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Glentoran beat Crusaders to stay top

Glentoran remain one point clear of Cliftonville, who have two games in handGlentoran maintained their slender lead at the top of the Women’s Premiership table after a convincing 3-0 win over Crusaders Strikers at the Oval.

Kerry Beattie, Joely Andrews and Lauren Wade bagged second-half strikes for the Billy Clarke’s Glens, who remain a point clear of Cliftonville.

The Reds, who have two games in hand, kept pace with their Belfast rivals after hitting Derry City for six.

There was further disappointment for Linfield, who lost 2-1 to Sion Swifts.

Following an evenly-contested first half in which Andrews spurned Glentoran’s best chance when she fired over from close range, Beattie opened the scoring three minutes after the break by applying the finishing touch to an impressive team move.

And while Casey Howe was unable to double the lead just after the hour-mark, firing over the bar from a tight angle, Andrews’ 74th-minute header gave the Glens a two-goal cushion against a Crusaders side who came into the game in fine form after six wins in their last seven.

Chloe McCarron: ‘I won’t take my foot off the gas’ – Glentoran recruit chasing Euro dreamNorthern Ireland international Wade wrapped up the points late on as the Glens kept their noses in front of Cliftonville, who ran riot to dispatch the Candystripes in ruthless fashion.

Rachel McConnell netted a hat-trick for the north Belfast side with Erin Montgomery grabbing two before Northern Ireland forward Caitlin McGuinness added a sixth late on.

Tara O’Connor tapped home a consolation for Derry in the closing stages, but Cliftonville remain firmly in the hunt following a ninth win in ten league outings for John McGrady’s side.

Caitlin McGuinness was on target for free-scoring CliftonvilleWhile Cliftonville go from strength to strength, Linfield’s disconcerting form continued after Sion Swifts came from a goal down to beat the Blues 2-1 at Melvin.

Striker Rebecca Bassett opened the scoring only for the Swifts to fight back in the second half through Cora Chambers and Catherine Hyndman, who returned to Sion from Athlone Town earlier this month.

As the Swifts celebrated a fourth win in their last five, Linfield will be left to reflect on what was their eighth defeat in their last nine games in all competitions.

Next up for Linfield is a trip to face Glentoran, while Cliftonville travel to Crusaders as Derry host Sion.

Derry City1-6CliftonvilleGlentoran 3-0Crusaders StrikersSion Swifts2-1Linfield

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