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Sion Swifts keen to take chance to stride clear at summit, says Tasmin

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Sion Swifts’ Tony McGinley

Sion Swifts’ Tony McGinley

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Sion Swifts’ Tony McGinley

Sion Swifts Ladies captain Tasmin McCarter is determined to capitalise on the opportunity to pull clear at the top of the Danske Bank Women's Premiership by winning their second north west derby of the season.

If the Strabane-based outfit can claim the three points when they face local rivals Derry City Women at the Melvin Sports Complex tonight, they will be guaranteed the outright lead at the top of the table.

With the four Belfast clubs out of action due to international call-ups for Northern Ireland's Euro qualifier in the Faroe Islands on Friday night, Sion manager Tony McGinley accepted the invitation from Derry to bring forward their second meeting of the season by a month.

And after last week's dramatic 4-3 win over Glentoran Women put them top on goal difference, it's a situation that Sion are determined to make the most of.

"Our game being the only one played because of international duty benefits us," said Tasmin.

"We're still buzzing from last week's result. Coming from 3-1 down to win 4-3 shows how hungry we were and we want to continue that on.

"We are thinking that it's a chance for us to put some points between ourselves and the other teams. We are at home and we don't like losing at home. If we can get three points it will give us a bit of breathing room and some pressure on the other teams."

A potential first international cap in two years means that Swifts are without striker Kirsty McGuinness, who scored twice to turn things around against the Glens, for tonight's game. Her sister Caitlin has been training with the Northern Ireland squad - and the match could still be postponed if she gets a late call-up.

McCarter has enough faith in the rest of her squad to believe that they can cope without Kirsty, who has scored four goals in three games.

"We still have quality coming through. Caitlin is still there and we have others coming through the ranks who can come in and do the job," she said.

"We are confident going off last week's result and we just want to continue and keep the high standard throughout."

Sion and Derry City will also lock horns at Under-19 level when the Electric Ireland Women's Academy League kicks-off on Friday night. The six Premiership clubs are all involved with Crusaders Strikers v Linfield Ladies Swifts and Glentoran Women Reserves v Cliftonville Corinthians the other fixtures.

Danske Bank Women's Premiership fixtures: Sion Swifts Ladies v Derry City Women (8pm).

Belfast Telegraph