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Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 16:30 UK
CRUSADERS 1-0 CLIFTONVILLE

Windsor Park, Belfast, 9 May, 2009




By Richard Petrie

Mark Dickson
Mark Dickson turns to celebrate after scoring the winner

Mark Dickson scored the winning goal as Crusaders beat Cliftonville 1-0 in the Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.

Jordan Owens had the best chance of the first half for the Crues while Chris Scannell went close for the Reds.

Dickson netted with a right-foot volley into the top corner of the net after Colin Coates headed down a Martin Donnelly free-kick in the 48th minute.

Coates then cleared off the line from Scannell and the Cliftonville striker drilled a shot just wide of the post.

The first chance of the game fell to Coates but his header from Donnelly's corner was palmed away by John Connolly and Dickson could not stretch far enough reach the rebound.

Five minutes later, Ronan Scannell dragged a pass across goal but brother Chris was unable to reach the ball.

Owens fired a long-range right-foot drive just wide of the post in the 16th minute.

Chris Scannell then turned Coates and ran through on goal but Chris Keenan dived well to save his right-foot shot.

The best scoring opportunity of the opening period fell to Owens when the ball ricocheted into his path but he blasted over the bar when well placed in front of goal.

Five minutes before the break, Dickson failed to make contact with David Rainey's dangerous left-foot cross from the right wing.

Dickson broke the deadlock two minutes after the interval when Coates headed down Donnelly's free-kick and the striker fired a right-foot volley into the top corner of the net, his 17th goal of the season.

The Reds almost levelled in the 52nd minute but Chris Scannell's low left-foot shot was cleared off the line by Coates.

Ryan Catney squandered another chance to equalise when he sliced his free-kick from the edge of the penalty area well wide.

Mark Holland put Scannell through on goal but defender Gary Smyth took the ball off the striker's toe and saw his attempted clearance tackle cannon off the crossbar.

Scannell had another chance on 65 minutes but the Irish League's leading goalscorer drilled his shot just wide of the post.

The Reds exerted late pressure but were unable to find the net and the Crues secured the trophy for the first time since 1968.


Cliftonville - Connolly, Smyth, O'Hara, Donaghy, B Holland, R Scannell, O'Connor, Johnston, Catney, M Holland, C Scannell.

Crusaders - Keenan, McKeown, Smyth, Coates, McBride, Owens, Doherty, Black, Donnelly, Rainey, Dickson.

Referee: Adrian McCourt

Attendance: 7,500



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