Not only was Saturday a big day of cup football in England but in Northern Ireland fans travelled across the country to watch their teams in action in the 5th Round of the Tennents Irish Cup. The 5th round is where Premiership and Championship teams enter the competition, in total 16 matches took place in the competition and 61 goals flew in so there’s plenty of action to roundup this week.
Ards 4 Crumlin Star 1
Three divisions separated Premiership side Ards from Amateur League Premier Division side Crumlin Star but with the visitors boasting a 100% record in their own league so far this season Colin Nixon would have been wary of an upset. Michael Ruddy opened the scoring for Ards early in the game but James Doyle brought the Amateur League side level shortly after. David McAllister restored Ards lead and Star’s hopes of an upset were made that bit more difficult by Joe McNeill’s dismissal just before half-time. Second half goals from Gareth Tommons and a second for Ruddy sealed the game for Ards, though Star did miss a penalty to reduce the deficit.
Ballinamallard United 4 Immaculata 2
Premiership basement side Ballinamallard played host to another Amateur League Premier Division side, Immaculata are generally considered to be one of the top teams in the Amateur League and once again Mallards chief Gavin Dykes won’t have been taking anything for granted. Sean Noble was making his debut for Ballinamallard and it didn’t take long for the 21-year-old to make his mark as he opened the scoring after 6 minutes. The Mallards had opportunities to extend their lead but couldn’t take those chances and were relieved when James McKenna managed to thwart Adrian Oliver. Immaculata equalised early in the second half when Brian McCaul, formerly of Linfield and Glenavon, fired a free-kick straight through the defensive wall and in but Ryan Curran soon put the home side back in front. Another new signing came on for the Mallards at half-time in the shape of Stephen O’Flynn, O’Flynn was at the club two years ago and didn’t take long to re-introduce himself as he made it 3-1 after 63 minutes and Ryan Curran scored his second of the game before Kevin McGovern scored the final goal of the game late on to halve the deficit.
Ballymena United 4 Moyola Park 0
It was something of a derby game at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Saturday as Moyola Park were the visitors for a rare competitive game between the two sides. Moyola almost took the lead after 4 minutes when Ryan Young’s shot hit the underside of the crossbar but United soon took the lead when a Tony Kane corner found its way to Kyle Owens and the centre back put the ball home. Owens played a part in United’s second goal on 28 minutes when he picked up Fra McCaffrey’s pass and in turn played the ball to Matthew Shevlin who finished past Marcin Farniok. United were in control of the game and had a goal chalked off when Kane’s corner went straight in but the referee decided Farnoik had been fouled. Moyola’s shot-stopper was called into action to keep the score 2-0 on a number of occasions in the last 10 minutes of the half denying Kevin Braniff, Jim Ervin and Shevlin twice, while up the other end Ross Glendenning was called into action to deny Tiernan Rafferty. It was 2-0 six minutes into the second half as a poor clearance from a Moyola defender found Kane and the United player directed the ball home from 40 yards and Shevlin added goal number four with 18 minutes left to ensure the Sky Blue’s passage to the 6th round. The game was followed by some sad news as the word broke on Saturday night that Tommy Matthews, an 80-year-old Ballymena supporter, who had been taken to hospital after falling ill during the match had passed away. The thoughts of everyone at That Football Daily are with Tommy’s friends and family at this time.
Carrick Rangers 1 Glenavon 3 (AET)
If Carrick were hoping for a cup run to take away from their league woes it wasn’t meant to be for them as Davy MacAlinden’s side came out second best against one of his former clubs. Bobby Burns gave Glenavon a half-time lead but Rangers skipper Mark Surgenor levelled in the second half from the penalty spot after Andy Doyle was penalised inside the area. The sides couldn’t be separated for the remainder of the half and, due to replays being scrapped in the Irish Cup a few years back, extra-time it was. The Lurgan Blues took the lead in the first period of extra-time when a Sammy Clingan corner met the head of James Singleton and beat keeper Harry Doherty. Carrick’s uphill battle was met even more difficult when goalscorer and captain, Surgenor, was dismissed in the second period of extra-time for a second yellow card and Andrew Mitchell eventually put the final nail in Carrick’s coffin to send them crashing out of the Irish Cup.
Cliftonville 4 Warrenpoint Town 3
There was plenty of drama in this game as Barry Gray’s current side beat the side he managed for many years at Solitude on Saturday. Perhaps one of the biggest talking points before the game was that Point manager Matthew Tipton had registered himself and was on the bench for this game, he would come on and make a significant impact in the game but not in the way he would have hoped. Warrenpoint took the lead in the game when former Cliftonville player Martin Murray found the back of the net but the Reds equalised through Jamie Harney and Ross Lavery, before they were reduced to ten men when Jamie McGovern was dismissed. The Point did make the extra man count and scored to send the tie to extra-time but before the end of the 90 minutes, there was still some drama to come. Tipton brought himself on late in the game for extra-time but was soon involved in an altercation off the ball with Levi Ives that earned both players a yellow card, moments later Tipton committed a reckless tackle on an opposition player and was shown a second yellow card in second-half injury time only moments after coming on. At 10v10 the home side clearly fancied their chances and Harney added two more goals to his tally to secure the match and the match ball, though Darius Roohi did pull a late goal back for Tipton’s side.
Coleraine 7 Lisburn Distillery 0
Distillery had lost their last two league games on the spin going into this game and any hopes of an upset were all but diminished when defender Gareth McConaghie put the Bannsiders ahead in the 1st minute following a corner. The Whites applied themselves well for the next 30 minutes but Stephen Dooley, who was making his third debut for Coleraine, converted Josh Carson’s cross and the game was already over as a contest. Further goals from Jamie McGonigle, Ian Parkhill, Martin Smith and two goals from Matthew Kirk sealed the deal in what was a long day for the Whites faithful.
