There was late heartache for Linfield in the Big Two Windsor Park Irish Cup Final as Glentoran’s Makyla Mulholland twice produced powerful headed finishes from Demi Vance corners to overturn the lead Megan Bell had given Linfield with her strike on
The opening half was a tight affair with few clear cut chances for either side with Glentoran slightly on top in a competitively contested local derby cup final.
For Linfield midfielder Chloe McCarron ran powerfully at the Glens backline but her shot drifted over the bar and just before the break Megan Bell produced a great run before scooping a drive wide of the mark.
Half time - Linfield 0 Glentoran 0
Linfield got on top in the early period of the second half attacking the Railway end of Windsor Park.
Kirsty McGuinness swung in a free-kick which evaded everyone and went inches wide of the post before a flowing move down the left flank ended with Chloe McCarron shooting just over the bar.
On 59 minutes Abbie Magee replaced Rebecca McKenna with Abbie having fond memories of the Windsor Park Irish Cup final having scored the winner 2 years previously.
Megan Bell had an effort smothered by Glens keeper Ashleigh McKinnon on 60 minutes but just a minute later McGuinness found her on the edge of the area and Bell smashed the ball into the roof of the net to give the Blues the lead.
It was a stunning strike from the young Blues midfielder.
On 64 minutes Lauren Robson replaced skipper Sarah Venney with the captains armband passing to Kirsty McGuinness.
Glentoran threw everything forward to try and get the equaliser and they had a number of shots from distance.
On 77 minutes Louise McDaniel replaced Rebecca Bassett who had put in a great shift for Linfield up front.
As the clock ticked down and it looked like Linfield could weather the sustained pressure from the east Belfast side Mullholland rose powerfully to head home the equaliser from a great Demi Vance delivery from a corner in the 84th minute.
In the 89th minute the Glens made it 2-1 with a goal almost identical to their first. Vance whipped the ball in from a corner and Mulholland headed what proved to be the winner home.
It was so near but so far for Linfield. Two goals in the last 6 minutes turned a 1-0 lead into a disappointing 2-1 defeat.
The two teams are scheduled to meet again at the Oval on Friday night his time in the league with Linfield needing a point from their final 3 games to retain the Danske Bank NIFL Premier League crown.
Linfield player of the Match - Megan Bell
Final score - Glentoran 2 Linfield 1
The team line up was as follows
12 - Jamie-Lee Wilson,
3 - Louise McFrederick
14 - Kelsie Burrows
5 - Ashley Hutton,
6 - Jennifer McDade
7 - Megan Bell
8 - Sarah Venney
9 - Rebecca Bassett
11 - Kirsty McGuinness
18 - Rebecca McKenna
97 - Chloe McCarron
19 - Abbie Magee - replaced Rebecca McKenna
20 - Lauren Robson - replaced Sarah Venney
22 - Louise McDaniel - replaced Rebecca Bassett
24 - Casey Howe
26 - Caitlin McGuinness