Q Radio Sport
League football returns to Northern Ireland for the first time in almost six months as the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership gets underway on Wednesday.
Last season was a thrilling campaign which saw the title race go to the wire as Linfield Ladies pipped Sion Swifts on the final day of the season in dramatic circumstances.
It was a fourth successive title for the dominant Blues, but this season promises to be closer than ever with sides across the division strengthening with Sion and Glentoran Women among the teams who will be eyeing the title.
⚽️ @GlentoranWomen have netted a hat-trick of top new signings ahead of the #DanskeWomensPrem kick-off tomorrow night - @NorthernIreland keeper Jacqueline Burns, ex-Derry City skipper Shannon Dunne and Caragh Hamilton is back at the Oval— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) August 25, 2020
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📸 @Glentoran pic.twitter.com/J1yXjnvTY1
This campaign will be different than last season as the league is reduced to six teams following Comber Rec’s relegation last time out.
Winky Kerr’s side fought admirably in their debut campaign at the top level and no doubt but will be back in the near future.
Due to the league being delayed by Covid-19, the campaign will be shortened to just 10 rounds of matches, with each team playing all other sides in the division home and away.
Opening night sees Cliftonville take on Glentoran, champions Linfield host Crusaders and Derry City have last year's runners-up Sion Swifts.
The Strabane-based club have just completed the shock double signing of Linfield strikers, the McGuinness sisters, Kirsty and Caitlin.
Here's the Sion manager Tony McGinley...
Sion hope spectators will be able to attend their home games at some stage and say negotiations are continuing.
In the meantime, all fixtures across the league will be played behind closed doors.
Northern Ireland goalkeeper Lauren Perry has joined Scottish Women's Premier League Forfar Farmington from Blackburn Rovers.
The 19-year-old former Linfield star still takes a keen interest in the game here and she's hoping the Blues can make it five-in-a-row this season:
Lauren Perry - off to the Premier League in Scotland.
Finally in men's football, Derry City have made an early exit from Europe despite a valiant effort in Vilnius:
FT AET: #UEL@FKRiteriai 3@derrycityfc 2— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) August 25, 2020
Battling Candystripes so unlucky in Lithuania. Miss out to goal in opening seconds of extra-time in this one-off 1st qualifying round tie. Derry are out of Europe. #EuropaLeague pic.twitter.com/NxQBId7gAL