Cliftonville lifted the League Cup for a record fourth consecutive time by defeating Championship One leaders Ards 3-0 in this evening's decider.

Goals from Martin Donnelly, David McDaid and Stephen Garrett ensured the Reds lifted the trophy for the fifth time in their history.

Ards entered the game as massive underdogs, particularly as they had agreed for the match to be staged at Cliftonville's home ground of Solitude so they could avail of more gate receipts. Whilst cup final defeats are always disappointing, the main aim for Niall Currie's side is promotion back into the top flight.

Winger Martin Donnelly opened the scoring ten minutes prior to the break, curling a low effort in past goalkeeper Ryan Brown from just outside the box. The Reds had the chance to double their lead moments later, but David McDaid's penalty was expertly saved by former-Reds goalkeeper Brown.

Seventeen minutes into the second half, McDaid swiveled and fired home to make amends for his earlier miss from the spot, before substitute Stephen Garrett made it three late on with a close-range finish.

It was Reds boss Gerard Lyttle first trophy as manager, after he replaced Tommy Breslin last September.

Ards: Brown, Hall, Gage, Cully, Lambe, Dorrian (O'Neill 45), McMillen (E McAllister 73), Arthurs, McAllister, Baker, Carson.

Cliftonville: Devlin, Cosgrove, Smyth, McGovern (Flynn 77), Ives, M Donnelly, Catney, Knowles, Curran (George 86), J Donnelly, McDaid (Garrett 81).

Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor)