Linfield beat Crusaders to be crowned Toals County Antrim Shield champions

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Blues skipper Jamie Mulgrew celebrating the win with fans

Linfield have ended their trophy drought by beating 10-man Crusaders 3-1 in the final of the Toals County Antrim Shield. 

The victory at the Ballymena Showgrounds last night means the Blues lift silverware for the first time in three years.

David Healy says he hopes it's the first of many trophies for him as Linfield manager.

Skipper Jamie Mulgrew says the Blues' barren spell lasted far too long.


Healy's men raced into an early 2-0 lead with goals from ex-Crues player Cameron Stewart and defender Mark Stafford.

Midfielder Stephen Lowry sealed the victory with a late penalty on his 100th appearance for the Blues.


He's now aiming to catch the Crues in the league and take their title.


The north Belfast team were reduced to 10 men after half an hour when forward Paul Heatley picked up a straight red for a swinging arm.

Defender Howard Beverland was not impressed by the decision.

Minutes after the sending off, Crues striker Jordan Owens scored the goal of the game - a header to make it 2-1 at half time.

Gareth Deane continued in goals for the Blues as he'd been the keeper throughout the Shield run.

He was delighted boss Healy resisted the temptation to start with first choice for the league, Roy Carroll.


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