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Saturday Stepback: 1952

With the authentic matchday experience on hold for the time being, today sees the latest chapter of our new weekly series transporting us back to a game played on this day in yesteryear.

With the help of the Club’s Heritage Development Officer, Paul Treanor, every Saturday during football’s downtime, will revisit a match from the past via the medium of contemporary newspaper reports – with today’s spotlight falling on a friendly victory over English opposition courtesy of a hat-trick from an almost familiar name on April 25, 1952.

A brilliant Kevin M’Garry hat-trick

Cliftonville scored a convincing 3-1 victory over the visiting English amateur side Bromley in their match at Solitude.

M’Garry, who scored his side’s three goals, did not arrive at the ground until five minutes before the match was due to start having lost the keys of his car.

The first Cliftonville score came after 12 minutes when M’Garry passed the ball to Taggart and then ran into position. When Taggart gave the ball back to him he scored from well out.

His second score was sensational. He slipped in the goal-mouth and shot when the ball bounced back to him as he lay full length on the ground.

Cliftonville led 2-0 when the teams turned round and M’Garry completed his hat trick after 10 minutes had gone with a wonderful shot from just outside the penalty area.

Bromley centre-forward George Brown, with 25 international caps to his credit as well as the English amateur goalscoring record with 100 goals in the 1949-50 season, got the visitors’ only goal 15 minutes before the end.