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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 May, 2004, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Glentoran win cup decider
Michael Halliday celebrates
Michael Halliday produced a superb finish for his goal
Michael Halliday's goal earned Glentoran a 1-0 win over Coleraine in the Nationwide Irish Cup Final and avenged last year's decider defeat.

Roy Coyle's side deserved their victory although Paul Gaston missed a late chance for the Bannsiders.

Halliday produced a delightful finish for the 21st minute goal after a superb ball from Kevin Keegan.

Andy Smith missed a great chance to extend Glentoran's lead after half-time before Gaston's miss for Coleraine.

The Bannsiders made the better start and Elliott Morris produced two good saves in a minute to deny Barry Curran and Jody Tolan.

At that stage, the Glentoran defence was looking hesitant with the central defensive partnership of Gary Smyth and Colin Nixon struggling.

Nixon almost conceded a bizarre own goal in the 10th minute when his back header looped over Morris but went inches wide.

The winning goal came at the other end 11 minutes later with Halliday running on to a through ball from Keegan and then cleverly steering the ball through McAuley's legs after he had rounded O'Hare.

The Coleraine keeper was perhaps a little slow in coming off his line but Halliday produced a cool finish to score the crucial goal.

Four minutes later, Gary Smyth had a chance to extend Glentoran's advantage but he failed to make contact with a deep Smith free-kick.

Glentoran boss Roy Coyle
Roy Coyle celebrates yet another managerial triumph

Attention then turned briefly to the north stand when fighting broke out among a small group of Glentoran supporters.

Glentoran suffered a blow before half-time when Keegan was forced off because of a hamstring injury which saw the introduction of Tommy McCallion.

Coleraine failed to put Glentoran under any real pressure in the third quarter with the Oval outfit's defence looking more secure after Paul Leeman had switched into central defence alongside Smyth.

A brave block by impressive Coleraine defender Gareth McAuley prevented Darren Lockhart adding to the Glens' lead in the 67th minute.

It was one of McAuley's final interventions as he was forced off five minutes later through injury.

Smith missed a glorious chance to make the game safe for Glentoran in the 76th minute when he fired straight at O'Hare when he only had the goalkeeper to beat.

Coleraine summoned up a brave effort in the final 15 minutes to get on level terms.

However, their only real chance was squandered by Gaston 12 minutes from time when he headed over from eight yards after a deep Stephen Beatty cross.

Goalscorer Halliday was named man-of-the-match.


Glentoran: Morris, Nixon, Glendinning, Melaugh, Leeman, Smyth, McCann (one), Lockhart, Smith, Halliday, Keegan. Subs: Armour, Kilmartin, McCallion.

Coleraine: O'Hare, Clanachan, Flynn, Gaston, McAuley, Beatty, Curran, Hamill, Tolan, Haveron, Gorman. Subs: McCoosh, Armstrong, Johnston.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Roy Coyle
"Coleraine didn't give it up easily"


Michael Halliday
"It's a nice habit to have"


Marty Quinn
"We gave it our best shot"



SEE ALSO
Two stabbed at cup final
01 May 04  |  Northern Ireland


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