Statement wins by Glentoran and Crusaders Strikers

Crusaders Strikers 3-1 Cliftonville
Crusaders Strikers sent Cliftonville to their first defeat. (Photo: Ephy McConnell)

Glentoran and Crusaders Strikers made statement wins in the Sports Direct Women’s Premiership and Larne came from two goals down to draw.

Glentoran are six points clear at the top after getting the better of Linfield by the odd goal in five. Joely Andrews opened the scoring but this was cancelled out almost immediately by Rhyleigh Marks. Sienna Leckey then edged the Blues in front before she was sent-off for handball late in the first half, with Kerry Beattie knocking home the subsequent spot-kick. Eight minutes after the break, Andrews headed home her second of the evening to secure the points for the Glens.

Second-placed Cliftonville fell to their first defeat of the season after going down 3-1 to Crusaders Strikers, who raced into a three-goal lead at the break. Mairead McCann broke the deadlock before she was upended for Darcie McNeill to fire home a penalty, Amy McGivern adding a third right at the end of the first half and Louise McDaniel pulled one back for the visitors.

Ballymena Utd 2-2 Larne
Larne’s fightback earned a draw with Ballymena United. (Bob Hall Sports Photography)

Ballymena United and Larne shared the spoils, the Sky Blues held the balance of power at the break thanks to efforts from Shelly Stothers and Ellen McClure, although they did have to played almost an hour with ten players after Stothers was subsequently sent-off for two bookings. Despite this, United did hold on until two goals midway through the second half from Amanda Morton and Sasha Clare saw the visitors battle through to earn a point to keep their unbeaten run going.

Sion Swifts kept the only clean sheet of the night with a 3-0 victory over Mid Ulster, Teegan Lynch, Zoe McGlynn and Lauren Haynes with second-half goals.

Jemma White bagged a brace as Lisburn Ladies defeated Derry City 5-2, Michelle McDaid, Morgan Shannon and Stacey Murdough also on target, with Bria McGilloway and Ellie Redden replying.

Lewes sign Northern Ireland international Caragh Hamilton

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