Stephen Baxter thrilled as Crusaders lift the Irish Cup for a fourth time

Stephen Baxter spoke of his delight for the Crusaders fans after they won the Irish Cup for the fourth time.

The Crues saw off Championship side Ballinamallard United and Baxter was pleased with how his side went about their business.

Crusaders celebrate their Irish Cup win

Crusaders celebrate their Irish Cup win

“It was important to concentrate on the Irish Cup after we knew the league was slipping away after Christmas.

“Big players like Jordan Owens and Paul Heatley have been out for large parts of the season and we’ve had to bring them back to get them fit but they have delivered.

“We fully deserved it having beaten Glentoran, Linfield, Ballymena United and Coleraine to get into the final.

“This has to be a celebration day. Ballinamallard put it up to us but we scored three good goals and probably could have had a few more.

“Going into the final you’re always a bit nervous but we didn’t know Ballinamallard that well.

“They passed it well and have some stars of the future and they were in this final on merit.

“It was great to see the number of fans here, we normally bring about 500 and there were about 2500 or 3000 here.

“It means a lot to them and to all of us to win a big trophy.”