Linfield beat Crues to lift Irish Cup

Linfield 4 - 1 Crusaders
Published Saturday, 05 May 2012
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Linfield completed their sixth League and Cup double in seven years on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Crusaders in the JJB Sports Irish Cup final.

Linfield beat Crues to lift Irish Cup
Linfield win the Cup. (© Pacemaker)

The result also ended the Crues' chances of making it a Cup treble of their own this season, as they have already won the League Cup and still have the Setanta Cup final to come.

Linfield went 2-0 up in the first half of the match at Windsor Park with two strikes from Man of the Match Mark McAllister.

Colin Coates pulled one back for Crusaders when he scored from a free kick on 57 minutes, but Michael Carvill replied for the Premiership champions four minutes later from another set piece.

Then with eight minutes remaining Jamie Mulgrew wrapped it up when he made it 4-1 from a Chris Casement pass.

"It might appear a comfortable scoreline but it was far from that - it was a very difficult game, a very tough game," Linfield manager David Jeffrey told UTV.

"First half we knew what to expect, Crusaders were going to be quick out of the blocks, but I thought we coped with that very well."

Six doubles in seven years is fantastic. You win a game of football, you win a trophy - you win a trophy then you make a record

David Jeffrey

The Blues made a bright start to the match at Windsor Park and William Murphy came close on 14 minutes, but his header was deflected away to safety by the north Belfast men.

Linfield came into the tie more and on 17 minutes they broke dangerously, however Michael Carvill saw his strike saved.

On 23 minutes the Crues had a dangerous looking set piece chance but Gareth McKeown's shot sailed over the bar.

A crucial couple of moments came just after the midway point of the half when, firstly Crusaders had a promising opening which led to a corner.

Adamson came close for the Seaview side with a header but it went to safety.

And then just two minutes later the champions scored.

A neat move developed with Peter Thompson involved in the build-up, and Mark McAllister applied the finish to make it 1-0.

Linfield continued to press and on 31 minutes Lowry came close, but his shot was charged down by the Crusaders defence.

Gareth McKeown saw the space open promisingly for him soon afterwards, however his shot was deflected wide.

However five minutes from the interval, came another critical development, Linfield doubling their lead when McAllister followed up to net after Crusaders goalkeeper Sean O'Neill could only parry the initial shot out.

"Over the moon - I've scored two goals and the team has gone on and won the game comfortably in the end," McAllister told UTV.

"It's my third double since I came here and I'm hoping for more next year."

Crusaders had it all to do in the second period, but they came out fired up and determined to make a game of it with skipper Colin Coates firing over the bar after a goalmouth melee straight after the re-start.

Linfield could have made it three, but Robert Garrett was left with his head in his hands after his volley veered over the bar.

On 55 minutes though the stroke of luck the Crues needed arrived as Coates lined up a free kick from just outside the area.

His effort took a deflection, beyond the reach of Alan Blayney and as the ball nestled in the net, Crusaders had renewed hope.

Manager Stephen Baxter however will have been crestfallen as having got a foothold back in the tie, Linfield re-established the two-goal buffer just four minutes later.

And again it came from a free-kick, Michael Carvill stepping up to arc the ball superbly into the net to make it 3-1.

It was a body blow for the Crues and their hopes of adding the Irish Cup to the League Cup they secured earlier in the campaign.

Jordan Owens thought he had cut the arrears, but was denied by a smothering save from Blayney.

With time running out for the Seaview side, they attempted to apply late pressure on Jeffrey's side but Adamson's close-range header from a dropping ball went wide from six yards out.

Linfield scored their fourth and crowning goal, seven minutes from the end.

Good build-up play down the right saw the ball eventually cut-back to Jamie Mulgrew who shot low into the goalkeeper's left-hand corner to complete the win for Linfield and their 42nd Irish Cup win in all and a second consecutive win over Crusaders in the blue ribbon event.

Crues manager Stephen Baxter was left dejected by the result, but insisted the task in hand now is to lift the squad ahead of next week's Setanta Cup Final.

"We didn't do enough on the day," he lamented. "We had to chase the game (at 2-0).

"Linfield were clinical and we weren't. We have to re-group and re-focus for another massive game next week."

JJB Sports Irish Cup Final result:

Linfield 4-1 Crusaders
Linfield: Mark McAllister 28 + 41, Carville 60, Mulgrew 83.
Crusaders: Coates 58.

Linfield: Blayney, Curran, Murphy, Watson, Ervin, Carvill, Garrett (Casement 71), Mulgrew (BJ Burns 89), Lowry, McAllister (Fordyce 92), Thompson.

Crusaders: O'Neill, McKeown (Leeman 45), McBride, Magowan, Coates, Dallas, Morrow, Adamson, Rainey, Caddell, Dallas, McMaster (Owens 45).

© UTV News
Comments Comments
rab in belfast wrote (994 days ago):
Well done to Linfield on clinching the double. But did nobody else hear the secterian singing that was comin from the kop end of the ground. I know that this does'nt reflect true Linfield supporters and these people are only glory hunters that come out of the woodwork on the big occasion's. But Linfield have a responsability!! They blast it out on there speaker system before the match that ANYONE chanting these songs will be put out, yet I could bet not one person was sent home. Windsor park will alawys be home to Linfield because of this and NOT NORTHERN IRELAND. Now where's that piece of carpet so this can be all swept under by the IFA.
David Scott in Belfast wrote (995 days ago):
Another win for the Blues, their sixth double in seven years apparently,great for Linfield and their supporters but not so good for the Irish league in general. The main and very obvious reason is that one team are now completely dominant in local football with the other teams simply having to pick up the scraps during the season. I know that this is a bugbear with many non Linfield fans but they have a massive financial advantage over the rest of the Irish league with their annual payout from the IFA, £200,000 per year index linked(increases with inflation) and their ground being maintained by the IFA as well! If this situation doesn't change soon then the Irish League will wither away and die. P.S. I notice that UTV have announced that they are ceasing their coverage of local football, cheers thanks a lot for that!
stephen ash in Bangor wrote (995 days ago):
Your TV if you happen to play nationalist /republican sports not if you are a football fan it seems. UTV discriminating,doubt this will be posted though. Well done linfield!
Tomc in Belfast wrote (996 days ago):
Great football team? The Crues fought hard? What i watched today was grim. 2 lacklustre teams, players punctured at half time, players unaware where their team mates where, missing sitters, poor set pieces....i could go on but why bother. Linfield won at home with a crowd the size of a church congregation, while the world stayed at home to watch the FA cup. What I watched was the reason why NI will find it hard pushed to perform to any standard on the international stage! Pathetic? Na, a good Sunday League team would have nailed them both...with a hangover!
Jimmy Simms in Dundonaald, Belfast wrote (996 days ago):
Well done Blues, the Crues fought hard and it was a great advert for local football which all too often gets abad press
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