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Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Saturday, 8 May 2010 16:28 UK

Linfield 2-1 Portadown

By Alex Gulrajani
BBC Sport NI at Windsor Park


Linfield beat Portadown 2-1 in the 2010 JJB Sports Irish Cup final

Early goals from Peter Thompson and Philip Lowry proved enough to give Linfield victory in the JJB Sports Irish Cup final against Portadown.

Thompson poked home the opener in the second minute with midfielder Lowry's 10th-minute header making it 2-0.

Portadown quickly hit back when Kevin Braniff's low free-kick just beat Blues keeper Alan Blayney at his near post.

The Ports missed chances to equalise and Linfield completed their fourth league and cup double in five seasons.

Peter Thompson celebrates after putting lInfiled into the lead in the second minute of the Irish Cup final against Portadown
Peter Thompson celebrates his early goal in the final against Portadown

The triumph sees Linfield win the Irish Cup for a record 40th time but the Blues did not have all of the game.

A pulsating opening half saw Linfield snatch the opener with just 76 seconds on the clock.

Damien Curran burst down the left wing, shrugged off the challenge of Portadown right-back Sean Mackle and found Thompson lingering in the penalty area to poke home.

David Jeffrey's side doubled their lead eight minutes later through Lowry's header.

Robert Garrett's quick free-kick from the edge of the area was turned round the post by David Miskelly only for the keeper to be beaten by Lowry from the resulting corner.

Portadown tested Alan Blayney for the first time moments later as they started their assault on the Linfield goal.

If Braniff's first chance was comfortable for Blayney, his goal certainly should have been.

The Portadown striker somehow managed to beat the Linfield stopper from 25 yards at his near post with a low free-kick.

Blayney's protests that the ball had not crossed the line fell on deaf ears with assistant referee Eamon Shanks flagging for the goal.

Linfield striker Mark McAllister in action against Portadown's Darren Kelly
Linfield striker Mark McAllister in action against Portadown's Darren Kelly

With their goal, Ronnie McFall's side pushed on with Blayney constantly under threat from Andy Hunter's long throw-ins.

Blayney was certainly the busier of the two keepers, making a point-blank save from Braniff and an excellent stop to deny Wesley Boyle from 25 yards.

The Reds continued to push for the equaliser with Johnny Topley rattling the post from 25 yards as the Reds continued to outplay their opponents despite going in at the break a goal down.

Half-time replacement Paul Munster almost made an instant impact with just a minute on the clock in the second half.

Braniff was dispossessed in his own half and Linfield launched their attack. Billy Joe Burns fired across the box and Munster, with his first touch, saw his scuffed shot cleared off the line by Sean Mackle.

On the hour, enterprising work on the left wing saw Jonny Topley deliver a delightful cross into the six-yard box with Damien Curran saving a definite goal by diverting the ball away from Wesley Boyle at the back post, who would have had a simple tap-in.

Relishing the freedom of the left wing, Curran had the beating of Mackle throughout the game and had the chance to net a deserved goal, only to be denied by David Miskelly on the hour mark.


Thompson should have restored the two goal cushion with 16 minutes remaining but the on-loan striker could not connect with JP Gallagher's cross.

Portadown struggled to match the tempo they played at during the first half and will be kicking themselves at not managing to level the game when they were dominating after going two behind.

David Jeffrey will be elated with the endeavour shown by his side and especially the creativity of Curran, who created both goals and was a constant threat on the left flank.

Linfield: Blayney, Gault, Murphy, Curran, Lowry (Mulgrew 71), Thompson, Ballie, Burns, Garrett, McAllister (Munster 45), JP Gallagher.

Portadown: Miskelly, Redman, Clarke (Teggart 82), Kelly, Boyle, Braniff, Mouncey, Baker (Lecky 66), Hunter (McCluskey 57), Topley, Mackle.

Referee: Mark Courtney

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see also
Linfield keen to retain Thompson
08 May 10 |  Irish
Final photos
08 May 10 |  Irish

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