GLWENTORAN 2 LINFIELD 1
Makyla Mulholland scored twice in the final five minutes as Glentoran Women claimed a dramatic 2-1 win over Linfield Ladies in the Challenge Cup final. It looked as though Linfield were heading to their second trophy of the season when Megan Bell opened the scoring midway through the second half.
However Mulholland placed two pinpoint headers beyond Jamie-Lee Wilson to give Glentoran a seventh Irish Cup triumph.
It is their first victory over their Belfast rivals this season.
The result ends Linfield’s hopes of securing a domestic treble which looked likely going into the final five minutes, given the League Cup champions’ nine-point lead at the top of the Women’s Premiership.
Bell opened the scoring following a low-key first half with a deflected long-range effort which looped over Ashleigh McKinnon in the Glentoran goal.
Earlier Chloe McCarron had passed up a golden opportunity to give the Blues the lead when she blazed an effort over the bar after intricate build-up play involving Kirsty McGuinness and Rebecca Bassett.
It looked as though Glentoran were going to fall to another defeat at the hands of their great rivals but, having lost the three previous meetings between the sides this season, the Glens never appeared to lose the belief that they could fight back.
Leading from the front was club stalwart Kelly Bailie, who now boasts seven Irish Cup medals having played a role in all of Glentoran’s triumphs in the competition.
Having earlier curled an effort narrowly wide of the post, Bailie sent a dipping free-kick towards the bottom corner but Wilson was level to it to maintain her side’s advantage.
The Glens’ pressure eventually told as Mulholland sent a powerful header into the top corner as the game seemingly headed towards extra-time.
But with their tails up Glentoran won another corner in the dying minutes allowing Mulholland to repeat the feat cueing jubilant scenes in the Glens’ dugout.