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Saturday, 11 May, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Linfield deny Ports Double
Linfield deserved their victory in Saturday's final
Linfield celebrate their Irish Cup victory over the Ports
BBC Sport Online's Lyle Jackson at Windsor Park

Linfield 2-1 Portadown

  Send in your Cup final reactions

Chris Morgan was the goalscoring hero as Linfield won the Nationwide Irish Cup for the first time since 1995.

Morgan struck twice for the Blues in the first half after Kyle Neill had given newly-crowned Premiership champions Portadown an early lead.

It was a crucial success for the Belfast club as they had just surrendered their league title to the Ports.

And it was an especially sweet moment for Linfield boss David Jeffrey who had never won the cup before in all his time as a player and manager.

Early on, Portadown had looked like becoming the first team to complete the Double since Linfield did it eight years ago.

Ronnie McFall's men went into the lead on six minutes when Neill volleyed in from close-range after Blues keeper Alan Manus had blocked from Vinny Arkins.

Linfield boss David Jeffrey had never won the Irish Cup as a player or a manager
David Jeffrey: Finally won the Irish Cup

But the lead lasted just eight minutes as Linfield struck back in style.

Tony Gorman slid the ball through to Morgan and the former Crusaders frontman finished superbly with a sweetly-struck right-foot shot past Portadown's veteran goalkeeper Mickey Keenan.

In the 22nd minute Morgan netted again to give Linfield the lead.

It all stemmed from a slip by Ports left-back Keith O'Hara.

When he lost possession, Jamie Marks took the ball on before delivering a low cross which eventually came to Morgan and the 26-year-old tucked away a low shot.

Linfield were now well on top and could easily have stretched their advantage before half-time.

Firstly Gorman flashed a shot wide and Glenn Ferguson was then denied by Philip Major's saving tackle.

Portadown's cause was not helped by an injury to central defender Cullen Feeney which forced him out of the game.

McBride chance

Morgan's hopes of becoming the first player to score a cup final hat-trick since Glenavon's Stewart Campbell in 1961, ended 10 minutes into the second half when he had to go off with a hamstring injury.

There were few opportunities for the league's top scorer Vinny Arkins but his strike partner Gary Hamilton went close to levelling matters in the 64th minute.

The former Blackburn player turned superbly to send a volley crashing off the Linfield crossbar.

As the Ports pushed forward they were almost caught at the back by Keenan saved well from Blues substitute Justin McBride.

Linfield: A Manus, S Collier, P McShane (sub N Kelly 79), A Hunter, S King (sub D Murphy 66), R Kelly, C Morgan (sub J McBride 55), T Gorman, G Ferguson, J Marks, N Bailie. Subs: D Murphy, J McBride, N Kelly.

Portadown: M Keenan, S Douglas, K O'Hara, P McCann, C Feeney (sub N Ogden 25), P Major, R Clarke (sub A Hamilton 62), M Collins, G Hamilton, V Arkins, K Neill. Subs: N Ogden, A Hamilton, P Craig.

Referee: M Ross (Carrickfergus).

  See pictures of Linfield's celebrations

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 ON THIS STORY
Linfield's Chris Morgan
"I didn't want to stay on and be a liability"
Man of the match Noel Bailie
"We know this team has guts"
Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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