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All Hale our record breaker!

Ronan Hale’s opening strike in last night’s Danske Bank Premiership victory over Portadown saw him set a new Club record for the most goals ever scored in a player’s first season with Cliftonville.

That looping 18th minute finish was his 23rd of the campaign, taking him clear of the target set by W Fulton back in 1946/47 – and he duly added to his tally with an eye-catching overhead kick later in the contest.

Hale, who was just the second ever player to mark their Cliftonville debut with a European goal when he was on target against DAC in the Europa Conference League back in July, became the first new signing to net 20 times in a season since Jack McDowell in 1960/61 when he scored in last month’s 2-2 draw with Coleraine – but last night’s double ensured his own little piece of history in the story of Ireland’s Oldest Football Club.

Players to have scored 20+ goals in their first season with Cliftonville
W Fulton: 22 (1946/47)
Kevin McGarry: 21 (1948/49)
Jack McDowell: 22 (1960/61)
Ronan Hale: 24 (2022/23)

The Club’s Heritage Development Officer, Paul Treanor, meanwhile, notes that the first ever player to break through the 20 goal barrier in a season was James Pyper in 1897/98, and it will come as no surprise that out, of the 21 players to have done so through history, Joe Gormley leads the way having struck 20+ times in no fewer than seven different campaigns – so far.