Crusaders Triumph over Ballymena United in Irish Cup Final
Crusaders Football Club had a glorious day on Friday 21 May 2021 as they won the Irish Cup Final beating Ballymena United 2-1 at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast.
The game featured the best of two Northern Irish football teams who had previously gone head-to-head in the Irish Cup Final in 2018. Crusaders had won on that occasion too, and were hoping to repeat history in the game.
The game was off to an explosive start, with Crusaders’ Declan Caddell scoring in just six minutes into the game. Ballymena United didn’t let the quick goal discourage them and tried their best to get an equalizer. Crusaders doubled their lead with a goal by Ross Clarke. Minutes later, Ballymena was able to pull one back with a header from Leroy Millar.
Crusaders controlled the game with their excellent midfield play featuring captain Colin Coates and the goal scorer Declan Caddell. On the other hand, Ballymena had a tough time making an impact in midfield, which hindered their chances of scoring.
Crusader’s defence led by goalkeeper Gerad Doherty did an excellent job in handling the early pressure from Ballymena and kept the scoreline stable. They also held strong against late pressure by Ballymena as they searched for the much-needed equalizer.
Overall, Crusaders showcased their dominance as they landed their first Irish Cup since 2019.
The trophy win is not only a morale booster for Crusaders but also a financial boost. The winner of the Irish Cup also gets a chance to compete in the European play-off round, offering them a chance to gain experience in European competition and also receive financial rewards.
The mood in the Crusaders camp was ecstatic with Coach Stephen Baxter ecstatic with the win. He acknowledged that it had been a rollercoaster season that had been interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and thanked his staff, players and the fans for their support throughout the year.
Ballymena United players felt the heartache of coming so close but missing out on the big prize. They acknowledged that they had given the game their all and were satisfied with their performance, especially in the second half.
The game was a showcase of the best of Northern Irish football, with some excellent plater by both sides. However, Crusaders proved too strong for Ballymena and won the game deservedly. The win is a sign that Crusaders is building a formidable team and will be a force to reckon with in Northern Ireland football.#CrusadersFC #IrishCupFinal2021 #NorthernIrelandFootball
Crusaders Football Club emerges victorious against Ballymena United with a score of 2-1 in the Irish Cup Final held at Windsor Park, Belfast. Crusaders’ Declan Caddell and Ross Clarke were the goal-scorers while Leroy Millar scored for Ballymena. Crusaders dominated the game and took home the coveted trophy. The victory not only boosted their morale but also earned them the chance to compete in the European play-off round. The game showcased some excellent football, with Crusaders proving too strong for Ballymena, who gave a good account of themselves. #NEWS