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No Final hurrah for Reds

Cliftonville Ladies fell to a 4-1 defeat to Linfield Ladies in tonight’s Women’s League Cup Final.

Chloe Orr was the Reds’ goalscorer on a searingly warm evening at Seaview, where both teams availed of water breaks throughout an entertaining contest.

Marissa Callaghan was first to threaten for Cliftonville before Kirsty McGuinness tested her luck at the other end, while Leah McEvoy was unfortunate not to get the better of Linfield keeper Lauren Perry.

Megan Weatherall almost rewarded the Reds’ fine start when she went close from distance only for the deadlock to be broken when McGuinness stroked home a 19th minute penalty following a handball award.

Caoimhe Callaghan’s save from Laura Robson prevented the Blues from doubling their advantage before Orr got the better of Perry from an unlikely angle to level matters – only for Louise McDaniel to almost instantly restore Linfield’s lead when she showed good composure to make it 2-1.

Just a minute after the break, Robson’s header further stretched the Blues’ lead to put them in the driving seat and, though Billie Simpson and Weatherall each threatened to drag Cliftonville back into things, the latter’s unfortunate own goal only served to heighten the Reds’ task.

Callaghan did well to stop Megan Bell from registering a fifth for Linfield and Simpson went close to claiming a consolation as Cliftonville’s for a Cliftonville side whose evening ultimately ended in disappointment.