Shelbourne 0-6 Cliftonville
Joe Gormley plundered a hat-trick as Cliftonville made light work of Shelbourne in this afternoon’s friendly at Tolka Park.
The striker broke the deadlock following a glorious assist from Daniel Hughes, who would go on to double the Reds’ advantage with a spectacular strike from distance, with Gormley netting the visitors’ third and fourth ahead of Jay Donnelly and Jude Winchester getting on the scoresheet.
After a disjointed start during which neither team was able to get a foot on the ball, Cliftonville began to take control and Gormley was denied an eye-catching opener by Shels goalkeeper Jamie Quinn, who showed smart reactions to turn the Reds’ frontman’s volley behind.
After Stephen Garrett and Hughes had gone close, the breakthrough goal finally came courtesy of a slick passing move that ended with Hughes dinking a delightful chipped assist into the path of Gormley, who made no mistake with a blistering finish.
Gormley and Garrett each saw efforts fizz across the face of goal and Hughes was denied by Quinn only to atone with an outrageous curling strike from distance that rocketed into the top corner from the edge of the area.
After the interval, Hughes teed Gormley up for his second of the day and his hat-trick was complete when he showed good strength and awareness to hold off a defensive challenge before confidently dispatching a low drive into the bottom corner.
After Chris Ramsey had an effort headed off the line, Jay Donnelly made it five when he coolly skipped past sub keeper Ryan O’Neill and just about got the ball over the line despite some last-ditch home defending, while Donnelly would also have an inadvertent role in the final goal of the day; his totally miscued shot from just inside the area falling perfectly for Winchester to slam home.
REDS: Long, Ives, Cosgrove, Breen, Ramsey, Bagnall, Garrett, Curran, J Donnelly, Hughes, Gormley. Subs: M Donnelly (for Hughes), Neeson (for Long), Caldwell (for Curran), Winchester (for Garrett), Lavery (for Ives), G Donnelly (for Gormley), A Donnelly (for Bagnall).