Bassett halving the deficit with 21 minutes remaining, a Toni-Leigh Finnegan penalty restored the Reds two-goal cushion.
Rebecca McKenna netted for the Blues going into injury time to set-up a nervy finish, but John McGrady’s side held on for a vital three points.
Crusaders Strikers – who were edged out by Glentoran on the opening day – secured a 4-1 victory at home to Derry City.
Lisa Armour’s 14th-minute goal opened the scoring for the Crues before Danielle McDowell doubled the home side’s lead from the penalty spot.
A great free-kick from Derry’s Grace Donaghey halved the deficit but Mairead McCann and Emily Wilson netted to seal a comfortable home win.