Cliftonville stormed to victory with a commanding performance against Dungannon Swifts at Solitude this afternoon.
Trailing when Jamie Harney’s own goal put the visitors in front in the opening minutes, the Reds hit back courtesy of Rory Donnelly’s towering header before Chris Curran curled in a beauty of a strike to make it 2-1.
Joe Gormley rifled in another eye-catching strike to further extend Cliftonville’s advantage before half-time, with another Donnelly header and precise finish from Gormley rounding things off after the break.
Dungannon moved in front after just five minutes when Mark Patton swung over a free-kick from wide on the right which the unfortunate Harney turned into his own net whilst attempting to clear.
But Cliftonville levelled three minutes later through Donnelly with a header into the top corner from Levi Ives’ set-piece delivery.
Then, on 18 minutes, Chris Curran edged the Reds into the lead after stepping inside from the left before producing a great finish past Alex Moore into the top corner.
Cliftonville’s third arrived in somewhat fortuitous circumstances on 35 minutes when a Douglas Wilson clearance rebounded off referee Jamie Robinson, allowing Donnelly and Curran to combine to tee up Gormley, who thundered an unstoppable strike into the top corner.
That was how it stayed until a further two goals midway through the second half put the game to bed.
On 68 minutes, Donnelly doubled his tally with a flicked header past Moore after Ives delivered another dead ball.
And, six minutes after that, Gormley also grabbed his second of the game with a slotted finish from Donnelly’s unselfish lay-off.
Cliftonville: Neeson, McGovern, Ives, Harney, C. Curran, Garrett, R Donnelly, Catney, McConnell, Gormley, A Donnelly, Subs: Breen, Harkin (Catney, 72 mins), R Curran (Donnelly, 80 mins), McDonald, Bagnall, Lavery, Maguire (Garrett, 76 mins).
Half Gate Draw Number: 95061