Co Antrim Shield: Linfield ease past below-par Reds as holders Ballymena exit

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Matthew Clarke scored Linfield's first goal

Linfield avenged their Premiership defeat by Cliftonville a week ago as they defeated the Reds 3-0 in the County Antrim Shield quarter-finals.

On a night when holders Ballymena United were beaten 2-1 at home by Ards, Matthew Clarke, Ross Gaynor and Andrew Waterworth notched Linfield's goals.

Joe McKinney hit both Ards goals while PSNI beat Albert Foundry 3-0.

Extra-time goals from David Cushley and Brandon Doyle helped Crusaders see off Glentoran 2-1 at the Oval.

At Windsor Park, Cliftonville defender Caoimhin Bonner blocked early efforts by Mark Haughey and Waterworth but it was a contest of few openings before hesitation by Tomas Cosgrove allowed Clarke to strike the Blues ahead on 41 minutes.

A misdirected ball across his own penalty area by Aaron Donnelly gifted Gaynor Linfield's second goal on 61 and Waterworth headed the third with 10 minutes left as Cliftonville posed little threat.

A bad night for the Reds was topped off by Bonner's sending off as he picked up a second yellow card for a late challenge on Waterworth.

Joe McKinney celebrates after scoring one of his two goals as Ards knocked out holders Ballymena United
Joe McKinney (left) scored both Ards goals as they knocked out holders Ballymena United

McKinney double helps Ards beat holders Ballymena

After their 5-0 Premiership hammering by Glenavon on Saturday, holders Ballymena suffered another disappointment as McKinney's two goals sealed a deserved success for Ards at the Showgrounds.

McKinney had already tested home keeper Ross Glendinning early on before firing the north Down club ahead in the 28th minute.

As Ballymena rarely threatened, a mix-up between keeper Glendinning and Caolan Loughran allowed McKinney to double the lead after the break and Ards held on despite Allan Jenkins' 89th-minute reply.

Glentoran had the bulk of the chances in normal time against a largely second-string Crues with Alex Leu missing their best opportunity in the first half as he failed to beat Michael Dougherty from close range after being set up by Nacho Novo.

Ex-Ballymena man Cushley half-volleyed Crusaders ahead in the fourth minute of extra-time and after Glentoran's Ciaran Caldwell hit the underside of the crossbar, Brandon Doyle struck the visitors' second goal after being set up by Cushley.

Glentoran's near misses continued as Jonathan Smith struck the woodwork before Steven Gordon did reply in the final minute of extra-time.

In the game at Seaview, Darius Roohi put the PSNI 1-0 against the Amateur League side and after a Joe West own goal doubled their lead, Lukasz Adamczyk completed the scoring.

Toals County Antrim Shield quarter-finals
Albert Foundry 0-3PSNI
Ballymena Utd1-2Ards
Glentoran 1-2Crusaders - aet
Linfield3-0Cliftonville
Mid-Ulster Cup quarter-finals
Armagh City3-1Lurgan Celtic
Glenavon 5-0Dungannon Swifts
Loughgall2-2Annagh Utd - Loughgall won 4-3 on pens
Warrenpoint Town3-2Rathfriland Rangers
North West Cup Final
Coleraine1-1Institute - Institute won 4-2 on pens