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Celebrations at Cliftonville turn the airwaves red

Cliftonville 2 Ballinmallard 1

Conor McLaughlin

Cliftonville got the win they needed over  Ballinamallard United to clock up a new record Premiership points tally and officially start Solitude’s champagne celebrations — but those weren’t the only cause for celebration in north Belfast.

Chris Scannell’s late introduction from the subs’ bench had  the home faithful on their feet as the skipper’s lengthy rehabilitation from a torn Achilles tendon was not enough to prevent  him playing his part in the  club’s big day.

The occasion was never likely  to hit the heights of their title- clinching epic a fortnight ago  and, though the mood round  the ground was relaxed  throughout a 90 minutes that  were almost a sideshow ahead  of the main event, the atmosphere was predominantly celebratory as fans young and old  turned out in their numbers to  finally watch Tommy Breslin’s  heroes get their hands on the Gibson Cup.

It has been some 15 years  since the famous old trophy last graced the north Belfast venue and an attendance of 1879 -which just so happens to be the year of Cliftonville’s formation -was every bit as keen as the players on making up for lost time as a series of adopted tunes blasted out from the sound system.

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