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Run draws on

Not only did Joe Gormley’s late strike see Cliftonville kick the new Danske Bank Premiership programme off with a dramatic draw against Coleraine yesterday, it also helped preserve a remarkable record that will now stretch to 22 years.

For not since 1998 have the Reds lost on the opening day of a League season, with Portadown’s 2-0 success at Solitude the last time the Club suffered defeat in their maiden outing of a new campaign – although it’s arguable that a torrential downpour throughout the 2008/09 curtain-raiser contributed to this ongoing run, thanks to a Windsor Park clash against Linfield being abandoned with the hosts a goal to the good.

Yesterday also saw three players make their League debuts for Cliftonville, with Conor McDermott, Ronan Wilson and Ronan Doherty – all of whom already have European experience under their belts this season – representing the Reds in the Premiership for the first time.

Cliftonville’s opening day results
1998/99: Cliftonville 0-2 Portadown
1999/00: Cliftonville 3-2 Newry Town
2000/01: Ballymena United 2-2 Cliftonville
2001/02: Coleraine 0-0 Cliftonville
2002/03: Cliftonville 1-0 Newry Town
2003/04: Cliftonville 3-2 Limavady United
2004/05: Cliftonville 1-0 Lisburn Distillery
2005/06: Ards 0-1 Cliftonville
2006/07: Linfield 0-3 Cliftonville
2007/08: Cliftonville 2-2 Linfield
2008/09: Ballymena United 1-5 Cliftonville
2009/10: Ballymena United 0-1 Cliftonville
2010/11: Newry City 0-1 Cliftonville
2011/12: Cliftonville 1-0 Carrick Rangers
2012/13: Cliftonville 2-1 Glenavon
2013/14: Cliftonville 4-2 Ards
2014/15: Cliftonville 0-0 Glentoran
2015/16: Glenavon 0-1 Cliftonville
2016/17: Ards 2-2 Cliftonville
2017/18: Cliftonville 6-3 Ards
2018/19: Glentoran 1-2 Cliftonville
2019/20: Coleraine 1-1 Cliftonville