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Reds Ror through

Cliftonville 5-0 Ards

Two Rory Donnelly goals set Cliftonville on course for victory over a youthful Ards side at Solitude this evening.

He broke the deadlock in the opening minutes with a simple tap-in after a fierce Conor McMenamin drive had been blocked on the line and then came close to making it 2-0 amid a manic spell of pinball inside the visitors’ penalty area.

After Levi Ives had rattled the woodwork from distance, Ards keeper Ryan Black made a fantastic save to block Chris Curran’s rebound before Donnelly’s volleyed follow-up clipped the post.

Donnelly would make no mistake just before the interval, however, with a composed finish after being teed up by Ryan Curran and there was still time ahead of the break for McMenamin to deftly touch home for 3-0 at the end of a swift passing sequence.

Second-half substitute Jamie Harney powered in a header just moments after being introduced and, though Aaron Donnelly saw a good finish ruled out for offside, Cliftonville got their fifth when Ryan Curran (pictured) got to the ball just ahead of Harney to flick his header beyond the keeper’s reach.

Cliftonville: Brush, Foster, Ives, Breen, Gorman, Harkin, McMenamin, R Donnelly, Trialist, C Curran, R Curran. Subs: Dunne, Bagnall (for Trialist), Maguire (for R Donnelly), McConnell (for McMenamin), Rocks (for Harkin), A Donnelly (for Ives), Harney (for Gorman).