Chloe Orr (34)

1

Kirsty McGuinness (20p)
Louise McDaniel (40)
Lauren Robson (46)
Megan Weatherall (OG) (74)

4

Linfield Ladies celebrate retaining the NIFL Women's League Cup (Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com)

LINFIELD LADIES RETAIN NIFL WOMEN'S LEAGUE CUP

Linfield Ladies held onto the NIFL Women's League Cup with a 4-1 defeat of Cliftonville Ladies in front of the BBC Sport NI cameras at Seaview.

On a balmy summer’s night conditions proved difficult for both teams from the start with Cliftonville Ladies showing the early momentum but failing to make any clear cut openings.

Linfield Ladies opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 19 minutes when referee Kyle Barr adjudged a handball from the Cliftonville Ladies defence. Kirsty McGuinness stepped up to confidently put the Blues in front.

The equaliser came for Cliftonville on 34 minutes as Chloe Orr’s fortuitous cross evaded everyone including Linfield goalkeeper Lauren Perry to restore parity.

With five minutes to go until the break, Linfield struck again as Louise McDaniel broke free to show tremendous composure, dancing around the challenges of both Megan Moran and goalkeeper Caoimhe Callaghan to slot home from a tight angle, restoring the Blues’ lead.

Linfield came out of the blocks in the second half scoring within seconds of the restart. Kirsty McGuinness’ deep cross from the left channel was headed home by Lauren Robson to increase the Blues’ lead.

Conditions stifled the second half of the Cup final with water breaks required throughout the game as both teams had a number of half-chances.

On 74 minutes, Linfield got their fourth to kill the game off as Cliftonville Ladies’ Megan Weatherall’s touch to a loose ball cruelly diverted the ball past her own goalkeeper.

Cliftonville Ladies: C. Callaghan, McCarthy, Moran (c), Grattan, McEvoy, Dempster, Simpson, Orr, M. Callaghan, Grieve, Weatherall subs Da Silva (replaced McEvoy 77), Burgess, Doherty (replaced Grieve 70), McVeagh, McKenna

Linfield Ladies: Perry, McFrederick, Myles, McDade, Bell, Venney, McGuinness, McKenna, Robson, McDaniel, McCarron subs Cameron (not used), Doherty (replaced McDaniel 89), Smyth (replaced McKenna 62), Burrows (replaced Myles 82), Donnan (not used)

Referee: Kyle Barr

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