Match Details
Season :
2016/2017
Date :
6th May 2017
Competition :
Irish Cup
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
Keith Kennedy
Linfield Scorers :
Andy Waterworth 29', 33', 88'
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Burns, Lowry
Coleraine Yellow Cards :
McCauley, Mullan, McConaghie, Lyons
Teams
Linfield Team :
Carroll (GK), Haughey, Stafford, Callacher, M.Clarke, Smyth (Casement 90’), Mulgrew ©, Lowry, Quinn, Burns (Stewart 85’), Waterworth
Linfield Subs not used :
Deane, Ward, Millar
Coleraine Team :
Johns (GK), Kane, Ogilby ©, McConaghie, Mullan, McGonigle (Allan 85’), Lyons, C.Harkin, McCauley, Bradley, McLaughlin (Parkhill 60’)
Coleraine Subs not used :
Douglas, McCafferty, Doherty
Report
A colourful and vibrant Windsor Park played host to the Irish Cup final in the sun this afternoon with Coleraine and Linfield supporters out in their numbers, 12,551 in attendance to be exact. For Coleraine it was their first final for nine years, whilst Linfield were hoping to avenge last year’s final defeat at the hands of Glenavon.

David Healy made one change from his side that clinched the league title at Solitude last week, replacing Chris Casement with Paul Smyth who returned from suspension.

Linfield were first to go close after just two minutes when Jimmy Callacher’s goalward header from Paul Smyth’s corner was crucially headed out of harm’s way by the alert Lyndon Kane.

Three minutes later, the Blues went close again as Mark Haughey’s powerful header from Mulgrew’s cross was brilliantly clawed away by Chris Johns in the Coleraine goal.

Arguably Linfield’s best chance arrived on 22 minutes when Quinn hung up a corner which Burns met and Stafford got on the end of Burns’ flick, however Stafford’s slight touch wasn’t enough to turn it home.

Linfield’s great start was finally rewarded on 29 minutes when Paul Smyth attacked space down the right before firing in a low cross which the onrushing Andy Waterworth fired home from close range.

Healy’s men doubled their advantage four minutes later when Aaron Burns slipped in behind Coleraine defender Gareth McConaghie and his fierce strike from 15 yards was palmed into Waterworth’s path by Johns. Waterworth, the star of the show last week, was at his work again as he slotted home Linfield’s second from inside the box.

Half Time: Linfield 2 – 0 Coleraine

The Blues almost added a third within moments of the restart when Quinn and Clarke combined down the left side before Clarke’s low strike was kept out by Johns.

Coleraine had their best chance of the afternoon on the hour-mark when Darren McCauley’s cross was flicked on by the head of Ciaron Harkin into Parkhill’s path, however Parkhill headed over from close range.

The Bannsiders had penalty appeals waved away by the referee when they felt Eoin Bradley’s shot was handled by Mark Stafford who was falling over as the ball was struck.

Waterworth completed his hattrick for a second week running when Mark Haughey sent Paul Smyth down the flank before Smyth put it on a plate for Waterworth to tuck the ball home from close range. The icing on the cake as Linfield’s ribbons were being put onto the Irish Cup.

The second half was a case of seeing the lead out and Linfield did that to win the Club’s 43rd Irish Cup win and securing a domestic treble. A remarkable end to a remarkable season and when many were writing Linfield off at Christmas, David Healy rallied the troops to rewrite the history books.

Full Time: Linfield 3 – 0 Coleraine

LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Andy Waterworth

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