Women's Irish Cup: Glentoran retain trophy after Linfield win
Glentoran have retained the Women's Irish Cup after Emma McMaster's early goal gave the east Belfast side a 1-0 win over Linfield at Windsor Park.
McMaster puts the Glens into the lead inside five minutes after Lauren Perry could only parry Demi Vance's long-range effort.
Linfield, who scored 18 goals midweek against Comber Rec, struggled to break down Glentoran's resolute defence.
The victory is Glentoran's eighth Irish Cup success.
After McMaster's early goal, Vance's effort was deflected wide while Rachel Rogan's headed straight at Perry.
Linfield's best effort of the first half fell to Casey Howe, who just couldn't get a strong connection on Caitlin McGuinness' cross.
Phil Lewis' side improved after the break, but were restricted to half chances from Rebecca McKenna and Clare Timoney.
Makayla Mulholland, who was the hero with two late goals against Linfield last year, tried her luck from distance but she failed to trouble Perry as Glentoran looked to secure the win.
The victory secures a clean sweep of cup competitions for Glentoran after County Antrim Shield and League Cup wins earlier in the season.
Despite the cup final loss, Linfield can win the Women's Premiership on goal difference if they beat Derry City by seven goals or more on Wednesday night.
What they said
Emma McMaster, Glentoran: "I'm absolutely delighted. I'm glad the goal came so early on because it gave us the confidence to push on. Linfield are a very good team, I think they have shown that over the last number of years. Tonight we showed that we can compete with them and I'm glad we got the win in the end."
Gail Redmond, Glentoran coach: "We're feeling good. It was one of our plans all year to retain this trophy and although it was tight at the end we managed to get the job done. There's such a great nucleus of girls here and we're hungry for success. Last year we won one trophy and this season it's three. I hope we can continue that on."
Phil Lewis, Linfield manager: "We had a poor start and it took us a while to recover. At half-time I thought we would be able to come out and dominate but we just weren't able to get that final ball and there was maybe a bit of fatigue from throughout the week. This one is out of the way, congratulations to Glentoran, but our focus is now on Wednesday night and trying to win this league."