Belfast Telegraph

In pictures: Andy Waterworth strike seals League Cup success for Linfield as Ballymena held out

Ballymena United 0-1 Linfield

Pacemaker Press 16/02/2019
Linfield v Ballymena BetMcLean League Cup Final 2019
Linfield Players Niall Quinn, Jordan Stewart , Matthew Clarke and Kirk Millar Celebrating after winning todayÕs cup final at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 16/02/2019 Linfield v Ballymena BetMcLean League Cup Final 2019 Linfield Players Niall Quinn, Jordan Stewart , Matthew Clarke and Kirk Millar Celebrating after winning todayÕs cup final at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Linfield Manger David Healy celebrates with his staff. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's manager David Healy celebrates after the final whistle after this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Chris Casement celebrates Linfields victory with his daughter after this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Joshua Robinson and Andrew Mitchell celebrate after this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Andrew Waterworth congratulates Michael O'Connor after this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Joshua Robinson pours champagne over his teammates after this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Andrew Waterworth celebrates after this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Andrew Waterworth celebrates after this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Chris Casement with his daughter after this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Jordan Stewart celebrates his teams victory in the Met McLean League Cup after this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Linfield's Jimmy Callacher was named man of the match.
Pacemaker Press 16/02/2019 Linfield v Ballymena BetMcLean League Cup Final 2019 Linfield match winner Andy Waterworth and Jamie Mulgrew Celebrating after winning todayÕs cup final at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 16/02/2019 Linfield v Ballymena BetMcLean League Cup Final 2019 Linfield match winner Andy Waterworth Celebrating after winning todayÕs cup final at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 16/02/2019 Linfield v Ballymena BetMcLean League Cup Final 2019 Linfield Players Niall Quinn, Jordan Stewart , Matthew Clarke and Kirk Millar Celebrating after winning todayÕs cup final at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 16/02/2019 Linfield v Ballymena BetMcLean League Cup Final 2019 Linfield Players Niall Quinn, Jordan Stewart , Matthew Clarke and Kirk Millar Celebrating after winning todayÕs cup final at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 16/02/2019 Linfield v Ballymena BetMcLean League Cup Final 2019 Linfield Manger David Healy after winning todayÕs cup final at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Linfield get their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2008.
Linfield's Andrew Waterworth celebrates opening the scores. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Press 16/02/2019 Linfield v Ballymena BetMcLean League Cup Final 2019 LinfieldÕs Andy Waterworth scores during todayÕs game at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's manager David Healy during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Ballymena's Cathair Friel goes close to scoring during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Ballymena's Cathair Friel goes close to scoring during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew and Ballymena's Steven McCullough during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/02/2019. Bet Mc Lean League Cup Final Linfield v Ballymena Utd Ballymenas Adam Lecky In action during todays game at Windsor Pk Belfast Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/02/2019. Bet Mc Lean League Cup Final Linfield v Ballymena Utd Ballymenas Adam Lecky In action during todays game at Windsor Pk Belfast Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/02/2019. Bet Mc Lean League Cup Final Linfield v Ballymena Utd Ballymenas Adam Lecky In action during todays game at Windsor Pk Belfast Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Andrew Waterworth celebrates his goal during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Andrew Waterworth celebrates his goal during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Andrew Waterworth celebrates his goal during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Ballymena's manager David Jeffrey during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Jordan Stewart and Ballymena's Kofi Balmer during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Andrew Waterworth celebrates his goal during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/02/2019. Bet Mc Lean League Cup Final Linfield v Ballymena Ut Ballymenas Cathair Friel In action during todays game at Windsor Pk Belfast Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/02/2019. Bet Mc Lean League Cup Final Linfield v Ballymena Utd Ballymenas Cathair Friel In action during todays game at Windsor Pk Belfast Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/02/2019. Bet Mc Lean League Cup Final Linfield v Ballymena Utd Ballymenas Adam Lecky In action during todays game at Windsor Pk Belfast Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/02/2019. Bet Mc Lean League Cup Final Linfield v Ballymena Utd Ballymena Jonathan Addis In action during todays game at Windsor Pk Belfast Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/02/2019. Bet Mc Lean League Cup Final Linfield v Ballymena Utd Ballymena manager David Jeffrey during todays game at Windsor Pk Belfast Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Jamie and Ballymena's James Knowles during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Andrew Waterworth and Ballymena's Jim Ervin during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Ballymena's Jim Ervin and Linfield's Jordan Stewart during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Andrew Waterworth and Ballymena's Kofi Balmer during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Linfield's Jimmy Callacher and Ballymena's Adam Lecky during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 16-2-19 Ballymena v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Final Ballymena's Ross Glendinning and Linfield's Matthew Clarke during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

By Gareth Hanna

Andy Waterworth's goal edged a tight Bet McLean League Cup final at Windsor Park as Linfield won the trophy for the first time since 2008.

The star striker was always going to convert when Josh Robinson's inch-perfect through-ball played him in on 15 minutes.

It was the one piece of telling quality in a game that was, after the goal, dominated by Ballymena United's fruitless push for an equaliser.

Even before the breakthrough, United had hit the post through James Knowles' deflected shot.

Linfield keeper Gareth Deane saved well from both Jude Winchester and his own defender Jimmy Callacher, whose backward header almost left him and his keeper red-faced shortly before the break.

The temperature was raised during the first half when Jim Ervin launched a crunching challenge on Jamie Mulgrew and could consider himself fortunate to pick up only a yellow card.

The Braidmen continued to press during a strong start to the second half and Cathair Friel was presented with a gilt-edged chance to level when a corner came off the post, landing at his feet but he somehow fired over the bar from close range.

Linfield had Deane to thank for keeping it level, the keeper saving from Leroy Millar, Winchester and most impressively by tipping over Friel's header during Ballymena's second-half onslaught.

As Josh Robinson headed over on a brief foray forward for the league leaders, United raced back onto the attack and Andy McGrory hit a half-volley inches wide.

When substitute Tony Kane's chipped shot landed on the roof of the net, it was about all Ballymena could muster and when the final whistle sounded, Linfield could celebrate their first silverware of the season.

Here's the match as it happened:

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