Belfast Telegraph

Crusaders forward Ronan Hale cuts Seaview stay short to return to League of Ireland

Ronan Hale has left Crusaders just six months into a two-and-a-half year deal.
Ronan Hale has left Crusaders just six months into a two-and-a-half year deal.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Ronan Hale's short spell at Seaview is over as the Crusaders forward has moved back to the League of Ireland.

Belfast man Hale signed for the Crues, alongside brother Rory, in January, but has now joined League of Ireland mid-table side St Pat's Athletic.

Hale still had another two years to run on his contract in north Belfast but Crusaders confirmed on Thursday morning that the deal had been terminated.

Hale made seven league starts for Crusaders in the second-half of last season but was an unused substitute in all three of the club's Europa League fixtures so far this summer.

The 20-year-old scored seven goals for Derry City in the 2018 League of Ireland season.

"Can’t wait to see him with a smile on his face scoring the goals again," tweeted brother Rory. "Top signing. Best of luck bror (brother) and best of luck Pat's for the rest of the season."

Crues boss Stephen Baxter has been trying to add to his forward options this summer. Last month, Baxter claimed he had agreed a 'substantial fee' for Coleraine striker Jamie McGonigle, only for the Bannsiders to pull out of the deal after Oran Kearney returned as manager.

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Hale's departure leaves the Seaview side with Jordan Owens as their only senior out-and-out striker, although well supported by attacking stars like Paul Heatley, David Cushley, Ross Clarke and Jordan Forsythe.

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