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Olympic gains

The suspension of all affiliated football under the auspices of the Irish Football Association naturally means that it’s not just Cliftonville’s senior players that find themselves temporarily out of action.

Our Reserve, Academy and Ladies teams of all ages are also playing a similar waiting game and, while we await further developments regarding the protective measures being taken against the spread of the Covid-19 virus, is taking the opportunity to catch up on the progress being made by sides right throughout the Club’s structures.

Over the next few days, we’ll advise supporters of how a particular team has been faring, starting with Cliftonville Olympic.

Brendan Lynch’s side currently sit top of the Premiership Development League and hold a four point lead over nearest challengers Crusaders Reserves – a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact the Reds hold FIVE games in hand on their North Belfast Derby foes.

The Crues were, however, the first side to take points off the Olympic this term, when a 2-2 draw at Seaview in August ended Cliftonville’s perfect start to the season.

That, indeed, remains the Reds’ only draw from 25 matches, with 93 goals having been scored and just 27 conceded to date.

October’s shock 6-0 reverse at the hands of Dungannon Swifts Reserves is the only League defeat suffered by the Olympic thus far and represents the last time they dropped any points, with a sensational 13-match winning streak having been pieced together since then.

The team’s Intermediate Cup campaign kicked off with a bye past the First Round ahead of a 2-0 victory over Glentoran II in the next phase.

They would suffer an agonising Third Round exit at the hands of Dromara Village when, having led both 2-0 and 3-1, Lynch’s side took the lead in the closing stages of Extra Time, only for the hosts to level with the last kick of the game before sealing a 7-6 victory in the subsequent penalty shoot-out.

All of which led to full focus being trained on the League since then, however the current adjournment of proceedings means time will tell precisely when the Olympic will be able to renew their title charge. Supporters can, meanwhile, keep firmly up to date with all developments pertaining to the Club’s reserve side by bookmarking this link.