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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Friday, 25 April 2008 15:01 UK

Final sparks memories of '82

The Coleraine team pictured before the 1982 Irish Cup final
Coleraine players/officials: Tony Curley, John Shannon, Philip McCandless, Vincent Magee, Dessie Dickson, Jackie McManus, Jack Doherty, Davy Walls. Sitting: Ronnie McDowell, Eugene McNutt, Raymond Henry, Pat Mullan, Felix Healy, Kevin Mahon, Gerry O'Kane

By Lyle Jackson
BBC NI Sport

Ronnie Reagan was president of the USA, plans were being made to launch Channel 4 and Bucks Fizz and the Goombay Dance Band were vying for number one in the charts. Oh and a pint of beer was 54p.

Football fever was at a high in Northern Ireland as Billy Bingham's boys had qualified for the World Cup finals in Spain.

And it was the last time that Linfield and Coleraine met in the Irish Cup final, the Bass Irish Cup as it was then.

Northern Ireland football's end-of-the-season showpiece occasion attracted 12,000 to the Oval in east Belfast to see the newly-crowned league champions Linfield beat Coleraine 2-1.

Action from the 1982 Irish Cup final
Linfield's Martin McGaughey comes away with the ball for Linfield

Lindsay McKeown, something of a Linfield legend, scored his side's equaliser that day.

"I have to say for a while it looked as if it was not going to happen for us as we were one down to a goal scored by Felix Healy," recalled McKeown who is still involved in the local game as a radio analyst.

"Coleraine had a good team then, lots of quality players. It was late on in the game and we had not been playing particularly well.

"Felix Healy, who was playing for Coleraine, has always maintained that my foot was high. But I took one touch and then sent a dipping volley in from 18 yards.

"Once we scored there was only going to be one winner and Billy Murray then got our winner with a penalty.

"It was a great day. The Oval was jam-packed and I preferred the final being there because the crowd seemed closer. It was a hot day and the atmosphere was brilliant.

"We went back to Windsor Park for a big celebration and watched the game again on television."

Action from the 1982 Irish Cup final
Coleraine played Linfield at the Oval on 24 April 1982

In the losers' corner, of course, the mood was not so buoyant.

"I remember being disappointed because I felt it was a match we could have won," recalls Tony Curley, then Coleraine's assistant manager.

"Felix Healy had given us the lead and they equalised and then got a penalty. It all came from a throw-in which should been given to us, so it was a hard one to take.

"There were several thousand fans down from Coleraine and it was a great day for a match. It was just a pity the result went the wrong way."

LINFIELD: George Dunlop, Paul Mooney, Terry Hayes, Roy Walsh, Colin Gibson, Peter Dornan, Stephen McKee, Lindsay McKeown, martin McGaughey, Billy Murray, Trevor Anderson. Sub: Peter Rafferty.

COLERAINE: Vincent Magee, Ronnie McDowell, Eugene McNutt, Gerry O'Kane, John Shannon, Pat Mulan, Kevin Mahon, Felix Healy, Jackie McMnaus, Dessie Dickson, Raymond Henry.

Despite their defeat at the Oval, Coleraine qualified as Northern Ireland's representatives in the European Cup Winners' Cup because Linfield were already in the European Cup.

Felix Healy of Coleraine in action against Ricky Villa when Tottenham Hotspur
Felix Healy of Coleraine in action against Ricky Villa when Tottenham Hotspur played at the Showgrounds in a European Cup Winners' Cup match in 1982

And the Bannsiders landed a plum draw which brought Tottenham Hotspur - Ardiles, Villa, Perryman and all - to the Showgrounds.

Spurs won 3-0 at Coleraine and 4-0 in the return leg at White Hart Lane.

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