Cliftonville 6-3 Ards
Joe Gormley marked his return with a deadly double as Cliftonville kicked the new season off in entertaining style against Ards.
Trailing to an early Jonny Frazer strike, the Reds levelled through Jay Donnelly before Gormley pounced to register his first of the afternoon – and the first since confirming his comeback from Peterborough United.
Chris Curran swept home the third and, though the visitors reduced the arrears courtesy of a deflected Kyle Cherry blast, Cliftonville restored their two-goal advantage through Scott Davidson’s own goal just after the break.
Gormley added the fifth soon later and Jay Donnelly notched his second of the day with a powerful header before Frazer – the man who had opened the scoring in a breathless contest – banked the last strike of the day to claim a consolation for Ards.
Full report to follow…
REDS XI: Long, Ives, Breen, Harney, Curran, Hughes, Garrett, Bagnall, Gormley, J Donnelly, Cosgrove. Subs: Neeson, Ramsey (for Harney), M Donnelly (for Gormley), Winchester (for Garrett), A Donnelly.