A tremendous second half display by Institute saw them deservedly beat Ards 3-1 to win the Intermediate Cup, at Windsor Park, on Monday night.
Man of the match Gareth Brown kept up his fantastic goalscoring form by bagging a brace, while Shane McGinty’s penalty in the closing stages ensured Kevin Deery’s side started a big 10 days for the club with a piece of silverware.
The first effort came on nine minutes but Aaron Harkin’s stinging effort from the right hand side of the box was saved by Ards keeper Liam McAuley.
Ards went close on 15 minutes when Craig McMillen’s tremendous left wing corner caused problems for Stute, but John Convery’s header was tipped over by a fully stretched Institute goalkeeper Marty Gallagher.
Institute broke the deadlock on 20 minutes following some quick thinking by Ciaron Harkin.
The young midfielder played a super pass in behind Greg Hall to release Jamie Dunne and his left wing centre found Brown, who fired home from 10 yards.
Moments later Gallagher was called into action when he kept out McMillen’s header.
Brown went close again on 26 minutes this time his 20 yard drive had to be parried away by McAuley.
Soon after Ben Browne’s right wing free-kick found Convery at the back post but his header was kept out superbly by Gallagher.
From the resuling McMillen’s cross from the left found Jordan Baker and he gleefully headed home at the near post.
The woodwork came to Stute’s rescue moments later this time Greg Hall’s header from another McMillen delivery, clipped the top of the bar.
Institute, who were much better and dominated things after the break, missed a golden chance on 48 minutes when Aaron Harkin’s left wing free-kick picked out an unmarked Mark Scoltock, but the big centre back fired well wide from six yards.
A quick counter attack by Stute on 60 minutes saw Aaron Harkin play an inch perfect cross field pass to McGinty, but after cutting inside past Convery, his effort from the left hand side of the box, flashed just wide.
Institute deservedly regained the lead in outstanding fashion on 73 minutes when a loose ball inside the box fell to Brown and his first time effort flew high into McAuley’s top right hand corner.
On 81 minutes Ards would have levelled things but for a smart save by Gallagher, when diving a full stretch he kept out James Cully’s close range header.
That save was important as Institute went straight up the other end of the field and all but ended the final as a contest as they were awarded a penalty when Jamie McIntyre was brought down by Kyle Buckley and McGinty made no mistake from 12 yards.
Then at the final whistle the celebrations started amongst the Stute players. coaching staff and supporters.
Ards: McAuley, Hall, Cully, Convery, Buckley, Arthurs, McCullough, Browne (Dorrian 69), McMillen (McAllister 60), Boyd, Baker (Upritchard 77).
Institute: Gallagher, O’Donnell, McDermott, Scoltock; McIntyre, C Harkin, A Harkin, McGinty (Jarvis 91), Dunne (Moorhead 86); Mills (Morrow H-T), Brown,
Referee: Mr Stephen Taylor (Belfast).