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David Healy's blue heaven with County Antrim Shield victory

Crusaders 1-3 Linfield County Antrim Shield [Photos] Close

Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
Linfields Paul Smyth celebrates. Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields Paul Smyth celebrates. Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final.
Linfield winners of  this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. Linfield winners of this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final.
Linfield winners of  this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. Linfield winners of this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final.
Linfield winners of  this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. Linfield winners of this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final.
Linfield's Paul Smyth pictured with the shield. Linfield winners of  this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. Linfield's Paul Smyth pictured with the shield. Linfield winners of this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
 Linfields Mark Stafford celebrates 
Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields Mark Stafford celebrates Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
 Linfields players celebrate after lifyting the shield
Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields players celebrate after lifyting the shield Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
 Linfields Andy Waterworth celebrates
Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields Andy Waterworth celebrates Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
 Linfields Cameron Stewart and Kirk Millar celebrate
Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields Cameron Stewart and Kirk Millar celebrate Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
Linfields players celebrate
Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields players celebrate Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
Linfields Cameron Stewart and Paul Smyth celebrate
Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields Cameron Stewart and Paul Smyth celebrate Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. Linfield's Cameron Stewart pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during the final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: /Pacemaker Press

Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. Linfield's Cameron Stewart pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during the final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: /Pacemaker Press

Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final.
Linfield's Stephen Lowry pictured after scoring his teams 3rd goal during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. Linfield's Stephen Lowry pictured after scoring his teams 3rd goal during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
 Linfields manager David Healy celebrates after winning the Co Antrim Shield. Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields manager David Healy celebrates after winning the Co Antrim Shield. Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. Linfield's Stephen Lowry pictured after scoring his teams 3rd goal during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. Linfield's Stephen Lowry pictured after scoring his teams 3rd goal during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Press Eye - Northern Ireland -  7th February  2017

Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. 

Linfield's Stephen Lowry celebrates scoring a penalty 

Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th February 2017 Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. Linfield's Stephen Lowry celebrates scoring a penalty Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland -  7th February  2017

Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. 

Crusaders BJ Burns in action with Linfield's Andrew Waterworth

Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th February 2017 Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. Crusaders BJ Burns in action with Linfield's Andrew Waterworth Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland -  7th February  2017

Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. 

Linfield's Stephen Lowry celebrates scoring a penalty 

Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th February 2017 Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. Linfield's Stephen Lowry celebrates scoring a penalty Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland -  7th February  2017

Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. 

Crusaders  Jordan Forsythe in action with Linfield

Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th February 2017 Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. Crusaders Jordan Forsythe in action with Linfield Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final
 Crusaders Jordan Owens  scores  during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final Crusaders Jordan Owens scores during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final
 Crusaders Jordan Owens  scores  during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final Crusaders Jordan Owens scores during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
Crusaders Jordan Owens celebrates after pulling one back for the Crues 
Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Crusaders Jordan Owens celebrates after pulling one back for the Crues Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
Crusaders Jordan Owens celebrates after pulling one back for the Crues 
Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Crusaders Jordan Owens celebrates after pulling one back for the Crues Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
Crusaders David Cushley in action with Linfields Kirk millar
Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Crusaders David Cushley in action with Linfields Kirk millar Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Roals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
 Linfields Cameron Stewart heads the Blues into a 1-0 lead
Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Roals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields Cameron Stewart heads the Blues into a 1-0 lead Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final.
LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford pictured after scoring his teams 2rd goal during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford pictured after scoring his teams 2rd goal during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final
LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford scores   during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford scores during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final
LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford scores   during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford scores during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final.
LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford pictured after scoring his teams 2rd goal during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final. LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford pictured after scoring his teams 2rd goal during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final
LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford scores   during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final LinfieldÕs Mark Stafford scores during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final
LinfieldÕs Stephen Lowry   and Crusaders BJ Burns  during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final LinfieldÕs Stephen Lowry and Crusaders BJ Burns during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  07/02/2017
Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final
LinfieldÕs  Cameron Stewart opens the scoring  during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 07/02/2017 Linfield v Crusaders Co Antrim Shield Final LinfieldÕs Cameron Stewart opens the scoring during this evenings final at warden Street in Ballymena. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
 Linfields Cameron Stewart celebartes after he  heads the Blues into a 1-0 lead
Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields Cameron Stewart celebartes after he heads the Blues into a 1-0 lead Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
Crusaders Colin Coates  in action with Linfields Cameron Stewart
Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Crusaders Colin Coates in action with Linfields Cameron Stewart Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017
Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena.
 Linfields Cameron Stewart heads the Blues into a 1-0 lead
Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Presseye.com 7th February 2017 Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields Cameron Stewart heads the Blues into a 1-0 lead Photograph by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Press Eye - Northern Ireland -  7th February  2017

Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. 

Linfield's Mark Stafford celebrates scoring.

Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th February 2017 Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. Linfield's Mark Stafford celebrates scoring. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland -  7th February  2017

Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. 

Linfield's Mark Stafford celebrates scoring.

Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th February 2017 Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. Linfield's Mark Stafford celebrates scoring. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland -  7th February  2017

Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. 

Linfield's Mark Stafford celebrates scoring.

Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th February 2017 Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. Linfield's Mark Stafford celebrates scoring. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland -  7th February  2017

Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. 

Cameron Stewart heads in for Blues and celebrates 

Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th February 2017 Toals senior challenge shield final Crusaders v Linfield at Ballymena Showgrounds. Cameron Stewart heads in for Blues and celebrates Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Toals County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield at the Showgrounds in Ballymena. Linfields Paul Smyth celebrates. Photograph by Presseye/Matt Mackey

David Healy toasted his first trophy as a manager last night and then expressed a hope that this County Antrim Shield success is the start of another successful chapter in the club's history.

Goals from Cameron Stewart, Mark Stafford and Stephen Lowry killed off Crusaders at the Ballymena Showgrounds, with Jordan Owens' first half header merely a consolation.

Paul Heatley was also sent off for an elbow on Stafford in the 31st minute but there was no fightback as Healy, sitting in the stand while serving his touchline ban, celebrated his first piece of silverware as Blues chief since taking charge in October, 2015.

"I was never one for individual awards but hopefully this trophy is a very important one for the club in years to come," said Healy, who tasted final heartbreak when his men lost in last year's County Antrim Shield and Irish Cup deciders.

"Hopefully this is the first of many. This is a collective thing and I hope it means more to the club. It gives my players belief they can match Crusaders in a Cup final and we've matched them three times this season.

"I'm sure the Seaview Irish Cup game will be one to look forward to. This win is important for people at the club. It was David Jeffrey's and Roy Coyle's first trophy and I don't think I'll be in the job for 20 or 30 years but if I'm anywhere near their success I'll be doing alright.

"This is massive for players who haven't won a trophy. I was new to the club when there was negativity around losing finals. They knew they had to, somehow, get across the line."

Belfast Telegraph