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Mar the merrier

Just 48 hours after scoring a hat-trick for Cliftonville Ladies, Marissa Callaghan went one better with an incredible four-goal return as the Reds kicked off the new Danske Bank Women’s Premiership campaign with an emphatic 7-1 victory over Portadown Ladies this evening.

Callaghan, who also netted a treble in Monday night’s County Antrim Women’s Cup defeat of Ballymena United Allstars, set Cliftonville on their way when she broke the deadlock after 13 minutes at Shamrock Park.

Though the Ports were awarded a controversial equaliser when officials adjudged that the ball had crossed the line despite visiting protests, Callaghan wasted no time in restoring her side’s lead to ensure that Cliftonville were ahead come the interval.

After the break, a superb volley from Billie Simpson made it 3-1 and the same player nodded home the Reds’ fourth shortly afterwards before Callaghan returned to centre stage, completing her hat-trick with a smart header before making it 6-1 with just over a quarter of an hour remaining.

Rounding off a superb night, winger Chloe Orr completed the scoring to ensure that Cliftonville started the Premiership campaign in seventh heaven courtesy of two hugely convincing away successes in as many days.