Glenavon in dreamland with Irish Cup victory over Linfield

Eoin Bradley (left) and Kevin Braniff celebrate
Eoin Bradley (left) and Kevin Braniff celebrate


Glenavon clinched the Tennent’s Irish Cup with a 2-0 victory over Linfield.

Goals either side of the break from Kevin Braniff and Andy Hall sealed the win in front of 11,500 fans at Windsor Park.

Braniff broke the deadlock with a clinical finish in the 45th minute, with hall doubling the lead with a low shot three minutes after the interval.

It was a spirited display from the Lurgan Blues who lifted their second Irish Cup in three years following their 2-1 win over Ballymena United in the 2014 showpiece.

For Linfield the search for Irish Cup glory continues – it is four years since their last success.

David Healy’s side started brightly and forged the first opening in the fifth minute when Andy Waterworth’s scuffed shot was blocked by Simon Kelly.

Glenavon goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey did well to block Stephen Lowry’s flicked shot in the 12th minute.

The Lurgan Blues responded with Joel Cooper curling a teasing cross just wide of Gareth Deane’s post three minutes later.

Glenavon had the ball in the net in the 17th minute after Deane spilled Conor Dillon’s shot, but referee Raymond Hetherington whistled for a foul on Deane in the resulting scramble.

Glenavon broke the deadlock with virtually the last kick of the half with Braniff on target.

Sean Ward’s clearance was picked up by hall who fed Eoin Bradley on the right side of the box, and when Bradley crossed to the back post there was Braniff who finish in style.

Glenavon started the second half as they finished the first as they doubled their lead in the 48th minute.

Mark Patton’s cross from the left eventually found its way to Hall, and after taking a touch the winger managed to fire off a low shot past Deane.

Braniff should have bagged his second and Glenavon’s third goal of the game in the 84th minute, but after racing through on goal he could only steer his shot inches wide of the post.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Kelly, Dillon, Kilmartin, Cooper (Kearns 90), Bradley (Hamilton 85), Hall, Patton, Braniff, Martyn (Sykes 68).

Subs not used: Lindsay, McGrory.

LINFIELD: Deane, Haughey, Callacher (Quinn 77), Waterworth, Lowry, Burns, Ward, Clarke (Millar 56), Mulgrew, Gaynor, Smyth.

Subs not used: Ro. Glendinning, Stafford, Fallon.

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)