Crusaders 2 Maiden City 0
North-west side Maiden City made the trip to top of the Premiership side Crusaders on Saturday hoping to upset the applecart but found themselves behind after 70 seconds to a Jordan Forsythe strike. After taking the lead so early in the game some people may have been expecting a cricket scoreline but the Crues were unable to extend their lead any further before the referee blew the half-time whistle, in fact, City held their hosts to the last 10 minutes before David Cushley added a second goal to secure the win but the underdogs will no doubt be pleased with their efforts against one of the top sides in the country.
Dungannon Swifts 4 Limavady United 0
Dungannon secured a comfortable passage into the 6th Round against Championship side Limavady and it seems the win could have been an even more comfortable one for them. Mark Patton was making his Swifts debut after signing from Glenavon during the week and he made an instant impact crossing for captain Ryan Harpur to head home within the first few minutes. The Swifts and Patton continued to cause problems and had doubled their lead before half-time when Kris Lowe capped his birthday by getting his name on the scoresheet. Further goals from Johnny Lafferty and a second from Harpur wrapped up the win.
Knockbreda 0 Institute 2
Institute’s run of form continued on Saturday as they swept Knockbreda aside at Breda Park in the Irish Cup. Gareth Brown put the away side into a first-half lead and the scoring was complete before half-time when Aaron Harkin converted from the penalty spot. Harkin almost grabbed himself a second but his shot came back of the crossbar and in the end Stute had to settle for the two-goal winning margin.
Larne 3 Dergview 0
Larne were able to transfer their league form into the cup as they saw off Championship strugglers Dergview at Inver Park on Saturday. It was an exciting day for Larne as they were fielding five debutants after going on a signing spree following the takeover a few months ago. It took 72 minutes for the opening goal of the game and it came from one of Larne’s old boy’s though as Darren Stuart, fresh off the back of winning the Championship Player of the Month for December, rounded Stefan McCusker and scored. Two minutes later Martin Donnelly, one of the aforementioned debutants, crossed for Ralph Kottoy to convert and with two minutes to go Stuart grabbed his second of the game to complete the scoring.
Linfield 5 Glebe Rangers 0
Holders Linfield had little trouble in their 5th Round encounter with Glebe Rangers, who will no doubt have had a great day out playing at the National Stadium in Northern Ireland. Linfield went closing a number of times in the opening half hour before Matthew Clarke fired them into the lead. Defensive pairing Mark Haughey and Josh Robinson got themselves onto the scoresheet in the second half, before Matthew Clarke added his second goal of the game. The scoring was complete when Kirk Millar scored with a superb goal into the top corner with the outside of his boot.
Loughall 4 PSNI 1
It was Loughgall who advanced to the next round in this all-Championship encounter but they had to come from behind to do so after their former player Lukasz Adamczyk scored from the penalty spot. The home side turned the tie on its head in the closing stages of the half as Peter Campbell converted a Dale Montgomery cross to equalise and new signing Nathaniel Ferris put Loughgall ahead with an acrobatic effort. Conor Mullen then added to the scoreline and with five minutes to go Campbell scored goal number four.
Lurgan Celtic 1 Glentoran 2
Lurgan Celtic went into this game on a torrid run of form and find themselves rock bottom of the Championship, Glentoran aren’t having a great season themselves but still went into the game as heavy favourites and it was no real surprise when Curtis Allen fired them into the lead after 8 minutes. One goal became two after 34 minutes when Dan Kelly sent the ball across goal looking for his team-mate Ross Redman but Celtic defender Brian Toland inadvertently sent the ball past his own keeper. Glentoran couldn’t add to their lead any further and Aaron Rodgers managed to pull a goal back for the home side to set up a nervy finish.
Newry City 2 Harland and Wolff Welders 0
Only one place and one point separates these two sides in the Championship league table, with the Welders holding the upper hand in that competition at the minute but it was Newry who proved the victors in the cup on Saturday. Newry’s goals came from Keith Johnston who gave Darren Mullan’s side a 6th Round encounter to look forward to.
Portadown 1 Ballyclare Comrades 2
Fans of the Irish League who may not necessarily pay much attention to the league below the Premiership may have been predicting a comfortable win for the Ports but it was Ballyclare who went into the game higher up the league, albeit the Ports were on the better run of form going into the game. The Ports took the lead after 27 minutes when Adam McCallum took advantage of a corner not being fully cleared. Things seemed to swing even further in Niall Currie’s side’s favour when Samuel McIlveen was sent off following a challenge on Andy Kilmartin. The Comrades did surprise their hosts with an equaliser just short of the hour mark when Adam Gray played in Stewart Nixon who finished past the keeper. Portadown had most of the play in the game but couldn’t find a winner and towards the end of 90 minutes with extra time looming they too were reduced to 10 men when Francis Brennan was dismissed. Deep into extra-time with penalties looking likely, the Comrades found a late winner when Thomas Robinson played in Stewart Nixon who for the second time of the game gave the keeper no chance with his finish.
Queens University 0 Dundela 1
The top two sides in the Premier Intermediate League (PIL) met at The Dub on Saturday and could only be separated by a single goal. It was Jordan Morrison who was the match winner for the Duns to see them advance into the next round of the prestigious cup competition.
The draw for the next round took place on Saturday evening and threw up some interesting ties:
Linfield v Newry City
Cliftonville v Crusaders
Loughgall v Ards
Ballyclare Comrades v Glentoran
Institute v Coleraine
Ballymena Utd v Ballinamallard Utd
Larne v Dundela
Glenavon v Dungannon Swifts
These will be played on Saturday 3rd February.