Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter hails 'deserved victory'

Crusaders players celebrate
Crusaders players celebrate

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter said his players deserved their dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Derry City in the Setanta Sports Cup final.

"We missed some good chances but the players worked incredibly hard to earn that victory," said the Crues boss.

"We threw caution to the wind a bit but it paid off and my players stood tall."

"After the disappointment of losing to Linfield in the Irish Cup final last week we weren't going to be beaten again," added skipper Colin Coates.

"I managed to get on the end of two crosses for the goals and I'm overjoyed - we might never get the chance to win this competition again," said Coates.

Substitute Gareth McKeown admitted that he initially did not want to take the winning penalty.

"The boys persuaded me to take it and thankfully I plucked up the courage and it went in.

"It's an unbelieveable achievement and all the sweeter after the disappointment of last week," said McKeown.

Goalkeeper Sean O'Neill said he "thought that was it when we down to ten men" but "we managed to pull through".

Derry assistant boss Paul Hegarty was gracious in defeat.

"The Crues were the better side and created the better chances - they were deserved victors."