Sunday, May 6, 2007

Irish Cup Final 2007, Linfield - Dungannon Swifts

Windsor Park, Belfast, May 5th 2007
Linfield 2 Dungannon Swifts 2 (Linfield win 3-2 on penalties)

Phew. That was a bit close. Apparently a great game for the neutrals, but I was a bit disappointed with our performance. We took an early lead through Mark Dickson, but then took the foot off the pedal, Dungannon deservedly equalised after an apparent error by Mannus, his clearing header landing right at the feet of Hamill, who slotted it into the empty net; to be honest, there wasn't too much that Tino could do after Ervin lost possession. Ferguson put us ahead again with a turn and shot on the left, I thought it looked a weak effort and their keeper should have got it, then shortly after, a free-kick from just outside the area levelled things; this time, I thought Mannus was at fault, he went down VERY slowly and should have stopped it.

After that, it was more or less all Linfield, but some criminal finishing and wonderful keeper from my MOTM meant no further goals.

So it was onto the lottery of penalties. I usually can't watch, after bad previous experiences (Gillingham play-off 99 springs to mind), but after we missed our first two penalties (Ervin and Stewart the culprits) and they scored theirs, I thought fu ck it, and watched. Cue the comeback, Ferguson, Dickson and McShane slotted home, and McAllister's kick was saved by Mannus, who turned from villain to hero. I actually missed the last penalty, as I was trying to help a guy who had fallen from the top tier over the wall down onto the steps. He was wrote, but he must have shattered his shoulder. It was a disgrace that no stewards were in the stand, and that it took so long for help to arrive.

Jamie Mulgrew was awarded man of the match, and I thought he was brilliant, running the midfield and driving the Blues forward, but I thought wee Jim Ervin was outstanding, tackling well and getting forward and linking up with Dicko.

The celebrations continued long into the night in the bar below the Viewing Lounge, then in the Edinburgh club. Yet again I fell asleep, but fortunately a lot later than last year... a big thanks to all the ILFers I met and had a drink or 10 with.

Match Highlights

DJ acting the eejit again

The cup being presented

The Dungannon fans in the North Stand

South Stand

Kop Stand

Exile's banner

South Stand banners and flags

The mother of all banners

1 comment:

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