Monday, May 5, 2008

Linfield 2 Coleraine 1 - TREBLE DOUBLE!

Irish Cup Final, Windsor Park, Saturday 3rd May 2008

Team: Mannus, Lindsay, O’Kane, Murphy, Bailie, Mulgrew, Gault, McAreavey (Dickson 46), Kearney (Curran 87), Ferguson, Thompson
Subs not used : Stewart, McShane, Downey

Scorers: Thompson 2

Attendance: approx. 10000 (6000 Linfield fans)

A great day out, the weather stayed good, and Linfield managed to clinch an historic treble double, the first in 115 years. This team will go down in Linfield and IL history.

Quick summary, Coleraine had the better of the first half, though not as dominant as most of the press were making out, Linfield performed poorly, couldn't string 2 passes together, were outbattled and were deservedly booed off at the break.

Second half was a different tale. Maccers came off for Dicko, Jamie moved into the middle and we seemed to have more shape and composure. Peter Thompson, in what must be some kind of record, scored his second match-winning double in 3 years, the first, shrugging off the defender, beating him for pace and slotting home after a dummy from Spike let him through, then he scored a great one-on-one goal after being released by Spike again, two great opportunist goals. We then played out the rest of the game comfortably without excelling.

Well done DJ and players. I was particularly pleased that the team came into the bottom bar with the trophy after the match to let the fans congratulate the players and lift the Cup.

The evening was one big alcohol-fuelled celebration in the Edinburgh Club. What a day and what a night.

Next season is going to be the biggest challenge yet, with signs that a major refurbishment of the squad is necessary. But for now, we'll celebrate another trophy.

Thursday is the next major date, with contract renewals being announced. I expect Tim McCann, Pat McShane (retiring), Tim Mouncey (Portadown) and possibly Mark Dickson (Distillery) to be released, with Tommy Stewart (Glenavon) going in September when his contract is up, possibly to Glenavon.

Thompo's photos, for the last time (farewell, and thanks for the memories) here.

My poor photos here.

Gareth Irvine's photos here.

Press Eye photos here.

Very poor quality match highlights available here:

Better quality highlights here:

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