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Strikers could determine the destination of the title

Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley

Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley

  • by Gareth Fullerton
 

Ballinamallard United manager Whitey Anderson touched on the subject of strikers after his side’s 3-0 defeat to Linfield on Saturday.

It was s simple summation – if you don’t score goals, then you can’t win football matches.

If your team can find the net on a regular basis, then the key to victory is within your grasp.

Take a look at the main title protagonists, and the race for the Gibson Cup could come down to a shootout between their respective strikeforces.

Cliftonville, Crusaders, Linfield and Portadown are the teams many pundits believe will battle it out this season.

All four boast a significant arsenal of weaponry.

Champions Cliftonville have the deadliest duo in the league in Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley.

Gormley bagged another two goals against Ards on Friday night, with Boyce also on target in a 4-0 rout of the basement side.

That brought their tally to 103 since the start of last season – a staggering return.

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter has plenty of scope when it comes to picking his front men.

Jordan Owens, Timmy Adamson and Gary McCutcheon are a threat to any side, while the diminutive Paul Heatley on the wing has been chipping in with regular goals.

Linfield bolstered their strike numbers during the summer with the arrival of Andy Waterworth.

Waterworth bagged his 14th goal of the season against the Mallards on Saturday, and he has plenty of support as the Blues target the Gibson Cup.

Mark McAllister has notched up three from four games since returning from injury, while Matt Tipton has nine from 22 appearances this season.

And if Peter Thompson can rediscover his form when he returns from injury, David Jeffrey will have a welcome selection headache.

Portadown may not have such strength in depth, but in Gary Twigg and Darren Murray they have two of prolific hit-men.

Twigg and Murray have each scored 19 goals in all competitions, and much of Portadown’s success will depend on these two remaining injury free.

So who is your money on?

 

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