Holders Linfield see off Queen's in BetMcLean Cup

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Watch: Linfield battle past Queen's University to reach next round

Holders Linfield came from behind to defeat Queen's University 3-1 as they started their defence of the BetMcLean Cup at Windsor Park.

A double from Joel Cooper and a goal from John Robertson followed Stewart Nixon's early opener for the away side.

Ballymena, Crusaders, Dungannon and Glentoran also secured comfortable passages to the next round.

Irish Premiership champions Larne thrashed Knockbreda 9-1 at Inver Park.

Joe Thomson scored a hat-trick with Michael Glynn, Tomas Cosgrove, Shea Gordan, Corey Smith and Lee Bonis also on the scoresheet.

Cliftonville and Carrick Rangers eased their way into round two in the later kick-offs, with Coleraine and Glenavon eventually joining them with both those games going to extra time.

Blues too good for students

Linfield are through to the second round of the BetMcLean Cup as they laboured past a stubborn Queen' side.

Queen's stunned the home crowd after just nine minutes when Nixon fired past David Walsh after a smart turn in the box. Linfield dominated possession and created chances before levelling just before the half-hour mark thanks to Cooper's smart finish.

The visitors almost went in ahead at the break as Johnny Mairs rattled the crossbar with the last kick of the half.

The second half began much the same as the first ended with the Blues dominating possession but lacking accuracy. Queen's keeper McKenzie Pauley was in inspired form but Cooper got his second from a rebound just after the hour to put the hosts ahead.

Robertson finally put the game to bed with a scrappy finish that bobbled into the corner of the net. It's two wins in four days as Linfield prepare to welcome bitter rivals Glentoran on Friday night.

Reds and Swifts progress

Watch: Dungannon Swifts 3-1 Newington

Cliftonville eased into the second round with a low-key 3-0 win over Institute at Solitude.

The home side made a flying start with Ben Wilson giving them a fourth minute lead, latching on to a throughball and lobbing advancing keeper Gareth Muldoon.

Sean Stewart's 25-yard strike rattled the Institute crossbar after a well-worked corner routine before the interval but the home side eventually doubled their advantage on 63 minutes when Rory Hale curled an effort into the corner of the net despite keeper Muldoon getting a hand to the effort.

Substitute Stephen Mallon continued his recovery from a long-term injury by slotting home Cliftonville's third with 11 minutes left after running onto a Hale through ball.

A Matty Lusty double helped Dungannon Swifts progressafter a comfortable 3-1 win over championship leaders Newington.

The Larne loanee gave the 2018 winners a deserved lead in the 21st minute with Adam Glenny cutting the ball back for the unmarked Lusty to fire home his third of the season.

Robert McVarnock would pull the north Belfast side level five minutes after the interval - Declan Devine could only clear as far as the former Ballymena United man, and McVarnock would show great composure to loft the ball over the stranded keeper.

The county Tyrone side were back in front 15 minutes later when substitute Thomas Maguire volleyed home from close range following Ethan McGee's inch-perfect cross.

There was time to add a third when Lusty showed a poacher's instincts, slotting home a loose ball after Marc Maybin could only parry Joe Moore's effort into the forward's path.

Ten-man Glens overcome Dollingstown

George Feeney, son of Glens boss Warren, scored as they beat Dollingstown 2-0George Feeney, son of Glens boss Warren, scored as they beat Dollingstown 2-0

Daire O'Connor and George Feeney scores as Glentoran progressed into the second round with a 2-0 home win over Premier Intermediate side Dollingstown.

O'Connor opened the scoring on 18 minutes when he calmly passed the ball past Macauley Cairns from a nice move involving David Fisher.

Midway through the first half Glentoran went close to doubling their lead when captain Sean Murray had a powerful free-kick saved down low by Cairns.

Dollingstown's best chance of the first half came from right winger Daniel Gordon who went on a superb solo run before his shot was deflected behind for a corner.

Feeney doubled the lead on 51 minutes as he rounded Cairns and finished from close range after a Fisher shot was deflected into his path.

Glentoran where reduced to 10 men on 72 minutes when Jonathan Russell fouled right back Odhran Skelton. Dollingstown enjoyed possession late in the second half but rarely created anything to trouble Glens goalkeeper Oliver Webber.

Crues put five past Point

Crusaders were comfortable 5-0 victors over Warrenpoint Town at Milltown.

The away side took the lead just three minutes into the tie when Ben Kennedy's strong strike was palmed away by Warrenpoint stopper Lewis Deane, but the 26-year-old steered the rebound home from the back post.

Kennedy scored his second of the evening on the 56th minute when he latched onto a loose ball just outside the box, travelled forward and fired a low strike past Deane.

Philip Lowry made it 3-0 in style when his 25-yard strike sailed into the top corner. Kennedy completed his hat-trick on the 76th minute when he leapt highest to connect with Ross Clarke's corner and nodded into the back of the net.

Clarke was in action again, this time when his corner from the opposite side was steered home from close range by Josh Robinson.

The home side did have multiple chances with Jonathan Tuffey having to produce good saves to deny them a goal. Steven Ball's strike looked destined to find the back of the net but Tuffey produced a superb diving save to keep it out.

Sky Blues in cruise control

Jamie McDonagh in action for GlenavonGlenavon required extra time to see off Championship side Dergview at Mourneview Park

Fiontan O'Boyle and Alex Gawne netted their first goals for Ballymena with Johnny McMurray also recording a brace in their comfortable home victory against Lisburn Distillery.

Danny Purkis scored twice as Carrick Rangers beat Moyola Park 4-1 at home.

Both Coleraine and Glenavon needed extra time to get past their Championship opposition.

A goal in the first half of extra time from Lee Lynch helped Coleraine to defeat Bangor after Ben Arthurs had cancelled out Matthew Shevlin's late opener in normal time.

Sean Ward was the two goal hero for Glenavon, with the defender striking twice in the space of two minutes in the second half of extra time to help Stephen McDonnell secure his first win as manager against Dergview.

Loughgall held off a fightback from Ballyclare Comrades to win 3-2 at Lakeview Park with goals from Charlie McCrory, Aaron Duke and Andrew Hoey.

Nerwy battled past H&W Welders, Ards put five past Ballinamallard, Limavady shocked 10-man Dundela and Portadown eased past Coagh United.

Annagh Utd4-1 [AET]Portstewart
Ballinamallard Utd1-5Ards
Ballymena Utd4-0Lisburn Distillery
Carrick Rangers4-1Moyola Park
Coleraine 2-1 [AET]Bangor
Dungannon Swifts3-1Newington
Glenavon2-1 [AET]Dergview
H&W Welders1-2Newry City
Larne 9-1Knockbreda
Limavady Utd2-0Dundela
Linfield3-1Queen's University
Loughgall3-2Ballyclare Comrades
Portadown4-0Coagh United
Warrenpoint Town0-5Crusaders
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