Glentoran secured a cup treble as they defeated Linfield in the Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup final, played at Windsor Park in front of 1,300 fans.
A goal from Emma McMaster, playing only her fourth game for the Glens since moving across the city from Cliftonville, proved decisive, reports irishfa.com.
The gritty 1-0 victory helped the Glens to claim their third trophy of the season and retain the cup they won by defeating the Blues in last year’s decider. The Glens have already won the League Cup and County Antrim Cup in 2019.
The only goal of the match came after five minutes. Glens midfielder Demi Vance drifted past a couple of defenders and unleashed a fine 30-yard shot which was parried and pushed up in the air by Linfield keeper Lauren Perry – but Glens midfielder McMaster pounced to bundle the ball into the net.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between but on the stroke of half-time a Demi Vance free-kick was headed by Rachel Rogan straight at Perry from six yards.
After the break, Makyla Mulholland got on the end of a Vance corner to plant a header just past the upright.
Linfield thought they had levelled on 69 minutes but Louise McFrederick had been offside before crossing for Caitlin McGuinness’s finish.
Regan Lehman’s last ditch clearance for the Glens almost resulted in an own goal and Linfield’s Casey Howe shot over the top minutes later.
Then it was the Glens’ turn to push forward and Mulholland’s long-range strike drifted inches wide of the post and in the 87th minute she raced forward again but her shot was well stopped by Perry.
In the closing stages the Blues upped the ante and the Glens had to dig deep to keep them out. In the end though the one goal was enough to win it for the team from east Belfast against their south Belfast rivals, who are still in with a chance of lifting the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership crown this season.