This past Saturday in the National Stadium Windsor Park, Crusaders lifted the Irish Cup for the fourth time in their history and first time in a decade.
The men from Seaview showed their Premiership pedigree by defeating opponents Ballinamallard 3-0. Goals came from Jordan Owens, Philip Lowry and Ross Clarke.
There was a lot on the line this past weekend, it was a first Irish Cup success in a decade for the Seaview men, who also won the County Antrim Shield this season. Unfortuntely a poor league campaign had the North-Belfast side finish fourth in the table, but an added incentive for winning the Irish Cup was welcomed.
With the trophy being lifted the Crues have secured European football in the Europa League qualifiers for next season.
Hard lines to their opponents Ballinamallard who where playing in their first Irish Cup final in their history. The Championship side had a great support but the day wasn’t to be.
Man of the match Sean Ward was composed throughout and led his team from the back by example. Ward has now won his third Irish Cup winners medal with his third club. The school teacher adds this one to his collection, previously won with Glentoran and Linfield.
Despite finishing outside of the top four with 68 points, Crusaders and manager Stephen Baxter will be very pleased with his team who have lifted two trophies and qualified for European football next season!