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Friday 06 Jan 2023
Hat-trick for Hale as Reds cruise through

Ronan Hale bagged a hat-trick as Cliftonville strolled through to the next round of the Samuel Gelston's Whiskey Irish Cup with a five-goal victory over Dundela at Wilgar Park.

After a somewhat cagey start from both sides the deadlock was broken in Cliftonville's favour with two goals in quick succession midway through the first half.

Teenager Sean Moore opened the scoring for the Reds on 25 minutes after running onto a through ball from Chris Gallagher to gather himself and slot past keeper Sam Johnston at the left post.

Then, just three minutes after that, Ronan Hale doubled Cliftonville's lead. Chris Curran did well to regain possession down the right before finding Hale who duly fired beyond Johnston from a tight angle at the right post.

Dundela had a great chance to pull one back right on the stroke of half-time after finding himself in space in the area only to turn the ball just past an upright from around eight yards out.

The Reds effectively sealed their place in the next round early in the second half. Moore twisted and turned in the area but was brought down by Tony Kane with Joe Gormley stepping up to convert the resultant spot-kick.

Cliftonville's fourth arrived just short of the hour. Ronan Hale doubled his tally for the evening with a volley from inside the area after Gormley's initial effort had been pushed out by Johnston.

Number five came with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining with Hale's hat-trick goal when he touched the ball home at the near post after Colin Coates had nodded on Jamie McDonagh's left-sided corner.

The cup action continues tomorrow with the remainder of the fifth round ties.

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