Cliftonville completed their preparations for the new Danske Bank Premiership season with victories in both of this afternoon's friendly fixtures. In addition to one Reds XI overcoming Sport & Leisure Swifts 4-0 at Solitude, another line-up emerged 8-2 winners in the Parker Avenue contest with Portrush just seven days ahead of the new domestic campaign commencing with next week's showdown with Ards. In the earlier kick-off, Cliftonville took the lead against Sport & Leisure when Davy McDaid's cross left Jay Donnelly with a simple tap-in while, on the stroke of half-time, Jason McGuinness volleyed home from close range after his initial header had been repelled by visiting goalkeeper Michael Magill. Chris Curran made it three with a wonderful solo effort that saw him waltz past three defenders and produce a cool finish ahead of McDaid wrapping things up with a near-post header. In the other game, Martin Donnelly and Darren Murray had Cliftonville 2-0 up before a fine volley got Portrush on the scoresheet. James Knowles rattled home an unstoppable free-kick to make it 3-1 just before the break and, though the hosts reduced the arrears almost immediately after the re-start, Martin Donnelly registered a free-kick of his own and Murray banked his second of the afternoon to make it 5-2. Daniel Hughes nodded in the Reds' sixth and Curtis Crawford found the net before Hughes claimed Cliftonville's 12th and final goal of the day to complete a 8-2 success on the coast.
Team v Sport & Leisure: J Mooney, Cosgrove, A Donnelly, Ramsey, McGuinness, Winchester, Tolan, Curran, Garrett, McDaid, J Donnelly. Subs: Trialist, Shannon, Doran, Tully.
Team v Portrush: Burke, Watters, Bonner, Ives, Galashan, M Donnelly, Crawford, G Donnelly, Knowles, D Murray, Hughes. Subs: Walker, Mallin, Johnston, Cush.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Jay Donnelly scored the first of the Reds' 12 goals today