Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville stand in Linfield's path

By Nikki McWilliams

Linfield Ladies must negotiate another tough Belfast derby if they are to move a step closer to successfully defending the PDQ Solutions Women's County Antrim Challenge Cup.

The Blues girls brushed aside south-Belfast club St Matthew's 5-1 in the quarter-finals last week, but it's going to get tougher for them now, with the semi-final draw handing them a trip to Premier League rivals Cliftonville.

And if that match is anything like the recent league meeting between the teams, then it will be impossible to call.

Linfield took the points when they edged a five-goal thriller, but the Reds were very much in the game in the latter stages and came within a whisker of equalising in the final minutes.

If the Blues can outgun the Reds and make it to the final, they could find their Big Two rivals Glentoran laying in wait for them.

The current Premiership leaders will be favourites to beat Ballymena United All Stars in the other semi-final after they comfortably beat Comber Rec 10-0 in the last eight.

"It's great to see such a competitive edge in the quarter-final stages of the competition," said Neil Morrow, chairman of the Women's Challenge Cup Committee.

"Cliftonville and Ballymena had to work hard for their success over junior opposition. Linfield also didn't get it easy.

"The score certainly didn't reflect the game and it didn't reflect the spirit and effort from St Matt's."

COUNTY ANTRIM CHALLENGE CUP SEMI-FINALS: Ballymena United Allstars v Glentoran Belfast United (Ballymena Showgrounds, 7.30pm), Cliftonville Ladies v Linfield Ladies (Solitude, 7.30pm). Matches to be played on Friday June 27.

Belfast Telegraph


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