Jordan Stewart played a big part in Linfield's victory (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Linfield turned on the style to hit five past Cliftonville in the final home game of the season for the newly crowned Champions.
Daniel Kearns kicked the scoring off on 11 minutes with a volley from inside the area after Jordan Stewart's initial effort crashed back off an upright.
The Blues added to their lead with two quick fire Michael O'Connor goals towards the end of the first half.
First, on 38 minutes, he found himself unmarked to sidefoot home a Stewart cross from the left before adding number three with a low finish under keeper Brian Neeson.
David Healy's side underlined their dominance with a fourth goal early in the second half when Stewart got his name on the scoresheet with a drilled finish from around 16 yards out.
Cliftonville might have pulled a goal back just after the hour when Conor McMenamin turned an effort against the crossbar but he did go one better with just under a quarter-of-an-hour remaining with the final touch to a Joe Gormley effort.
Chris Curran then thundered an effort against the woodwork soon after but, with five minutes left, Linfield wrapped things up when Stewart played Kirk Millar through to lift the ball over Neeson.
Linfield: Mitchell, Stafford, Callacher, O'Connor, Stewart, Millar, Kearns, Fallon, Mulgrew, Quinn, Casement subs Deane (not used), Forde (not used), McClean (not used), Doyle (not used), McGuinness (replaced Stafford 61), Reynolds (replaced O'Connor 65), Hume (replaced Casement 73)
Cliftonville: Neeson, McGovern, Ives, C. Curran, R. Harkin, R. Curran, A. Harkin, Bagnall, McMenamin, Gormley, Gorman subs Brush (not used), Catney (not used), McConnell (not used), Maguire (replaced R. Harkin 65), A. Donnelly (not used), Rocks (replaced Bagnall 83), Whiteway (not used)
Referee: Ross Dunlop