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At the four front

Crewe United 0-4 Cliftonville

Cliftonville retained the Tommy Breslin Memorial Cup with a four-goal victory over Crewe United in sunny Glenavy this afternoon.

On the day that would in normal circumstances have marked the start of the new Danske Bank Premiership season, the Reds contested their first public fixture for five months with spectators not having to wait long to see the first goal; Conor Scannell converting a back-post header after just three minutes.

The young striker would, like Joe Gormley and Chris Curran, have the ball in the net again before the interval only for the offside flag to restrict the visitors’ advantage to the narrowest of margins come the turnaround.

Two half-time substitutes combined to make it 2-0 early in the second period when Thomas Maguire’s low cross was finished off by Conor McMenamin.but

Fellow sub Ryan Curran did most of the good work in the build-up to Cliftonville’s third but, when his shot had the sting taken out of it by the keeper, Gormley – back in the fray after being replaced at the break – had the simplest of tasks to roll the ball into the net.

Soon later, he sprang Crewe’s offside trap to squeeze home the fourth and complete the scoring on a day that saw two of Breslin’s former Clubs join forces to pay tribute to his memory one year on from his tragic loss.

Cliftonville: D Breen, Ives, Harney, C Curran, Foster, McCrudden, Gormley, Casey, Rocks, O’Reilly, Scannell. Subs: McDermott (Casey), R Curran (Gormley), McMenamin (Scannell), Maguire (C Curran), Donnelly (Rocks), Hyland (Ives), Snodden (Foster), Gormley (McCrudden), Ives (Hyland), Rocks (Harney).