From sitting in the stands to becoming club's Windsor Park cup final goal hero

When Crumlin Star lifted their first Intermediate Cup back in 2019, Stephen Smyth was watching on from the stands, but fast forward four years later and he’s now the goal hero that helped seal a second Windsor Park success.
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The 31-year-old opened the scoring in Tuesday night’s decider against St Oliver Plunkett before firing home a winner to secure their 3-2 victory after the opposition had clawed back a two-goal deficit.

Smyth’s first goal was opportunistic, controlling Kevin Lynch’s shot in the box and poking home after only three minutes but his second is what rightfully stole the headlines.

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He took a composed first touch in the box following a pass from Conor McLaughlin and proceeded to fire a 76th-minute stunner into the top corner to send the impressive Star support in attendance delirious.

Stephen Smyth with the Intermediate Cup after scoring two goals in the finalStephen Smyth with the Intermediate Cup after scoring two goals in the final
Stephen Smyth with the Intermediate Cup after scoring two goals in the final

"I played for the second team at that time (of the first Intermediate Cup victory),” he said. “I was in the stands watching.

"I started playing for the first team about a year later so I wasn't involved in that one unfortunately.

"When I was sitting there back then I never thought I would be four years later standing with a winners medal in my hand having scored two in the final. It was completely different to four years previously!

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"Everybody wants to score at Windsor in the final - it's what dreams are made of. To score two was special. I don't even really know how to put it into words really, it was amazing. You can't describe the feeling of it."

It’s unsurprising to hear that given the situation, venue and importance of the match that Smyth ranks his winner as the best goal of his career so far.

"I would hit 100 of them and probably put 99 over the bar!" he laughed. “As soon as it dropped to me it was coming too fast so I couldn't hit it first time.

"I took a touch and just hit it and it went into the top corner. If you look at that goal it came from our backline, Doyley (James Doyle) was strong and passed the ball off to Conor and he squared it.

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"I was already in the box and didn't have an awful lot to do in the build up. The ball came to me and I did what came naturally to me.

"That's 100% the best goal I've ever scored. If I only scored the first goal then that would have been the best one I ever scored because of the occasion."

It was already a special night for Smyth before the match even kicked off with his daughter accompanying him onto the pitch in a moment he will always remember.

"It was brilliant,” he said, “Walking out with the kids made it such a special occasion.

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"Those fans follow us week in, week out everywhere so to give them a night out at Windsor and then to win it for them to make it even more special was a good way to pay them back for their support all year round."