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Sion Swifts Ladies 1-3 Cliftonville Ladies

Megan Weatherall scored her first goal of the season as Cliftonville Ladies narrowed the gap at the top of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership with victory over Sion Swifts Ladies this evening.

The Reds, who suffered their first defeat of the campaign to Glentoran Women last time out, opened the scoring through Louise McDaniel just before half-time at the Melvin Sports Complex, where Kirsty McGuinness was on hand to double the visitors’ advantage after the turnaround.

Weatherall netted Cliftonville’s third and, though Sion would reduce the arrears with a consolation, the Strabane side were unable to stop the Reds – who hold a game in hand over the table-topping Glens – from closing to within a point of the Champions.

The first opportunity of the night fell to the hosts’ Erin McLaughlin, whose shot was repelled by Rachel Norney, who then did well to keep Kerryanne Brown out.

Kirsty McGuinness then tried her luck before teeing her sister Caitlin up for an opportunity she could only tap wide.

Former Reds keeper Caoimhe Callaghan made a smart stop to turn a rasping Kirsty McGuinness strike behind ahead of the deadlock being broken on 43 minutes when McDaniel reacted quickest to convert after another McGuinness shot was saved.

Having netted two minutes before the interval, Cliftonville took control of proceedings two minutes after the restart when McGuinness rifled in an unstoppable shot from outside the box.

Soon later, Weatherall added her name to the tally with a rare strike – both due to the identity of the scorer and the nature of the finish; a curling effort which looped away from Callaghan and into the far corner.

Norney denied Cora Chambers and turned a Leontia McVarnock blast against the bar as Sion went about pulling one back and they duly got their reward when Chambers seized the initiative in an 88th minute goalmouth scramble.

Cliftonville: Norney, White, Moran, Morgan, Weatherall (Davis, 55 mins), McDaniel, Callaghan, McConnell, K McGuinness, C McGuinness (Reilly, 78 mins), Connolly (Finnegan, 61 mins). Unused subs: Canavan, McHenry.