Glenavon lifted the Irish Cup for the first time in 17 years this afternoon after a thrilling 2-1 victory over Ballymena United at Windsor Park.
A first-half strike from Kyle Neill and a winner from Marc Patton 14 minutes from time ensured the 10-man Lurgan Blues defeated nine-man Ballymena.
Both teams were reduced to 10 men in a controversial first half. Referee Raymond Crangle dismissed Blues defender Gareth McKeown for an off the ball incident when the scores were still level.
But after Neill had scored his wonderful left-footed free-kick on 35 minutes, Ballymena also found themselves down to 10 when Gary Thompson was red carded for an innocuous challenge.
Glenavon were leading 1-0 at the break but Ballymena were back on terms on 70 minutes when goalkeeper James McGrath came and missed an Ally Teggart corner and Allan Jenkins finished from close range.
McGrath redeemed himself with a late save from David Cushley and Ballymena’s Johnny Kane was sent off in injury-time for a lunge on Glenavon player boss Gary Hamilton.