Women's League Cup final: Caitlin McGuinness hits hat-trick as Cliftonville edge Sion to win cup

Caitlin McGuinness scored an impressive hat-trick as Cliftonville saw off Sion Swifts 3-1 to win the Women's League Cup final at Stangmore Park.

The Northern Ireland international scored twice in the opening 17 minutes as the Reds took a 2-0 lead into the interval in the final.

Kerry Brown pulled a goal back for Sion with a free-kick on the hour mark before McGuinness completed her treble.

Sion beat the Reds in last season's League Cup final.

McGuinness opened the scoring in the 12th minute when winger Vicky Carlton delivered an inviting cross to the front post for the forward, who made no mistake from close range.

McGuinness got her second of the evening five minutes later, rising highest to head past a helpless Jennifer Currie following captain Marissa Callaghan's left-wing cross after the midfielder reacted quickest to Hannah Doherty's quick throw-in.

Brown's free-kick on 60 minutes looked to have been saved by Rachel Norney in the Cliftonville goal but the power of Brown's strike was too much for the Northern Ireland youth international as the midfielder reduced the deficit.

McGuinness restored the Reds' two goal lead on 75 minutes after Toni-Leigh Finnegan volleyed Jennifer Currie's goal-kick into the forward's path and she finished neatly just inside the Swifts penalty area.

Cliftonville had chances to add to their tally with Carlton, Callaghan and Kirsty McGuiness all hitting the woodwork and having to contend with an inspired Currie.

Next up for Cliftonville is a trip to Portugal for champions league qualifiers where they will face Benfica.