Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Cliftonville relishing top spot showdown

Women's Premier League

Classy team: Cliftonville skipper Tiarna McKenna respects Glens

Cliftonville have a golden opportunity to join defending champions Glentoran Belfast United at the top of the table when they lock horns in the Concentrix Premier League tonight at the Billy Neill Playing Fields.

The Reds are joint third alongside Linfield with nine points and victory would see Jo Smith's girls catch the Glens, who have a 100 per cent record after four games.

Glentoran have scored 13 goals along the way and Cliftonville's goalkeeper and captain Tiarna McKenna stressed the importance of defending well.

"Glentoran have been scoring plenty of goals and they score from all areas of the pitch, especially Nadene Caldwell, so we can't afford to make mistakes and we have to close the ball down early," she said.

Tiarna spoke proudly of her team's current position in the league, but declared that they must keep doing the right things in order to be successful.

"The Glens have been playing well, but it's important that we focus on what we are doing well and play to our strengths, which means we will not be changing our system to suit them," she commented.

"More importantly we need to take our chances, which is something we haven't been doing and it cost us the Crusaders match a few weeks back."

Meanwhile, Linfield host the Ballymena Allstars at their new home pitch at Rathmore Grammar School.

Mid-Ulster will try to respond against the Shankill United Predators at the Mid-Ulster Sports Arena to their embarrassing 5-2 defeat to Linfield last week, while Crusaders Strikers will aim to at least consolidate second place when they travel to meet Dromore Amateurs at Dromore Community Centre.

TONIGHT'S Fixtures: Mid-Ulster Ladies v Newbridge Predators (Mid-Ulster Sports Arena, 7.30pm), Linfield Ladies v Ballymena Allstars (Rathmore Grammar School, 7.30pm), Glentoran Belfast United v Cliftonville Ladies (Billy Neill Playing Fields, 7.30pm), Dromore Amateurs v Crusaders Strikers (Dromore Community Centre, 7.30pm).

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