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Newry City 1-2 Cliftonville

Cliftonville claimed their first win at The Showgrounds in 12 years after emerging on top of a late goal blitz against Newry City this afternoon.

After an uninspiring first 75 minutes, during which time Joe Gormley’s header against the crossbar was the closest either side had come to breaking the deadlock, the Reds took the lead through Ronan Hale’s smart finish only to find themselves almost immediately pegged back by Donal Scullion’s header.

Within three minutes, however, Cliftonville were back in front when Gormley nodded the ball into the path of Ryan Curran, whose fierce strike secured all three points.

That late drama stood in stark contrast to a largely forgettable first-half, where a couple of Ronan Hale efforts and an admittedly eye-catching disallowed strike from David Parkhouse were the most notable incidents.

The Reds played with greater vigour after the interval, but still found genuine goal chances hard to come by; Hale brothers Ronan and Rory both off target with attempts from range.

At the other end, John McGovern found no takers for a dangerous ball he had rolled across the goalmouth before Cliftonville should have taken the lead when Chris Curran sent over a cross that Gormley could only power against the woodwork.

It wouldn’t be long until the deadlock was broken, though, and Curran was again involved; his left-footed delivery was flicked on by namesake Ryan and Hale did the rest with a smart touch and volley into the far corner.

The advantage, however, didn’t last long and Newry were level within two minutes when Ryan McGivern’s header struck team-mate Ola Adayemo and fell perfectly for Scullion, whose shot made it over the line before captain Darren King could make absolutely sure.

Suddenly, the goals kept on coming and Cliftonville were soon back in front when Rory Hale’s long ball forward was cushioned down by Gormley and Ryan Curran stormed in to smash past goalkeeper Steven Maguire.

The visitors were largely comfortable in seeing things out thereafter and might have extended their advantage through Ronan Hale, but rarely looked like conceding their lead as a tough afternoon’s work ended with three points in the bag.

Cliftonville: Gartside, Gallagher, C Curran, Rory Hale, R Curran, Parkhouse (Addis, 65 mins), McDonagh (Gormley, 46 mins), Traynor (Coates, 88 mins), Casey, Turner, Ronan Hale. Unused subs: Donnelly, Robinson, Doherty, Rocks.