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McGrady’s progress report

Cliftonville Ladies’ disappointment at missing out on the Sports Direct Women’s Premiership title reflects positively on the progress the Club has made in recent years – so says boss John McGrady.

The Reds, who have lifted the County Antrim Cup and League Cup this term, are unable to retain their status as Champions and will finish as runners-up to Glentoran Women when their League programme concludes with tonight’s showdown against Crusaders Strikers at Solitude.

“We are massively disappointed in losing out on the League title,” says McGrady.

“But that tells us where we have come as a Club, to be disappointed by losing out by small margins. But we will learn and move forward.”

Such are the fine lines at the top of the table that Cliftonville, who trail the Glens by three points having lost just a single League game, can arguably point to a below par first-half in their last meeting with the Crues as being fatal to their title prospects.

The Reds shipped three goals in the opening 45 minutes at Seaview back in June, with their only other dropped points this term coming in draws with Glentoran who, in turn, have enjoyed a perfect record outside of their battles with McGrady’s side.

“We could literally put missing out on the title to a handful of key moments,” adds the Cliftonville boss.

“In fact, we could probably go even further and include that for the All-Island Cup Final, too. We have said all along that every single game is important; every pass, tackle or attack – they all matter.”

The Reds may have an Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup Final clash with the Glens to come next week but McGrady makes no bones about what he wants from tonight’s North Belfast Derby duel.

“We want to win, we want three points and a clean bill of health,” he concludes.

“It’s the last Friday of the season, so three points and a big Chinese on the way home would be the ideal scenario!”

Cliftonville Ladies v Crusaders Strikers
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