Crusaders 1-4 Linfield

By Lyle JacksonBBC Sport NI

Premiership champions Linfield beat Crusaders in the Irish Cup final to complete a remarkable sixth domestic double in seven seasons.

Mark McAllister put the Blues into the lead in the 28th minute and fired in a second four minutes before half-time.

Crues skipper Colin Coates scored with a deflected free-kick on 56 minutes but Linfield's Michael Carvill quickly netted a superb direct free for 3-1.

Jamie Mulgrew got the fourth with a low 83rd-minute right-foot shot.

Robert Garrett congratulates Linfield scorer Mark McAllister
Robert Garrett congratulates Linfield scorer Mark McAllister

Linfield, who had gone into the game with a record of six wins and a draw in their last seven against Crusaders, were on top for most of the match and deserved to lift the cup for a record 42nd time.

So, another Irish Cup disappointment for Stephen Baxter's Crusaders who were beaten by Linfield in last year's final.

They will feel McAllister's first-half goals could have been avoided, and will also reflect on a number of chances which went untaken, but in the end they looked deflated, and were certainly well beaten.

Crusaders, who had not conceded a goal on the way to the final, were under early pressure and Linfield had the first chance with Philip Lowry dragging a shot wide from McAllister's pass.

Chris Morrow then shot wide for Crusaders and Colin Coates headed wide from a corner.

Linfield got the breakthrough when Carvill played a short pass into the box for Peter Thompson but the ball came off defender David Magowan and fell invitingly for McAllister score from close-range.

Jamie Mulgrew, man of the match in the 2011 decider, created Linfield's second.

He picked up a throw, made a run into the area and, when his bye-line ball was palmed out by Crues keeper Sean O'Neill, there was former the Dungannon striker to fire in.

Crusaders were right back in it when a long-range free by Coates looped off the Linfield wall to leave keeper Alan Blayney stranded.

However, the two-goal gap was restored in the 60th minute when a rash challenge by Declan Caddell gave Linfield a centrally-positioned free-kick about 25 yards out.

Carvill stepped up to curl a right-foot shot direct from the set-piece into the top corner to O'Neill's right.

Mulgrew made absolutely sure by shooting in from Robert Garrett's pull back.

Crusaders: O'Neill, McKeown (Leeman 45), McBride (Watson 81), Magowan, Coates, Dallas, Morrow, Adamson, Rainey, Caddell, Dallas, McMaster (Owens 45).

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

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