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BetMcLean Cup


12 Mar 2023

Linfield are the BetMcLean Cup winners following a two goal defeat of Coleraine at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.

Goals from Joel Cooper and Chris Shields saw the Blues lift the trophy for an 11th time while, for the Bannsiders, it was the bitter taste of defeat for a second successive season.

Although scoreless at the break, the first half wasn't without incident.

Indeed, the first effort of note only needed four minutes to arrive after Joel Cooper got past Conor McDermott down the left only for his attempt to be easily gathered at the near post.

Cooper threatened again soon after with a low drive from 25-yards but, again, this went past the left post.

It took the Bannsiders a little while to settle into the game, and they almost made the breakthrough midway through the first half when Jamie Glackin's cross was nodded just past the post by Dean Jarvis.

Then, a couple of minutes after that, Matthew Shevlin forced Chris Johns into a low save before play switched to the other end for Eetu Vertainen to drag an effort wide.

But it took just four minutes of the second half for the Blues to seize the advantage after a lapse in concentration in the Coleraine defence allowed Chris McKee to find Cooper to slot into the far corner.

And the Blues strengthened their hold on the game on the hour. Coleraine skipper Stephen O'Donnell was adjudged to have clipped Chris McKee in the area, with Chris Shields stepping up to send the resultant spot-kick down the middle.

Oran Kearney's side did try to find a way back but other than a couple of half chances from Glackin and Matthew Shevlin they couldn't threaten Linfield's lead as time ticked away.

Coleraine: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, McKendry, Carson, Farren, O'Donnell, Lynch, Glackin, McDermott, Shevlin subs Gallagher (not used), Mullan (not used), Brown (not used), A. Jarvis (replaced McKendry 85), Lowry (not used), McCrudden (replaced Farren 74), O'Mahony (replaced Lynch 70)

Linfield: Johns, Roscoe, Shields, Callacher, Millar, Cooper, M. Clarke, McKee, Finlayson, Mulgrew, Vertainen subs Walsh (not used), McClean (replaced Vertainen 67), Hall (not used), Devine (replaced McKee 77), Pepper (not used), A. Clarke (not used), Palmer (not used