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Cliftonville 5-0 Ballyclare Comrades

Jude Winchester was at the double as Cliftonville clocked up their first victory of pre-season with a 5-0 defeat of Ballyclare Comrades.

The first-half at a sunny Solitude was a largely forgettable affair but the Reds stepped things up after the interval, breaking the deadlock through Jay Donnelly before Winchester’s brace as well as strikes from Joe Gormley and Ross Lavery completed a comprehensive win.

There was little to entertain fans during the opening 45 minutes, with Gormley, Donnelly, Daniel Hughes and Garry Breen all spurning opportunities to find the net but the hosts emerged with greater purpose in the second-half, with Donnelly showing neat feet to clip the ball past Comrades goalkeeper Paddy Flood.

Substitute Winchester raced onto Aaron Donnelly’s assist to stroke in number two and executed a well-timed volley from Hughes’ goalmouth delivery for the third.

Gormley made it four when he pounced to re-direct a fierce Stephen Garrett drive, with Lavery wrapping things up when his touch on Winchester’s strike found the net.

REDS XI: Neeson, McGovern, Ives, Breen, Harney, Curran, Hughes, M Donnelly, Gormley, J Donnelly, Cosgrove. Subs: Dunne (for Neeson), Garrett (for M Donnelly), A Donnelly (for Ives), Seydak (for Harney), Winchester (for J Donnelly), Lavery (for Curran), G Donnelly (for McGovern).