Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville warm up for Euro tests with friendly victory at Brandywell

Derry City 1 Cliftonville 2

Conor McDermott
Conor McDermott

By Eoin Wilson

Cliftonville got their European preparations off to a good start as they got the better of a strong Derry City side at the Brandywell last night.

Paddy McLaughlin's team will face Barry Town of Wales in their Europa League qualifier while Declan Devine's Candystripes are now on a break from league action, returning with an away trip to Cork City on June 28.

The north Belfast club boasted plenty of familiar faces in their starting eleven, with Conor McDermott, on loan from the Candystripes until January, making his debut for the club, while former Institute players Ronan Doherty and Ronan Wilson also made their first appearances.

Declan Devine put new signing and former Coleraine winger Darren McCauley in from the start, while Austrian trialist Marc Ortner also began the game at right-back.

McDermott was at the heart of the opening goal on 12 minutes when he was afforded too much space down the right by McCauley to get a cross into the back post.

It was headed back across by Conor McMenamin for Thomas Maguire to apply the simple finish from three yards.

Cliftonville doubled their lead on 78 minutes when Ortner was caught high up the pitch and McMenamin raced in behind and cheekily chipped Gartside.

City grabbed a late consolation on 88 minutes when Orrin McLaughlin set up Barry McNamee 20 yards out, and the skipper effortlessly bent a lovely shot around Joe Gorman and the outstretched arm of Declan Dunne.

In another friendly last night, Ballymena United defeated Cardiff Met 1-0 following a first half penalty from Cathair Friel.

• Coleraine will welcome Oran Kearney's St Mirren in what will be the club's first friendly match of the summer period.

The fixture will take place at The Showgrounds on Saturday, June 29 (3pm).

Defender Caolan Loughran has agreed to join Carrick Rangers on a permanent basis.

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