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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 May 2006, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Glentoran 1-2 Linfield
NI international striker Peter Thompson scored both Linfield goals
Peter Thompson was Linfield's hero at Windsor Park
Linfield completed a clean sweep of the domestic football season by beating their Belfast rivals Glentoran in Saturday's Nationwide Irish Cup final.

Peter Thompson was the Blues hero by first cancelling out Michael Halliday's opener and then heading the winner in the second half at Windsor Park.

Halliday hooked the Glens ahead in the 44th minute but Thompson levelled in first half injury-time.

Linfield bossed after the break and Thompson's winner came on 65 minutes.

The game started in lively fashion with Alan Mannus having to move smartly to save a Colin Nixon header and Halliday then almost latching on to a flick-on from Darren Lockhart.

At the other end, Thompson had a great chance to put Linfield ahead in the fourth minute after charging clear of the Glentoran defence but Elliott Morris was able to divert the Northern Ireland striker's scuffed shot away for a corner.

Morris came to Glentoran's rescue again in the ninth minute when he saved Tim Mouncey's close-range header after a deep cross from Oran Kearney.

After the bright opening 10 minutes, the pace of the game dropped, caused in part by an injury to Colin Nixon who took a nasty-looking tumble in the Linfield penalty area in the 25th minute.

Halliday and Ferguson then had chances at either end in the 35th and 37 minutes but both efforts were easily saved by the keepers.

The match seemed set to go scoreless at the interval but instead the closing minutes of the first half saw both teams bagging a goal.

Glentoran's Willo McDonagh (left) and Linfield's Michael Gault
Michael Gault (right) is about to challenge Willo McDonagh

Halliday's opener came in the 44th minute when the Glens man contorting himself superbly to hook the ball home after a frantic scramble in the Linfield six-yard box involving Willo McDonagh and Darren Lockhart.

However, Nixon's injury meant four minutes of injury-time which enabled Thompson to level for the Blues from close range after Winkie Murphy's header had been hooked on by Ferguson.

Linfield made the better start to the second half with a totally unmarked Michael Gault heading a corner over the bar in the 46th minute and Mark Glendinning then needed to block a rocket from Thompson.

The momentum was now with the Blues and it was little surprise when they took the lead in the 65th minute with Thompson's glancing backheader looping to the net after a McAreavey free-kick.

McAreavey was inches away from extending Linfield's lead two minutes later but Nixon got a vital deflection to divert the Blues midfielder's close-range effort just wide.

A moron in the crowd then decided to make an impression on the occasion by hitting Ervin with a missile as the Linfield defender prepared to take a throw-in.

However, Linfield were not to be denied as they went on to complete their first victory over Glentoran in an Irish Cup final since 1945.

Since then, the Blues have lost their five previous deciders against the Glens.


Linfield: Mannus, Ervin, McShane, Gault, Murphy, McAreavey, Thompson, Mouncey, Ferguson, Kearney, Bailie (capt). Subs: McCann, Hunter.

Glentoran: Morris, Nixon (capt), Glendinning, Simpson, Browne, Melaugh, Halliday, Lockhart, McDonagh, Ward, Berry. Subs: Morgan, Tolan.



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