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Crusaders 3-2 Linfield

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Crusaders trio Mark Dickson, Jordan Owens and Colin Coates celebrate their successs at Windsor Park

Crusaders snatched a late equaliser before going on to beat 10-man Linfield in a dramatic Paddy Power County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park.

Linfield led after an early strike by Billy Joe Burns but Mark Dickson headed the Crues level before half-time.

Jim Ervin's 86th-minute penalty looked to have given the Blues victory but Colin Coates headed Crusaders level.

Linfield's Michael Carvill was sent-off for stamping and in extra-time Jordan Owens fired in the Crusaders winner.

It was a great achievement for Stephen Baxter's Crues as they went into the final without five key players, four of them suspended.

And they looked up against it when Jamie Mulgrew laid the ball off for Burns to fire in the sixth-minute opener.

Linfield
David Bell of Crusaders goes up for a high ball with Linfield's Billy Joe Burns

But Crusaders recovered and, after Owens had squandered three chances, Dickson ghosted in at the far post to score from David McMaster's right-wing cross in the 39th minute.

Gareth McKeown was perhaps fortunate not to get a red card for raising his hands as players got involved in an ugly scuffle just before half-time.

Four players went into referee Trevor Moutray's book as a result - McKeown and Owens of Crusaders and Linfield pair Michael Gault and Carvill.

Early in the second half Carvill hit the bar but Linfield did take the lead when a referee's assistant flagged for a foul by Eamonn Doherty on substitute Curtis Allen and Ervin netted the penalty.

However, there was still time for Crues skipper Coates to rise to head in the equaliser after keeper Stuart Addis had failed to collect a long throw.

Carvill received a straight red card for retaliating after a strong challenge by Doherty just before the end of normal time.

Owens then netted the winner with a deflected shot after Linfield had failed to clear a cross.

The Blues had a great chance to force penalties but Paul Munster missed from under the bar and seconds later Crusaders were celebrating their 18th Shield triumph.



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see also
Shield final photos
20 Jan 10 |  Football
Crues start defence with easy win
16 Jan 10 |  Irish
Thompson makes return to Linfield
06 Jan 10 |  Irish Football


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