Recalling a Blaxnit Cup triumph this week in 1971

Posted : 19th May 2020 at 00:04:10

A few days ago drew attention to the upcoming 15th anniversary of the club's Setanta Cup final triumph in Dublin.

However, the club can today mark the first part of the 49th anniversary of another All-Ireland success.

On May 19, 1971 Linfield welcomed Cork Hibs to Windsor Park for the first leg of the Blaxnit Cup final.

Linfield had reached this stage, following a 2-0 first round home win against St Pats. Bryan Hamilton and Dessie Cathcart were on the scoresheet on May 4, 1971.

In the semi final Linfield drew 3-3 at home to Drogheda on May 12, 1971. The goals were scored by Eric Bowyer, Phil Scott and Bryan Hamilton.

The away replay was 2 days later and Phil Scott scored for Linfield in a 1-1 draw. However, Linfield progressed to the final after a 5-4 penalty shoot out success.

The final came at the end of a season when manager Billy Bingham had led Linfield to the Irish League title. Linfield had also won the Ulster cup in September and heroically, only lost on away goals to the mighty Manchester City in the European Cup Winners Cup, also in September.

The Gold Cup had been won on March 17, 1971 following a 2-1 win against Glentoran at the Oval, with Hamilton and Cathcart on the scoresheet.

And so to the first leg of the Blaxnit cup final which took place at Windsor Park against Cork Hibs on this May 19 date, back in 1971.

The first leg finished 1-1 with Ronnie McAteer getting Linfield's goal.

Linfield lined up as follows - McGonigal, Fraser, Patterson, Larmour, McAllister, Bowyer, McAteer, Peacock, Magee, Scott and Cathcart.

The second leg took place at Dalymount park in Dublin on May 21 - ironically on the same date in Dublin when Linfield would again become All Ireland champions, 34 years later, at Tolka Park in 2005.

Linfield won 2-1 in the Blaxnit cup final second leg, thanks to goals from Dessie Cathcart and Eric Magee. The cup was won by an aggregate 3-2 score line.

Although it was only 2 days after the first leg, manager Bingham named an unchanged starting line up for the second leg, in what was to be his final game as Linfield manager, as he left the club soon after, to take on the post of manager of the Greek national team.

Stronge, an unused sub in the first leg, came on as sub in the second leg, in place of Peacock.

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